Bribery, nepotism most prevalent form of corruption in Counties- survey

Bribery, favouritism, nepotism and embezzlement of funds remain the most prevalent form of corruption in counties, a survey by EACC shows.

Procurement irregularities, abuse of office, conflict of interest and shoddy implementation of projects follow in the order of the form of graft being perpetuated at the counties.

A survey by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission show procurement, finance, public service board, roads and public works are the County Government Departments that are most prone to corruption.

The survey was done between April and June in 2015 and covered 39 of the 47 Counties with 4,965 County employees being interviewed. The remaining counties, which include Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River, Samburu, Marsabit and Turkana were not surveyed because of insecurity.

Of those surveyed, 20 percent said the counties are highly corrupt, 36 percent said are moderately corrupt while 35 percent said they are lowly corrupt.

The report- Corruption and Ethics in Devolved Services: County Public Officers' Experiences, 2015 show fear of victimization, lack of proper organizational structure and corruption being a culture are the main challenges faced in the fight against graft.

The report indicates on average, County employees received the largest amount of bribe in roads and public works and up to between Sh100,000 and Sh150,000 was paid.

The employees cited poor remuneration, lack of professional ethics and culture as the main reasons they took bribes.

The report says most employees at the counties believe EACC is effective in the fight against corruption.

It recommends the development and implementation of anti-bribery compliance policy to curb incidences of bribery in the County public service delivery and ensure value for money in road construction and other infrastructure.

Further it recommends the enhancement of anti-corruption mechanisms in county Governments, ensuring transparency and accountability in public procurement and establishment of a policy framework to encourage public participation forums in budget making.

For instance, the report says in Narok, lateness among 70 percent of the staff, misuse of county vehicles for personal gain, bribery, sidestepping of IFMISs to forge cheques and bribery of public service board are prevalent.

In Uasin Gishu, lack of documents in land record management, theft of revenue in ticketing of motorbikes and taxis and loss of revenue in slaughter houses while in West Pokot, procument irregularities, bid rigging and theft of revenue collected are rampant form of corruption.

In Migori, non adherence of procurement procedures is common while in Kericho, nepotism is high. In Nyamira there is theft of revenue collected and nepotism while in Kisii shoddy road construction for faster payments, political interference and selling of medicines are common.

Bribery is common in Nairobi, Mombasa, Machakos, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Nakuru and Kiambu counties.

In Bomet there is conflict of interest, fraud, bribery while in Kisumu there is clanism, and political influence as well as in Nandi where there is shoddy project implementation, the report says.

The forms of corruption affect service delivery in general, bring poverty, loss of money and infringement of human rights among others, the report says.

Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo handed over the report to devolution Principal Secretary Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki and urged her to ensure its is relayed to the counties for implementation.

"The success of counties will help us all uplift our living standards. Devolution should work for the better of the common man," said Waqo.

Ms Mabruki said the National Government continues to facilitate the county governments through provision of finance, human and technical resources.

"It is thus expected that the resources should be used prudently to achieve the objective of devolution by having increase of public participation, enhancement of inclusivity and national unity and accountability," she said.