A damning Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) carried out by the anti-graft body, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has caused panic among staff at the Nyamira County, with their Governor telling them to be ready to ‘carry their own Cross.’
The report has flagged a wide range of malpractices in the form of irregularities and illegalities affecting procurements, budgeting and expenditures, re-allocations, hiring and recruitment of staff, failure to complete development projects among others.
The indictment, both at the executive and assembly levels includes undertaking of procurement outside the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) as required by laws governing public finances. The county also reallocated funds meant for development projects leading to stalled and incomplete projects.
On staffing, the anti-graft watchdog flagged various loopholes including hiring of workers without advertising for the positions, shortlisting and interviews, as well as recruitment of staff who did not meet minimum qualifications. These, EACC noted, may lead to unfairness and lack of competitiveness in recruitment.
The flagged departments include the Executive and the County Public Service Board, which was called out for failure to maintain a skills inventory, haphazard and irregular hiring, failure to train new staff or to carry out training needs assessments. They also failed to do background reference checks as well as to remit statutory deductions. The county also lacked staffing policies and a performance management framework.
Other county departments put on the spotlight were Departments of Lands, Health Services, and Information Communication Technology.
The panicked county staff are living in fear of possible arrest by the anti-graft body.
The CRA is one of the tools used to assist public institutions curtail graft as it not only flags loop-holes, but also recommends ways to seal them and remedy the malpractices. It is part of the implementation of the preventive mandate of the EACC.