State agencies accused of being opaque
By Frankline Sunday | July 15th 2021
State agencies are withholding important information from the public despite legal challenges to reveal the same in public interest cases.
The Commission on Administrative Justice cites the culture of secrecy in public offices as a hindrance to dispute resolution and access to justice in public offices.
“During the period July-December 2020, the Commission received 1,381 complaints,” explained the CAJ in its report tabled before the Standing Committee on Justice Legal Affairs and Human Rights. “Out of these, 584 were resolved and the files closed. 38 cases were referred to the relevant institutions while 795 are ongoing.”
Most of the complaints received were on maladministration including instances of inefficiency, unlawful official conduct, abuse of power and incompetence among others.
Ministries, departments and agencies were cited for unresponsiveness to requests for information in public interest cases, despite requests from the CAJ. [[Frankline Sunday]
“These include the National Land Commission where cases relating to delay in land compensation matters was central as well as the Ministry of Lands which did not answer inquires sent to them,” says CAJ in its report.
The Pensions Department which leads in complaints cited technical problems within the system while processing cases.
The National Police Service was singled out for its secrecy and command structure that resulted in most complaints remaining resolved.
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