Black’s Law Dictionary defines corruption as “the act of doing something with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others, a fiduciary or official use of a station or office to procure some benefit either personally or for someone else, contrary to the rights of others...an impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principles; especially impairment of a public official’s duty by bribery.” The Transparency International definition of corruption is “the misuse of entrusted power for private gain” which is a simpler but more encompassing definition which covers all the aspects enunciated by the Black’s Law Dictionary definition. Another definition is found in the Osborn’s Concise Law Dictionary which defines corruption as “the bribing of an office holder is an offence at common law and there are various statutory provisions relating to corruption in local government and other public bodies”
The Public Service Commission of Kenya commands the power to appoint individuals to hold or act in public offices as mandated by Article 234 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and as such it has the responsibility to filter properly as citizens apply for the inclusion of public service. The general norm is where one tables Curriculum vitae, academic certificates, Tax compliance, Certificate of good conduct and be present for the official interview. The procedure of hiring officials in itself needs to be upgraded before handling the mantle of fragmenting cruel cartels, weeks systems and ignorant public that is always ready to corrupt of service delivery.
Shockingly on 7th October, 2016 the Daily Nation published … “Jitters as 680 are transferred by ministry” and the article further explains that some officials stay in one station for more than even thirty years as I beg to wonder on whether they are public officers or simply public officers bestowed private duties by the bosses, relatives and cartels so as to denture the Governments image as far as corruption is concerned. Its Worth noting that all officers are not corrupt but the concept of allowing them to stay in one station simply weakens them to the traps of corruption.
Of importance is that when an officer stays in a particular docket for long, he/she tends to understand the scope of work proper and deliver with the help of institutional memory that helps many but at the same time the probability of engaging in ill advised practices is eminent thus the timely circulation of officers and exposure to new duties not only helps the Government in proper service delivery but also uplifts their level of experience.
Ethnicity within the public service too need to be properly controlled as the norm in most of the offices is finding tribal chiefs who are working together in the name of public service. The rude shock that scares me all the time is when they simply decide to converse in their mother tongue and leave the rest simply watching with disbelieve. For public service to thrive well and services to be delivered competently… we not only need upright officers but also balanced ethnic ratios, circulation of duties and proper command structures that are working.
Kenyans again were purely shocked as the tale of National Youths Service saga rolled and the command structures of junior officers out weighted that of their senior displaying the rot of corruption and intimidation within the service. Accountability will only be achieved when the said structures are properly aligned to focus on whether ‘wanjiku’ is receiving the right service she deserves at all times.
In a nutshell, for the pubic service to become professional, efficient and effective for the realization of national development goals the Public service commission needs to be a little more serious on the circulation of officers to different ministries, balance the ethnic card and recruit the best to represent the government.
MOHAMED GEDI IS AN ADVOCATE OF THE HIGH COURT