EACC blames lack of records management for graft in counties

Poor records management in the counties and assemblies is a stumbling block for service delivery and creates a loophole for corruption, the anti-graft agency has said.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission made the revelation after conducting corruption risks assessment in various county governments.

The Commission has now written to governors and county assembly Speakers over the issue.

They will be required to establish mechanisms for addressing graft and accountability deficits that arise from poor management of official records.

EACC has also given the counties two months to share their plans on how they will streamline records management.

In their assessment, the anti-graft agency noted that counties lack management policies and procedure manuals.

This is supposed to guide and assign responsibilities for management of records across all the institutional functions.

In a circular by EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak to the governors, it was noted that there is lack of designated registries.

Ideally, registries came in handy to centralize receipt and dispatch of mail and ensure systematic creation of authentic, reliable and accessible records.

“This gap leads to discretion in management of records such as letters, loss of correspondences and leakage of crucial information,” the circular reads.

Also noted was the absence of records management professionals designated to implement suitable records management systems in the counties.

The commission said lack of inventories for records and related assets has led to pilferage and loss of resources and poor tracking, control and retrievals of systems which has impacted service delivery.

“Lack of retention and disposal schedules encourage unauthorized destruction of records and huge accumulation of appraised records that frustrate access to required documents,” the circular to governors reads.

At the same time the commission noted that the counties lack budgets for records management coupled with congested storage facilities hindering easy retrieval of records.

“Good records management system ensures complete, accurate and authentic records are created and easily accessible for decision making,” the circular reads.

“It is notable that accounting officers have not taken measures to institutionalise and integrate this function into the business systems and processes.”

EACC challenged county governments to develop and operationalise policies, procedures and manuals to streamline records management.

“Each county government is required to submit to the commission a comprehensive action plan to streamlining records management within a period of 60 days from the date of this advisory,” Twalib said.

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