Government agencies that have defied an executive order requiring them to publicise tender information on their websites risk sanctions, including budget freeze, it has emerged.
Deputy President William Ruto made the revelation Monday, further warning that the State firms should be ready to account for their actions.
Consequently, the DP directed National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to compile a list of the agencies and hand it over to Public Service head Joseph Kinyua within 30 days for action to be taken.
Regular publication of the information, the DP said, is crucial for enabling the Performance Management Department within the Presidency, chaired by Mr Kinyua, to produce performance contracts of ministries, departments and agencies.
The availability of this information will enable civil society organisations, media and the public to get to know and monitor the execution of duties by public servants ‘in near real time’.
“You need to disclose who is doing business with the government to the public for the purposes of accountability,” the DP said at an Open Governance Partnership forum in Nairobi.
He added: “I want to reiterate here that the President’s announcement was not a request but a demand that should be complied with immediately.”
In the executive order No. 2 of 2018, President Kenyatta directed government agencies to disclose the identities of all the companies they are doing business with, including their directorship, and have the information posted on their websites.
The order has not been complied with, forcing the DP to intervene.
Although the DP and the CS did not name the non-compliant institutions, they warned that they risked having their future budgets frozen or scaled down.
The Inter-ministerial Committee that Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i chairs will assemble real-time information on implementation of government projects “so that government can be more open as other bodies interrogate.”
The DP further noted that the information should be provided in machine-readable formats, open access portals — particularly through Kenya Open Data Portal — so that citizens are aware of government policies and programmes.
Mr Rotich reminded the agencies that it is critical they transact all their procurement online to ensure transparency. “If we automate procurement, all these stories about corruption will disappear. This is the way to go,” Mr Rotich said.
The DP’s remarks come amid the government’s stepping up of the war on corruption in the public service, which has seen a number of senior government officers, among them former Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and parastatal heads charged in court.
Just last week, the government organised a week-long anti-corruption conference in Nairobi where various government institutions committed to deal with graft in their domains.
According to the DP, access to this “vital” procurement information will afford the civil society groups and citizens the opportunity to robustly track and monitor government spending by analysing ‘this data and create fact-based public conversations’.
He added: “If we can proactively spot and disclose the patterns of fraud, wastage and abuse, there is a potentially enormous developmental impact to be realised from cost savings by government.”
Such information provides an opportunity to the public to identify loopholes for corruption and expose them. The Treasury regularly publishes spending data.