SERVICE DELIVERY

Ombudsman hails Kisii for enhanced public participation

Says it is important that the views of mwananchi are taken into account while implementing government projects

In Summary

•The county has cultivated a good working relationship with various State agencies in finding a formula that can best help the county deliver services efficiently.

• Ombudsman cites county government’s creation of a full-fledged department in-charge of stakeholders to help facilitate citizen engagement in government programmes. 

The chairperson Office of the Administrative Justice (Ombudsman) Florence Kajuju with Kisii Governor James Ongwae
The chairperson Office of the Administrative Justice (Ombudsman) Florence Kajuju with Kisii Governor James Ongwae
Image: COURTESY

The Office of the Administrative Justice (Ombudsman) has lauded the Kisii government for enhancing public participation and stakeholders management while undertaking its development programmes.

Commission chairperson Florence Kajuju cited the county government’s creation of a full-fledged department in-charge of stakeholders to help facilitate citizen engagement in government programs in a structured manner.

Speaking when she visited Governor James Ongwae on Tuesday, Kajuju said governments are bestowed with responsibilities of utilising public funds for the common good adding it is important that the views of mwananchi are taken into account while implementing government projects.

 

Kajuju said she was impressed that the county is doing well on the Access to Information Act and working on domesticating it.

“I have created the stakeholders’ management which is under the broader Department of Administration, Corporate Services and Stakeholder Management. The department's key responsibility is to ensure proper management of public affairs and coordinating the sharing of as much information as possible between the government and the people,” Ongwae said.

He said his office has cultivated a good working relationship with various state agencies in finding a formula that can best help the county deliver services efficiently.

The governor said he is aware of the important mandate bestowed in the office of the Ombudsman which largely relates to tackling maladministration in the public sector and overseeing the enforcement of the implementation of the Access to Information Act, 2016.

“The establishment of your office is one gainful event that resulted from the enactment and implementation of the Kenya Constitution 2010, whose first anniversary we are currently celebrating," Ongwae said.

"Kenyans have had an opportunity to seek justice when perceived undeserving acts of omission and commissions such as abuse of power, unfair treatment, manifest injustice and discourtesy are meted upon them. And your office has stepped in to discharge justice to both parties through negotiation, mediation and arbitration." 

Regarding disclosure of information, following the enactment of the Access to Information Act, 2016, the governor said the county is making strides towards complying.

 

“Access to information is critical as it enables citizens to exercise their voice, to effectively monitor and hold governments to account and to enter into an informed dialogue about decisions which affect their lives. This is vital for empowering all citizens, including the vulnerable and those regarded as excluded people, to claim their broader rights and entitlements,” Ongwae said.

Ongwae directed the county secretary Patrick Lumumba and the legal team led by the county attorney Kennedy Onsembe to work closely with the commission to domesticate the Access to Information (ATI).

Kajuju was accompanied by her vice chairman Washington Sati, commissioner in charge of ATI Lucy Ndungu among other officers. 

Edited by R.Wamochie