Mission to Vienna seeks key anti-corruption lessons

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission recently sent an eight-member delegation to Vienna, Austria, to learn best practices on the establishment of an Integrity Academy. The team, led by Commissioner Dr. Dabar Malim and Commissioner Rose Mghoi, established contacts with the Kenya Permanent Mission and Embassy, in Vienna, the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK) of the Government of Austria (BAT), International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC).

EACC’s delegation led by Commissioners Dr. Dabar Maalim and Rose Mghoi pose for a group photo with Ambassador Samuel Muthee Gitonga at Kenya Permanent Mission and Embassy in Vienna, Austria.

 

Establishment of an Integrity Academy

The August 4th -12th visit was a follow-up to the Commission’s recent registration of a National Integrity Academy with the Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority under the Ministry of Education. The Academy seeks to provide training on ethics, integrity, anti-corruption and governance related areas.

Its establishment is underpinned by anti-corruption, ethics and integrity international and regional instruments such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Africa Union Convention on Combating and Preventing Corruption. It also draws its justification from domestic laws that have mandated the EACC to provide training, education and awareness creation so as to enlist and foster public support in combating and preventing corruption, economic crime and unethical practices. These domestic laws include the Constitution (Chapter six on Leadership and Integrity), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Act, 2011, and the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012.

The establishment of the Academy is also informed by two other factors:

  • The findings of a 2016 Countrywide Training Needs Assessment, which revealed that both the National and County Governments lack capacity to entrench good governance, mainstream integrity and seal corruption loopholes.
  • The absence of such a specialized training facility to meet the prevailing needs of the country and in the region.

 

Members of the delegation keenly listen to presentations at BAK offices Vienna.

 

Choice of the study institutions

The Vienna study visit covered specialized institutions that are strong and effective in combating and preventing corruption and in providing training and capacity development at the international level.

The EACC team learned that International Anti-Corruption Academy is a reputable institution with solid experience and expertise in anti-corruption training and therefore could provide useful lessons to EACC as it establishes its own Academy. On the other hand, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes is responsible for coordinating implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and, therefore, is a reservoir of diverse and rich knowledge resources developed globally. In addition, it has the network and expertise to provide technical assistance and support to EACC in grounding the academy as it takes off. The other body, Austria’s Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption, is strong and effective in implementing preventive measures, which include anti-corruption and ethics capacity building.

The EACC delegation at the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption of the Government of Austria Vienna Office.

Kenya’s ambassador to Austria, Samuel Muthee Gitonga, played a critical role in organizing the meetings and accompanied the team in all its official missions. He articulated Kenya’s position on issues of interest and pledged his support to ensure the successful establishment of the academy.

 


EACC delegates led by Dr. Dabar Maalim attentively follow a presentation at IACA.

 

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages a special fund for Soft Diplomacy Activities, which the Commission can lobby to utilize to attract and sponsor participants from foreign countries and the region to the Academy trainings,” said Mr Gitonga. “This can be part of the strategy for marketing the Academy regionally and internationally,” he added, further noting that the Mission could facilitate the Commission to seek funding opportunities from the UN bodies in Vienna.

Ambassador Samuel Gitonga speaking at the IACA meeting.

 

At IACA and BAT, the delegation met the heads and staff of departments covering law administration and enforcement, academic degree programmes, open trainings, tailor-made trainings, and research and science opportunities. The delegation was exposed to various areas such as the formation, enabling instruments, mandate, functions, structure and operations of the institutions.

Martin Kreutner, (right) Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA welcoming the delegation.

 

At UNODC, the team was taken through the systems and procedures that deal with financial disclosures, asset tracing and money laundering issues. These particular areas were of interest for the development of modules for the academy.

The delegation at the IACA offices Laxenburg, Austria.

 

Delegation head Commissioner Dr. Maalim thanked all the institutions and the Kenyan Embassy in Vienna for their support in making the trip successful.

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