Judiciary bigwigs pick Dubai for accounting induction by Icpak

Chief Justice Martha Koome, Macharia Njeru and Kihara Kariuki during the launch of the Judicial Service Commission Strategic Plan 2022-2027. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

As the debate about foreign travel rages, a group of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) members are having a 13-day JSC Board induction and seminar in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The induction that began on October 22 will end on November 4, meaning the team is on their 10th day of the meetings at Pullman Deira City Centre Hotel.

According to the programme of events prepared by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (Icpak) that The Standard obtained, the JSC board would be taken through a number of sessions by the Icpak members in the 13-day activities.

The board induction themed “Future Proofing the Board in A Disrupted World”, captures names of the Icpak presenters who would do sessions on, Governance Trends and Relevance for Judicial Service Commission, Internal Controls and Risk Management – The role of
the Board and Fraud In the Digital Age: The dark side of digital transformation – What the board should know, The role of good corporate governance practices in combating digital fraud.

Other topics include Data Protection & Privacy: What Every Board Member Should Know about Data Protection, Kenyan Data Protection Milestones and dealing with data breaches as an organisation.

Also in the programme is the Overview of Business Continuity Planning - Role of the Board, Key Focus areas, the Board Effectiveness Part 1; Personality types, Managing Board Dynamics and Managing Board room conflicts and Challenges all done on days four and five.

In total, the board comprises of Chief Justice Martha Koome who chairs it and is deputised by Macharia Njeru who’s the male Law Society of Kenya (LSK) representative, the other members are Jacqueline Ingutiah who is LSK’s female representative, Justice Mohamed Warsame representing the Court of Appeal and Justice David Majanja who sits on behalf of the High Court.

Other members

Others are Everlyne Olwande for the Chief Magistrates, Attorney General Justin Muturi, Justice Mohammed Ibrahim for the Judges of the Supreme Court, former Bomet Governor Isaack Ruto, Caroline Ajuoga and Charity Kisotu all on behalf of the Public Service Commission. The Judiciary Registrar, Anne Amadi, is the secretary.

Ms Amadi confirmed the meeting in Dubai. “All the commissioners are attending. Thanks,” said the board Secretary.

However, sources indicate that the AG is said to have declined the trip.

According to the Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre room booking services, a room goes for between Sh29,818 ($198) to Sh38,854.80 ($258) per night. This means that a member who stays the entire period of 13 days would have spent Sh387,634 to Sh505,102.

The Standard could not establish exactly how much a JSC Board member receives as per diem for a trip to Dubai but according to the Salaries and Remunerations (SRC) chairperson, a State Officer at the Grading of F4 would receive Sh142,166  ($944) for a night at UAE. The least an officer can receive for a trip to Dubai is Sh57,000 ($380) a night. Going by these figures, those in Dubai are entitled to between Sh1,284,309 to Sh1,848,158 for the 13 days.

Equally, it was not clear if the board paid for the ICPAK technocrats’ travel to Dubai and whether they paid them for the sessions and the presentations they did at the induction and seminar. However, the board would be mandated to foot the bill if the seminar was at their request.

Icpak has been in existence for 45 years created by the laws of Kenya under CAP 531 to regulate the activities of all Certified Public Accountants by ensuring credibility, professionalism and accountability in the accounting profession in Kenya. It often organises seminars and classes for its professional members some hosted out of the country.

President’s order

Last week, President William Ruto said public servants will not be allowed to attend workshops abroad.

“We have cut the travel budget by Sh11 billion in all ministries or departments and not the Sh50 million reported by the press. There will be no foreign conferences, workshops, and bench-marking for public servants,” said Ruto.

Asked whether the Dubai trip would be a contradiction to the president’s order, an insider said the commission is not subservient to the executive. “The JSC is independent and doesn’t fall under the ambit of the executive so such an order would not apply (technically) to the commission,” said a commentator privy to the travel plans.

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