The Kenyan Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is the authority that shall hold the Kenyan police accountable to the public, shall help the police to be professional, transparent and accountable and shall ensure independent oversight of the handling of complaints by the police service. (Sec. 5 of the IPOA Act) It has extensive powers for The details of the powers of investigation and information retrieval from within the police services. (Sec 7 (1) of the IPOA Act). Continue reading “IPOA – Independent Policing Oversight Authority”
The National Assembly is one of the two arms or chambers of parliament, the other being the Senate.
The role of the National Assembly and in extension the role of a Member of Parliament is to be found in Article 95 of the Kenyan Constitution.
From how media report on Members of Parliament it seems that there is a lot of misunderstanding about their role. (See below.)
The Role of the National Assembly
Representing the people
- The National Assembly represents the people of the constituencies and their special interests in the National Assembly.
- The National Assembly also deliberates on and resolves issues of concern to the people.
Legislation and Oversight
- Role of the National Assembly in Public Finance The National Assembly determines the allocation of national revenue between the levels of government (the national and the county governments). This process is known as the Division of Revenue and is guided by Article 217 and Article 218 of the Constitution. This is a joint function between the National Assembly and the Senate.
- First, the National Assembly deliberates on a resolution by the Senate on the revenue sharing formula for the money it allocates jointly with the Senate to the County Governments. Within ten days after the Senate adopts the resolution, the Speaker of the Senate should refer the resolution to the Speaker of the National Assembly. The National Assembly may then consider and vote on the resolution within 60 days. Read more on the process in Article 217 of the constitution.
- Secondly, the National Assembly takes part in the division of revenue between the national and the county governments through the Division of Revenue Bill. The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary tables the Division of Revenue Bill before the National Assembly. The National Assembly then deliberates on the Bill, which divides revenue raised by the national government among the national and county levels of government. The Bill later passes to the Senate. If both houses do not agree on the Bill, they form a mediation committee from members of both houses in accordance with Article 113 of the Constitution.
- Thirdly, the National Assembly appropriates funds for expenditure by the national government and other national State organs. The national assembly allocates money for the national government ministries, departments and agencies, commissions and independent bodies alike. The National Assembly performs this function through the budget where it determines the amount that goes to each of these organs and bodies. It can allocate or reallocate money for each of these bodies or organs to ensure equity in resource sharing. In performing the the above roles, the National Assembly is guided by the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
- The National Assembly also exercises oversight over national revenue and its expenditure. The National Assembly has the power to summon national government officials including ministers and public officers to answer to questions on government expenditure Article 125 of the Constitution. The National Assembly is guided by its committees when performing this role, especially the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Investments Committee.
- On oversight, the National Assembly adopts reports on government expenditure from independent offices such as the Auditor General and the Controller of Budget. It then uses the reports as a basis to summon government officials to provide answers on government expenditure and to provide recommendations to address the issues identified during oversight.
2. Role of the National Assembly in Legislation
- The National Assembly should consider and debate bills that do not concern counties Article 11o of the Constitution. (It is the role of the Senate to debate and amend the bills concerning counties.) The laws that do not concern the counties laws should be laws that are in line with the national government functions stipulated in Schedule Four.
- But having said this: The National Assembly also has a role to play in bills concerning counties. These are special bills and ordinary bills. A special bill relates to the election of members of a county assembly or a county executive or the annual County Allocation of Revenue Bill referred to in Article 218.
- An ordinary bill concerning the counties can originate from the National Assembly or the Senate. The National Assembly can also amend or veto a special bill that has been passed by the Senate by a resolution supported by at least two-thirds of the members of the Assembly.
- The National Assembly should also receive petitions from the public and act on them accordingly Article 119 of the Constitution. The process to petition the National Assembly to consider any matter under its authority (including to enact, amend or repeal any legislation) is contained in the Petitions to Parliament (Procedure) Act 2012.
Reviewing the Conduct of State Officers and oversight of state organs
- The National Assembly reviews the conduct in office of the President, the Deputy President and other State officers and initiates the process of removing them from office. The other state officers include cabinet secretaries, judges and members of commissions and independent bodies.
- The National Assembly exercises oversight of state organs. The National Assembly ensures that the state organs operate within the law and do not infringe on the independence of the other organs, including performing functions that belong to another organ (separation of powers).
Declaration of War and State of Emergency
The National Assembly approves declarations of war and extensions of states of emergency. The president as the commander-in-chief is the only one mandated with the authority to declare war. However, the president must seek the approval of the National Assembly before declaring war. The same applies to extending the state of emergency.
Role of Committees in the National Assembly
All work of the National Assembly is prepared and guided by Committees that are in charge of specific sectors of the state. Therefore, if media scrutinize the work of an MP it is advisable to see which committees he is sitting in and what he has done there. A member of the committee for agriculture for example should be an expert in this and be able to answer questions regarding the oversight in this field, whereas the actual implementation of policies still lies on the Ministry of Agriculture in the National Government.
To get an overview over the committees, see their pages on the parliament website.
Role of MPs in their constituencies
In many cases the track record of an MP is being judged by others (including media) according to the “development record” he has in bringing benefits to his constituency. This is wrong. The MP is not in charge of bringing benefits or infrastructure. It is the national and the county government who are in charge. An MP can only oversee this process on behalf of his constituency and demand what his constituency should get.
The MP can also mobilize residents from his or her constituency to identify priorities that are most important to them under the funtions performed by the national government in Schedule Four of the constitution and forward them to the government for review and inclusion in the planning process.
Role of MPs in the (NG-) Community Development Fund
Even the (NG-)CDF, the (National Government) Constituencies Development Fund plays a limited role for the development record of an MP. The CDF budgets receive only 2.5 percent of the state’s income, whereas the bulk of expenditure for roads, health, education, agriculture and so on is governed by the national government and the county governments. MPs have some say in the expenditure of the NG-CDF in his constituency. But if the rule of law is followed they do not have the final word and can in no way boast with or be accused of the track record of “their” CDF alone.
The Controller of Budget Act which was enacted in September 2016, lays down operations details of the Controller of Budget. Her main tasks are; quarterly budget implementation reports (Sec.9) and special reports provided for in the constitution (Sec. 10). Quarterly reports have to be published and publicised within 14 days after submission to the parliament or county assembly.
Download: Controller of Budget Act 2016 (pdf)
The act as downloaded from kenyalaw.org on Oct. 19, 2016
PART I — PRELIMINARY
PART II — ADMINISTRATION
PART III — FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
PART IV — MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
The Independent Electrol and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011 governs the internal and administrative operations of the IEBC.
The external operations and powers of this commission are to be found mainly in the Elections Act.
Continue reading “Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act 2011”
The Commission on Revenue Allocation submits recommendations to the Kenyan Parliament on how the national revenue should be divided up between the national government and the counties as well as among the counties. ( Art. 215 and 216 of the Kenyan Constitution )
See this example – Commission on Revenue Allocations Recommendation of Nov 19, 2015 – online on roggkenya.org.
Details about its funtioning are in the Commission on Revenue Allocation Act, 2011 (external Link).
The commission is one of the independent commissions in the constitution to which these common rules apply
Official website (offline on Sep 22, 2016) http://www.crakenya.org/
This is what Art. 172 of the Constitution says about the Judicial Service Commission (The composition is provided for in Art. 171)
“Functions of the Judicial Service Commission.
172. (1) The Judicial Service Commission shall promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the judiciary and the efficient, effective and transparent administration of justice and shall—
(a) recommend to the President persons for appointment as judges;
(b) review and make recommendations on the conditions of service of—
(i) judges and judicial officers, other than their remuneration; and
(ii) the staff of the Judiciary;
(c) appoint, receive complaints against, investigate and remove from office or otherwise discipline registrars, magistrates, other judicial officers and other staff of the Judiciary, in the manner prescribed by an Act of Parliament;
(d) prepare and implement programmes for the continuing education and training of judges and judicial officers; and
(e) advise the national government on improving the efficiency of the administration of justice.
(2) In the performance of its functions, the Commission shall be guided by the following
(a) competitiveness and transparent processes of appointment of judicial officers and other staff of the judiciary; and
(b) the promotion of gender equality.”
For legel details on how the Commission should work see the Judicial Service Act, 2011
Search the constitution file for the keyword “judicial service commission” to find out more constitutional provisions concerning the commission.
The JSC is one of the independent constitutional commissions. These common rules apply.
Independent commissions established by the constitution have the task to ensure good governance in the respective fields which they are overseeing. We are listing some of them, later all.
The Kenyan Senate’ main tasks are all related to the counties. It is one of the two houses or chambers of parliament with the other being the National Assembly. (Article 93 of the Constitution ).
The Senate should make and amend laws (legislation), represent the counties (representation), and monitor the county governments (oversight). Continue reading “The Senate”
The Constitution of Kenya is the first document to look at with respect to good governance. Compared to the constitutions of other countries, it is quite detailed.
Continue reading “Constitution”
The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) was set up as an appeal board for those whose rights have been violated during the public procurement process. The administrative fee is Ksh 5,000 for tenders with ascertainable value of a minimum Kshs 20,000 depending on the value in question. The complainant must state why specifically he thinks his rights have been violated. Continue reading “Public Procurement Administrative Review Board”
From 2016, the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) is transiting into the new Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (PPRA). see Section 8 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015… Continue reading “PPOA – Public Procurement Oversight Authority”
The Controller of Budget, presently Agnes Odhiambo, is in charge of overseeing the current financial operations of the state of Kenya including the counties. She is nominated by the President of Kenya for a term of eight years. Her tasks are established by Article 228 of the Constitution.
The COB’s office authorizes any withdrawal from public funds, but she is supposed to approve all monies before they are withdrawn for expenditure.
She is also obliged to submit 4 monthly reports to Parliament and County Assemblies.