The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commissions (EACC) has reminded all Public Servants that this year, 2021, is a year for bi-annual Wealth declaration as per the Public Officer Ethics Act.
The Act requires all Public Officers to declare their Income, Assets and Liabilities by 31st December this year.
The anti-graft body, whose provides oversight in the implementation and enforcement of Part IV of the POE Act on declaration of income, assets and liabilities across the public sector, has also asked all the responsible Commissions to remind Public officers falling under their jurisdiction to make declarations for this declaration year. The Commissions were further are asked to avail the declaration forms to officers in good time.
The declarations are to be submitted to the Responsible Commissions by 31-December, 2021.
The requirement is as per POEA Sections 26 and 27 which requires all public officers to declare their Income, Assets and Liabilities, commonly referred to as Wealth Declaration.
The declarations fall into three types, Initial declaration, normally upon appointment, Biennial declaration and a Final declaration, submitted as the officer exits the public service either by resignation or retirement or end of their term of appointment or contracts.
The public officer makes the declaration to a responsible commission self, for their spouse(s) and dependent children under the age of 18 years.
According to the Act, it is an offence for a public officer to fail to submit a declaration, or give misleading information. If guilty of an offence under POEA, and if convicted, one may be fined not more than Kshs. One (1) million or jailed for a term not exceeding one year or both.
At the same time, the Act makes it illegal for anyone to reveal, publicize, or knowingly. The offence if convicted is guilty of an offence and if convicted may attract a fine of Kshs. 500,000 or jail for a term of five years.
Recently there have been officers who, knowingly or unknowingly failed to declare all their assets, and those whose wealth, when queried, found themselves caught in the crosshair with investigative agencies moving to court to freeze their assets for recovery. One Public official is currently battling in court to save his wealth worth almost one billion, most of which he never made a declaration for as per POEA.