National Ethics and Anti-Corruption Policy
Kenya has formulated a National Ethics and Anti-Corruption Policy, which will enshrine the strategies that are crucial in spearheading the war on corruption. Some of the strategies outlined in the Policy include prioritization of impactful investigations, recovery and restitution of illicitly acquired assets, intensified public education and awareness, and coordination of law enforcement and prosecution of corruption and economic crimes.
The commitment is specific as it is premised on Article 5 (1) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which obligates states to develop and implement or maintain effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies that promote the participation of society and reflect the principles of the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability. The commitment is aimed at prioritising effective investigations, recovery and restitution of illicitly acquired assets, intensified public education and awareness, and coordination of law enforcement and prosecution of corruption and economic crimes.
While the commitment is not phrased as a measurable one, the policy is a commitment to harmonise anti-corruption strategies in the country in a specific, measurable, timebound framework outlined in the policy’s logical matrix. The matrix outlines milestones and indicators for tracking progress as well as the institution involved in implementation. The policy was gazetted and adopted in 2019 and was formally launched in October 2020.The priority areas outlined require strengthening of the legal framework to enhance asset recovery efforts, investigations, prosecutions and adjudication of economic crimes through inter-agency cooperation, among other methods. These are measurable items that can be monitored within the logical matrix part of the policy.
The commitment was new in that it was the first time the government had made a public commitment to formulate and adopt a national anti-corruption policy. The policy, launched and disseminated on the 7 October 2020 provides a framework for the design and development of an effective legal and institutional framework for countering corruption, promoting ethics and integrity in the country while ensuring effective monitoring and evaluation of the efficacy of various anti-corruption measures.1
For the first time, the policy spells out strategies to strengthen asset recovery efforts, amplify civic education plans and improve the coordination plans of the various anti-corruption law enforcement agencies, among other priority areas.
Challenges to effective commitment implementation
There was a delay in the launch of the policy due to COVID-19 management protocols that saw government operations scaled down considerably. Full implementation of the strategies outlined in the policy are easily adaptable in the implementing entities’ budgets and mandates; as such there are no significant, additional resources required.
Formation of a CSO coalition to monitor implementation of the policy as per the timelines indicated in the implementation matrix
- Republic of Kenya, Announcement of the launch of the national ethics and anti-corruption policy, https://statelaw.go.ke/launch-of-national-ethics-and-anti-corruption-policy-7th-oct-2020/7 October 2020