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What is the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC)?
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is a public body established under Section 3(1) of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2011 which was enacted in accordance with Article 79 of the Constitution of Kenya. EACC replaced Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC).
What is the work of EACC?
EACC is the lead government agency in the fight against corruption and the promotion of ethical standards, good governance, leadership and integrity in Kenya.
Who is the head of EACC?
EACC is headed by the Chairperson who works with two other Commissioners, one of whom is the Vice Chairperson. There is also the Secretary to the Commission who is the Chief Executive Officer charged with the day to day administration and management of the Commission’s programmes and activities.
What are the functions of EACC?
The broad functions of EACC are to investigate and recommend appropriate action for corruption and unethical conduct; prevent the occurrence of corrupt practices; educate the public and enlist their support in combating corruption; recover public property acquired through corruption; and conduct mediation, conciliation and negotiation. In addition, EACC is mandated to promote ethics and oversee the development and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for State and Public Officers.
Is EACC independent?
As a Constitutional Commission, EACC is an independent body which reports only to Parliament. In the performance of its functions, EACC is not subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.
Where are the offices of EACC?
The Commission has its Headquarters at Integrity Centre along Jakaya Kiwete/Valley Road Junction in Nairobi. It also has five regional offices in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri, Garissa and Eldoret. Plans are underway to devolve the Commission’s services further to Isiolo, Machakos, Malindi, Nakuru and other areas in line with the law.
Does the Commission cooperate with other agencies in carrying out its functions?
Yes. In the performance of its functions, EACC is required by law to cooperate and collaborate with other agencies. Some of these agencies include the Public Procurement Oversight Authority, Performance Contracting Department, Controller of Budget, Office of the Auditor General, the Judiciary, National Police Service, Efficiency Monitoring Unit, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, Kenya Revenue Authority, Parliament, the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee, Commission on Administrative Justice, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, National Land Commission among others.
EACC also partners with professional associations, the private sector, religious organizations, the media, and the civil society locally and internationally.
How does EACC work with other agencies?
EACC works with other agencies through national and international networks, signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests, Huduma Centres, Integrated Public Complaints Referral Mechanism (IPCRM) among other inter-agency mechanisms.
Does the Commission have power to prosecute cases it investigates?
No. The power to prosecute criminal corruption cases is with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). The existing legal framework does not give the Commission the power to prosecute criminal cases. The Commission investigates cases that fall within its mandate and makes recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions for appropriate action. However, regarding civil cases relating to corruptly acquired assets, EACC has powers to file cases in court for recovery of such assets.
Can EACC pursue corruption offenses committed by Kenyans living outside the country?
Yes. Under Section 67 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, a Kenyan national may be brought before Kenyan courts for corruption offences or economic crimes committed in a foreign country if the conduct in question would amount to corruption or economic crime had it taken place in Kenya.
In addition, a Kenyan who commits an economic crime and flees to a foreign country remains liable for prosecution before Kenyan courts.
Is there any legal protection for informers or whistle blowers who may assist EACC in its work?
Yes. Any person who assists EACC with information regarding corruption or economic crime is protected by the law. Section 65 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act protects informers who may assist the Commission or an investigator in dealing with corruption offences or economic crimes. No action or proceedings may be taken against informers or other persons for their assistance to the Commission as long as the persons believe the information to be true.
Are the witnesses in corruption cases also protected?
Yes. Under the Witness Protection Act, 2006, witnesses who have given or agreed to give evidence during the prosecution of corruption cases who face potential risk are protected by law. Such protection is offered through the Witness Protection Agency (WPA).
Can one report corruption to EACC while their identity remains protected?
Yes. It is possible to report corruption to EACC anonymously. The Commission has a web-based reporting system known as the Business Keeper Monitoring System (BKMS) that guarantees a completely secure and anonymous reporting process. This system ensures that a person’s identity as a whistle blower is hidden and that their report remains confidential and can only be accessed by EACC. To report using this system, visit the EACC website (www.eacc.go.ke).
Have there been incidences where people impersonate staff of EACC?
Yes. The Commission has encountered such incidences where some people posing as officers of the Commission defraud unsuspecting members of the public purporting to be investigating corruption. Members of the public are advised to verify the identity of such persons from the nearest Commission office, seek assistance from the nearest police station or better still call 0729888881/2/3 and ask to speak to the Head of Investigations.
What happens should an officer of the Commission engage in corruption or unethical conduct?
It is a serious offence for an officer of the Commission to engage in any form of corruption. The Commission has put in place various mechanisms to ensure that staff uphold integrity at all times. These mechanisms include a continuous vetting program for all employees and implementation of a proactive Integrity Testing Programme. In addition, any allegations of such offences are expeditiously investigated and disciplinary action taken including prosecution. Any wayward officers suspected to be engaging in corrupt conduct or other unethical practices should be reported to the Commission promptly. Such reports are treated with utmost confidentiality.
What are the penalties for corruption offences and economic crimes?
Any person found guilty of corruption offences or economic crimes shall be liable to:
- A fine not exceeding 1,000,000/- or imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or both.
- An additional mandatory fine, if as a result of the corrupt conduct or economic crime, the person received a benefit that can be quantified or measured or any person has suffered a loss that can be quantified or measured.
- The mandatory fine shall be equal to two times the amount of the benefit or loss described above, or to two times the amount of the benefit and loss described above where the corrupt conduct or economic crime results in both a benefit and a loss.
- A person who engages in corruption or economic crimes is also personally liable to compensate anyone who suffers a loss as a result of the corrupt conduct.
- A public officer who is charged with corruption or economic crime is suspended at half pay with effect from the date of the charge.
- If convicted, the officer is suspended without pay pending the outcome of any appeal.
- If the appeal is upheld or the period for lodging an appeal lapses, the officer is dismissed from service.
- Upon dismissal from service, the officer is further disqualified from holding any public office for a period of ten years.
Are State Officers or Public Officers under duty to declare their wealth?
Yes. The Public Officer Ethics Act requires Public Officers to make true and correct declarations of their incomes, assets and liabilities once every two years. All State Officers are Public Officers but not all Public Officers are State Officers. All Public Officers must also declare all incomes, assets and liabilities of their spouse(s) and children below eighteen (18) years of age. Under Article 260 of the Constitution, a Public Officer refers to any State Officer or any other person holding a public office.
Why is it necessary for Public Officers to declare their wealth?
Public Officers are the custodians of public resources. Therefore there is need for them to declare their wealth so as to determine whether their legitimately known sources of income match their assets and liabilities. Wealth declaration is a well known tool in the fight against corruption.
Are there any penalties for failure to declare wealth or making false statements in a declaration?
Yes. It is an offence under the Public Officer Ethics Act for any public officer not to fully or correctly disclose all incomes, assets and liabilities. Any person who commits this offence is liable to a fine of Ksh.1, 000,000/- or imprisonment for one year or both.
Is it true that EACC only targets the ‘small fish’ in the fight against corruption?
No, it is not true. The Commission does not discriminate on any reported case of corruption whether ‘petty’ or ‘grand’. The Commission believes that all kinds of corruption are bad for our society. This position is reflected in the range of cases that the Commission has investigated and forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which include numerous high profile cases involving State and Public Officers.
Why do some corruption cases take too long to conclude?
Certain corruption cases are complex in nature hence take too long to investigate especially where they involve international dimensions. Many accused persons, especially those involved in high profile cases of corruption, resort to various legal mechanisms such as judicial review and constitutional petitions which delays the conclusion of cases. Speedy conclusion of corruption cases is constrained by the constitutional safeguards and guarantees that the law gives to due process and the rights of the accused. This is also compounded by capacity constraints in the institutions charged with investigation, prosecution and adjudication of such cases.
What strategies has EACC adopted in the fight against corruption?
There is no one sure approach to eliminating or reducing corruption. This is because corruption is a dynamic social problem which shows itself in many ways. A sustained approach that employs different means is therefore the only way out. Such an approach must combine law enforcement, strengthening institutions, promoting good governance, and conducting public education. EACC has adopted these approaches in the fight against corruption in Kenya.
What are the Commission’s main achievements since its inception?
EACC was established by law in September 2011 to succeed the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) which had been in operation since 2004. The following are some of the major achievements made in its anti – corruption efforts:
- Law enforcement
Over the past 10 years, EACC has carried out numerous investigations resulting in recoveries worth KES 9.186 billion out of traced assets whose value was KES 37.779 billion. Recovery proceedings for the remaining assets are ongoing. Further, the Commission conducted proactive investigations leading to disruption of corruption in respect of public assets valued at approximately KES 73.605 billion.
Similarly, the Commission conducted investigations on corruption and economic crimes and made recommendations to the ODPP which resulted into various prosecutions. Out of the various prosecutions, 140 convictions were achieved involving 171 convicts.
For more details on the Commission’s achievements see its Annual Reports at www.eacc.go.ke
- Preventive Programmes
In the past 10 years, EACC has reached 16, 047, 577 people with anti-corruption, ethics, integrity and good governance messages aimed at enlisting their support in the fight against corruption. This has been achieved through media, workshops, symposia, outreach clinics and other training activities. In the same period, EACC has conducted 61 systems reviews and advisories mostly in the public sector which were aimed at reforming governance, strengthening systems and improving service delivery.
- Research Programmes
Over the past 10 years EACC has conducted thirty (30) research programmes which include surveys, assessments and sector studies. These programmes provided baseline information on corruption in order to better understand the nature, form, extent, intensity, impact, and the places where it occurs. In recent years, the surveys have ranked counties on the basis of levels of perceived corruption with the view to helping them improve on governance and service delivery.
- Law enforcement
What can one do to help fight corruption?
Corruption affects everyone in society. Therefore fighting corruption and promoting integrity and ethical behaviour is a civic responsibility of every citizen. Join in the fight against corruption by;
- Obeying all laws, rules and regulations
- Naming and shaming the corrupt
- Instilling ethics and positive values in the upbringing of children
- Being a positive role model
- Electing leaders of integrity
- Questioning leaders on how they manage public resources
- Supporting anti corruption initiatives
- Sensitizing others on the dangers of corruption
- Refusing to give or take bribes
- Whistle blowing and reporting corruption
How can one report corruption?
Report all forms of corruption to EACC or other law enforcement agencies. You could report corruption by:
- Letter to the Secretary/CEO, EACC P.O. Box 61130-00200, Nairobi
- Telephone 0729 888881/2/3 (General), 020-2717468 (Hotline)
- Fax 020-2719757
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Social media: facebook.com/EACC; twitter.com/EACC
- Use of drop-in corruption reporting boxes available at EACC and other public offices
- Use of the BKMS Anonymous Reporting System available at EACC website (eacc.go.ke)
- Use Integrated Public Complaints Referral Mechanism (IPCRM) available at the offices of EACC, Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ), Transparency International (TI-Kenya), Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee and National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).
- Visiting EACC’s offices in person
- Visiting EACC desk at the Huduma Centres
- Any other convenient method such as the mainstream media, etc.
Does EACC process all the reports it receives?
Yes. The Commission receives many reports from members of the public. However, not all the reports fall within its mandate. All reports that disclose corruption, economic crime or unethical conduct are taken up for investigation or other administrative action by the Commission. EACC forwards any reports that fall outside its mandate to the appropriate bodies for relevant action.
What does the law say about gifts offered to State and Public Officers?
The law provides that a gift or donation given to a State or Public Officer on a public or official occasion is a gift or donation to the State and shall be surrendered to the State. However, the law provides exemptions when a State or a Public Officer may receive and retain a gift. These include: a gift given in ordinary bounds of courtesy and protocol, a gift of a non- monetary nature not exceeding the value prescribed by EACC and a gift from a relative or friend on an occasion recognized by custom.
The law expressly prohibits any gifts or hospitality given with the intention of compromising the integrity, objectivity or impartiality of the State or Pubic Officer. Some gifts such as jewellery, precious metal or stones, ivory or other animal part categorized as prohibited by law. The law obligates each public entity to maintain a register of gifts received and those given to other organizations.
Does EACC have a role to play in vetting persons seeking public office?
Yes. The Constitution obligates the Commission to enforce the provisions of Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity. This Chapter requires persons seeking public office to be selected on the basis of personal integrity, competence and suitability. To determine this threshold, the Commission is mandated to inquire into the conduct of such persons and make recommendations to the interested institutions. In this regard, members of the public are encouraged to provide information touching on the integrity of such persons to the Commission or any other body considering them for appointment or election to public office.
Are the accounts of EACC audited?
Yes. EACC is a Constitutional Commission that draws its budget from the exchequer. As such EACC is subject to the normal Government of Kenya audit requirements by the Office of the Auditor General.
How can EACC help institutions put in place strategies to prevent corruption?
EACC works with other institutions to combat and prevent corruption through a number of strategies. These include: training and sensitization of staff, development of anti-corruption tools such as policies and codes of conduct, systems reviews, advisories, establishment of Corruption Prevention Committees, Integrity Testing Programmes and investigation of corruption and ethical breaches.
What challenges does EACC face in the discharge of its mandate?
EACC has continued to experience challenges in the form of limited finances and staff capacity, gaps in existing legal framework, a culture in Kenya that tolerates corruption, inadequate public participation in governance processes, weak accountability systems, a slow judicial process and inadequate coordination between justice sector agencies just to mention a few.
With the establishment of County governments, is it true that corruption has been devolved?
EACC is developing a baseline survey on the levels of corruption in the county governments to inform its interventions. With the transfer of resources to the Counties, there is a danger of corruption and unethical conduct taking root in those governments. Already there are reports by various government agencies, the media, civil society, and ordinary citizens which indicate misappropriation and imprudent use of resources within County governments.
What is EACC doing to prevent corruption in County governments?
EACC is enhancing its national presence by opening more regional offices in order to monitor corruption at County levels in addition to the implementation of proactive county advisories focusing on strong systems and prudent use of public resources. EACC is also conducting public education and awareness programmes to enable ordinary Kenyans to proactively participate and oversight governance at County levels. A number of corruption reports from the Counties and other government oversight bodies are also under active investigations.
Is there any remedy for a person who is dissatisfied with services of EACC?
Yes. Anybody dissatisfied with the Commission’s services can seek redress by raising the issue with the Chairperson of EACC or by filing a complaint in court of law if a matter merits such action. The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament is yet another avenue through which a remedy could be sought. In specific circumstances, remedy could be sought from other government oversight bodies such as Commission on Administrative Justice, Public Procurement Oversight Authority and Office of the Auditor General.
Does EACC investigate private companies engaged in corruption?
Yes. Corruption is a phenomenon that involves both public organizations and private entities. EACC intervenes only in cases where public funds or public interest is at stake. In cases where only private interest is at stake, the parties are normally advised to refer the matter to the Police for investigation under the penal code or for adjudication as civil matters in courts of law.
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