KFS unveils anti-graft policies to boost integrity

KFS Chief Forest Conservator Alex Lemarkoko and UNODC’s Giovanni Borusaard at the launch. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has embarked on instilling integrity among rangers following accusations of abetting corruption.

Rangers have particularly been linked to aiding illegal logging in forests - a move that has led the state agency to develop new policies to avert the vice.

In collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the guidelines unveiled Monday are contained in the Corruption Prevention Policy 2024 and Whistle Blowing Police 2024.

Chief Conservator Alex Lemarkoko said the policies will strengthen ethical practices and combat corruption within KFS.

“These policies are crucial since Kenya Forest Service plays a critical role in achieving our ambitious goal of planting 15 billion trees and increasing tree cover to 30 per cent within the next eight years,” said Lemarkoko while emphasising that new policies are essential in guiding staff and ensuring that every action aligns with ethical and legal standards.

Giovanni Broussard, Regional Coordinator for Africa Environment Team UNODC, lauded KFS for anti-corruption efforts saying that the whistle-blowing policy will expose corrupt practices.

“The whistleblower policy ensures anonymity and thorough investigation of cases by senior management,” said Broussard.

Lemarkoko assured that moving forward, KFS is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and compliance with the law.

He said that the state agency will continue to review and improve anti-corruption policies, guided by best practices and supported by UNODC's technical expertise. 

KFS Board chairman Titus Korir commended the invaluable contribution of whistleblowers in safeguarding organisational integrity and public interests.

"Whistleblowers play a crucial role in preventing financial losses and protecting corporate reputation," said Korir, emphasising the need to create a conducive environment for reporting misconduct without fear.