Government to conduct lifestyle audit from July

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. (File, Standard)

All Principal Secretaries have been ordered to submit reports on actions taken on suspended procurement and finance officers as a way of confirming conformity to an order to send them on leave.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua told the PS’ they have until Friday, June 29 to submit their reports that will include specific dates when the target officers proceeded on leave, a confirmation of hand over assignments to deputies and submission of requested information.

The officials are also supposed to submit confirmation of the administrative actions towards disabling any access protocols to entity bank accounts, records, offices, IFMIS or other enterprise resource planning system.

“You are requested to provide written confirmation of actions taken towards enforcement of circular dated June 4 requiring all heads of procurement and finance in ministries, departments, agencies and state corporations to proceed on compulsory leave for 30 working days,” said a memo signed by Kinyua.

The memo required the PS’ to submit their reports by Friday, June 29 at 5 pm. This came as it emerged there was resistance from within some government quarters that feel the move was punitive and aimed at punishing accounting officers.

“There is no procurement that takes place in these agencies without accounting officers who include Cabinet Secretaries and PS’ knowing. That is why there are fears and resistance among many,” said a source aware of the process.

The close to 1,000 officials were suspended from duty and ordered to submit several personal documents in sealed envelopes.

"Affected officers may be required to present themselves for oral interviews. All information submitted will be treated with utmost confidentiality," Kinyua said in the circular, warning that non-compliance will lead to disciplinary action.

The notice dated June 4 was copied to clerks of the National Assembly and the Senate, Auditor general, Controller of Budget, National Intellegence Service (NIS) Director General, Registrar of Judiciary and independent offices and Commissions.

Among the documents sought from the civil servants included full names, KRA PIN, ID card number, passport number, email address, and mobile phone number.

The officers were also required to submit certified copies of mobile money statements, including that for their spouse, for the last six months as well as driving license number, personal Income Tax Returns and those for the companies or businesses they own for the past three years.

Other information being sought includes social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), club memberships, and a list of their liabilities.

These include loans, mortgages, cumulative insurance policies, school fees and school accounts, chattels, and guarantees.

They were told to submit certified copies of bank statements of the officer and their spouse for the last six months are also needed.

"Whereas this exercise is geared towards determining suitability to continue holding public office in the public trust, and promote confidence in the public service, the same will be undertaken in fair and objective manner and due care and regard to officers’ rights," Kinyua said.

He said officers are also expected to reveal all the physical and monetary assets they own or have interests in.

These include stocks, vehicles, machinery, shares and partnerships in investment groups where the officer or spouse has interests.

Companies and businesses owned or controlled by the officer or immediate family members that have had commercial dealings with the department where the officer works.

The officers are also required to reveal their residential addresses and that of their spouse for the last five years and indicate ownership status – owner occupier or rental.

Similar details on immovable assets like land – including acreage, location and status and dates of acquisition must also be submitted.

Other details that should be revealed in full are the full names and identity card numbers of their spouse, children, dependants, parents, siblings, business associates, agents or associates with which the officer may have directly or indirectly had monetary dealings with.

They were required to state their current place of work, Job Group, personal number, list of previous postings and number of years served per deployment, promotions applied for, those received and disciplinary cases if any.

Kinyua said all the officers affected by the directive will continue to earn their salaries during the period they will be undergoing vetting.

"During the leave period, officers are not allowed to leave the country without requisite clearance by the Head of Public Service," he said.

They are now supposed to appear before panels to be set up for oral interviews.

The Employment and Labour Relations allowed the process to go on after setting aside its earlier orders stopping the audit.