EACC Vice Chairperson warns procurement officers against engaging in graft

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has decried huge corruption cases in procurement departments of various state organs.

EACC’s Vice Chair Commissioner Sofia Lepuchirit says junior officers in the procurement departments have become culprits with various cases already in court.

Addressing media in Nakuru on Monday when she opened a five days’ training workshop for correctional officers drawn from various parts of the country on matters integrity, Commissioner Lepuchirit said the junior officers have a challenge since most of the cases they act on orders from their bosses.

She sounded a stern warning to the junior officers, adding that in such cases they will be held responsible for going against chapter six of the constitution on integrity.

Commissioner Lepuchirit also calling on members of the Press to help in educating the public and also the state officers working in procurement department on matters conflict of interest.

“A lot of cases of corruption involve procurement department and conflict of interests in the counties and that is why we are telling the officers to adhere to chapter 6 of the constitution” said Commissioner Lepuchirit.

This even as EACC commends the collaboration between various agencies in the fight on graft that has seen recovery of various assets that had been acquired through corrupt means.

For the year 2018/2019, EACC has been able to avert public funds worth 14.5 billion that had been lost; 4.5 billion worth of assets recovered and preserved assets worth 3.8 billion.

The Commission has also finalized 78 cases which ended in 51 convictions.Further, the commission has been able to carry out Corruption Risk Assessment in 7 public institutions and gave 739 advisories and 50 notices for violation of chapter six of the Constitution.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) South Rift director Hassan Khalid says the achievements can be attributed to the close working relation with other agencies.

“The Commission has put in more efforts in terms of seal on fighting corruption at a high level both national and international” said Commissioner Khalid.

The Commission is optimistic that with the Integrity Assurance officers’ training under the National Integrity Academy, corruption in state departments will reduce tremendously.

The Academy, which is the training arm of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, aims to promote a culture of integrity in all sectors of society.

It also seeks to enhance the capacity of agencies, institutions and practitioners to combat and prevent corruption and unethical practices.

The Deputy Director of the Academy, Dr. Purity Gitonga, says the training is crucial for state officers towards mainstreaming integrity in all procedures, processes and policies of their respective areas.

“We will continue to roll out the training programs for all the other public sectors towards realization of integrity” she said.

The five days’ training for the training workshop for correctional officers form Rift valley region is being sponsored by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-UNODC and funded by European Union.

Mr.Thorbjorn Biornsson from UNODC says the training is vital in ensuring integrity.

“It is vital that the Criminal justice system ensures integrity and this training is aimed at equipping the correctional and Prisons officers with skills to help them prevent corruption in their departments” he said.

Sentiments echoed by Deputy Director Probation Services Mr. Philip Ntabo.

The officer while noting that there have not been cases of corruption in the correctional services stated that the training is key in ensuring implementation of the public service integrity program as well as the Big 4 agenda.

“As a government agency we are required to fully implement the Public service integrity program and this can only happen when the officers have the technical skills and integrity” said Ntabo.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:EACC’s Vice Chair Commissioner Sofia Lepuchirit(Right) flanked by Commissioners Dr. Purity Gitonga,Hassan Khalid,Deputy Director Probation Services Mr. Philip Ntabo and Mr.Thorbjorn Biornsson from UNODC during a media address in Nakuru.

Pristone Mambili

A freelance Journalist with experience in Radio and online news writing.