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The Commission on Administrative Justice – Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday 20 December 2023 wrote to the Siaya County Government compelling it to release information sought by a private citizen.

Florence Kajuju, Chairperson Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ) Office of the Ombudsman. Photo: Nairobi Wire

Mr. Michael Ochieng had written to the Commission after Prof. Jackline Oduol, County Executive Committee Member for Water, Sanitation and Environment in the Siaya County Government declined to respond to a request to furnish information about contract details and the status of certain water projects in various Wards of Siaya County.

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Citing Section 5 of the ATI Act (2016) the Commission drew attention of Siaya County Government to parenthesis one which states that subject to Section 6, a public entity shall upon signing any contract, publish on its website or through other suitable media particulars in respect of the contract entered into. These include: the public works,goods acquired or rented and the contracted service, including any sketches, scopes of service and terms of reference.

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That section further outlines that the contract sum, the name of the service provider, contractor or individual to whom the contract has been granted and the period within which the contract shall be completed will be made public.

The Office of the Ombudsman therefore demanded compliance with proactive disclosure obligation that one Michael Ochieng, a resident of Siaya County, be immediately furnished with the information he so desired as a matter of his constitutional rights.

One of the projects in question is the Akala -Sirembe water project which was upscaled during the tenure of former Governor Cornell Rasanga Amoth. Today it has issues of maintenance. Photo: Facebook

Concerns have been raised by residents of Siaya that several water projects are moribund owing to mismanagement and plundering by officers of Siaya County Government.

According to the requester of information several water projects have repeatedly been allocated funding during the budget process while on the ground they don’t exist.

 

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