Commission on Administrative Justice, the successor to the Public Complaints Standing Committee, occupies a special place in the hearts of Kenyans.
It is the first port of call for those who have suffered one or other form of maladministration by State officers.
It is also a full commission as outlined by Chapter 15 of the new Constitution.
One of the biggest ills the CAJ hopes to cure is maladministration arising from corrupt practices in Government.
This involves investigating cases of abuse of power, unfair treatment, injustice, illegal acts, oppression and unfair or unresponsive official conduct within the public sector.
Allegations of maladministration abound within the civil service, as do administrative injustice, discourtesy, incompetence, misbehavior, and ineptitude.
Its officers are insulated against liability or claim for any action done in good faith while executing their duties.
The law confers on the CAJ powers to summon individuals, regardless of rank, use all lawful means to obtain the information it needs, and use court warrants to access any land or premises to obtain the same, inspect property or make copies of relevant documents.
The commission is empowered to investigate complaints on its own initiative or those brought to it with regard to State corporations, public officers, other bodies, and agencies of the State.
As one would expect, therefore, the hands of the CAJ officers are generally full, but their role is critical, especially today when the Civil Service is yet to fully align itself with the Constitution with regard to matters like ensuring fairness and balance in recruitment of staff and promotions to reflect the face of Kenya.
When Kenyans passed a new Constitution, many hoped that those who run the Civil Service would in the new spirit of equity change their way of doing things.
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