Stop corruption through use of blind trust
Stop corruption through use of blind trust
I, the undersigned,
Citizen of Kenya, and resident on Nairobi
DRAW to the attention of both Houses of Parliament:
1. The rapacious existence of multiple and massive conflict of interest in a variety of government institutions by public officers.
By all accounts, there is a pattern of unchallenged abuse of power by both appointed and elected public officers taking official action, or make policy recommendations concerning particular governmental action in areas where they are investors or have personal interest arraying blatant conflict of interest charges within the public sector system.
The principle behind this petition is to call for the regulation of the blatant conflict of interest embodied in the axiom that public officers owe undivided loyalty to the Government and decisions, advice and recommendations they make should only be in public interest, and not to be tainted, even unintentionally with influence from private or personal interest.
As defined by ancient republicans, this classic sense of corruption of placing personal interest ahead of public interest or common good has been identified as the destroyer of republics since it not only compromises public duties but also makes it remarkably difficult to mobilize public services in the fight against corruption. And His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta is on public record as having declared corruption a threat to national security.
This abuse of public office and resources to advance private gains has conferred benefits to people who do not merit them to the detriment of service delivery to the Kenyan tax payer and national development.
2 To insulate the public service from conflicting private interest and stop the vicious downward spiral of corruption that plagues the public sector, I therefore request the house to review the Public Officer and Ethics Act by amending it to state;
2.1 THAT, the use of blind trust is one of the methods of conflict of interest avoidance, and so, the Act be amended that no public officer is permitted to conduct any commercial activity, unless, and only under a blind trust. The blind trust should only be revocable under two circumstances;
a. Death of the public office holder.
b. Only after six months upon resignation or sacked from office.
2.2 THAT, parliament should enact a framework statute that creates clear, uniform, legal guidelines to govern blind trust to the best practices and standards.
2.3 THAT, a one month period upon taking office be given to appointed public officers to comply with no.1, and a three month period to elected public officers after being sworn to office.
2.4 THAT, the supervisory Ethics Office with the responsibility of enforcing no.1 and 4 be assigned to the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman) with the authority to approve the proposed trustee and trust instrument to qualify the blind trust so as to close the loophole of leaking blind trust.
2.5 THAT, failure by any public officer to comply with no.4 within the given period, he/she automatically ceases to hold the respective office and a gazette notice issued by the Ombudsman should follow suit to that effect.
2.6 THAT, in the event that a public officer has been found to have declared insufficient or misleading information, the public officer be blacklisted from holding any public office (both appointive and elective) through a gazette notice issued by the Office of the Ombudsman. And the action be treated as a case of perjury liable for criminal charge.
2.7 THAT, due to the absent demonstration of candor and openness in asset declaration, the Act should be amended giving public the right of information into assets declaration made by public officers.
2.8 THAT, the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman) be given a one month to open public officers’ assets declaration information after presentation so as to invoke no.8
3 THAT, the above stated recommendations are only meant to provide checked and balanced ethical measures that will enhance service delivery, accountability and increase public confidence in the public sector system.
4 THAT, the fact that our country has yet to formulate workable, sustainable policies and regulations addressing the issue of dual interest within the public sector is a testament that it’s imperative the House takes on this challenge.
5. THAT, none of these issues raised in this Petition is pending in any court of Law, Constitutional or any other legal body.
WHEREFORE, your humble petitioner prays that both Houses of Parliament consider, deliberate upon, and allow the petition.