Outstanding public officers and institutions were feted during the 4th edition of the Huduma Ombudsman Award ceremony at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on Thursday.
During the event graced by Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, who represented President William Ruto, and Precious Dama Randu, Assistant County Commissioner Matsangoni, Kilifi County emerged as the winner in the Public Service Delivery Category; individual category.
The National Council for Law Reporting and the Kenya Revenue Authority emerged winners in the institutional category of the Public Service Delivery Category and Access to Information Category respectively.
Randu was awarded for distinction in efficiency, innovation, and servanthood in public service within the public administration sector.
She is credited for social inclusivity programmes she has initiated in the area that have ensured marginalised groups, including special needs individuals and the elderly, access vital government services.
Notably, Randu’s collaboration with various government agencies and private institutions facilitated mobile outreaches, enabling the registration of 830 special needs persons for birth certificates and enrolling 1,456 individuals for national identity cards.
It was noted that her efforts also addressed challenges faced by elderly citizens in accessing programmes like the Inua Jamii program, providing logistical support and medical assistance.
Recognising educational barriers, Randu spearheaded campaigns such as “Return to School for Pregnant Girls and Young Mothers’’, significantly reducing school dropout rates and re-enrolling young mothers in secondary education.
The National Council for Law Reporting was awarded for advancing the rights of citizens through the provision of timely, accurate, and free legal information.
Kenya Law has implemented policies enabling free access to public legal information, aligning with national and international calls for transparency and digitalization of government services.
The Ombudsman Valour Award went to Police Officer Julius Karanja Irungu attached to Kotulo-Wajir, Special Operations Group (SOG) station.
Karanja was awarded for heroic services to the nation at great personal cost after he completely lost his sight as a result of the fragments from the improvised explosive device during a suspected Al-Shabaab attack.
According to Florence Kajuju, the chairperson of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman), the Huduma Ombudsman Award is one of the approaches the Commission has adopted to enhance accountability and responsiveness in the public service.