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Kenya: ICT Board Cautioned On Corruption Temptations
Source: The Star
Source Date: Saturday, February 01, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Kenya
Created: Feb 03, 2014

ICT Secretary Fred Matiang'i has warned the nine-member ICT Authority board to be wary of corruption temptations that could come through multi-billion deals in fatty government tenders under their watch.

The ICT authority is mandated to approve procurement processes of the capital intensive ICT projects including delayed Sh1.2 trillion Konza Technology City.

"You come in at a very challenging time when government is investing heavily in ICT, " Matiang'i said on Thursday when he inaugurated the board in Nairobi. "Public interest must come first because there is going to be serious investment now and in future."

However, the appointment of six directors by the CS on January 16 has sparked off sharp protests from ICT Association of Kenya over the procedure used and heavy public sector presence.

ICTAK charged that the CS contravened legal notice 183 of 2013 in appointing some of the directors from public universities and their concurrent appointment when the law stipulates they be appointed at different times to avoid vacuum when their respective terms expires.

"We are not out to sabotage anybody but the procedure should be followed," said ICTAK secretary general Kamotho Njenga. "The ministry already has a number of court cases that has slowed implementation of critical projects and the CS should revoke the gazette notice to avoid further suits. "

The contested appointees from public universities are Timothy Waema and Elijah Omwenga both of University of Nairobi and Esther Kibere of Kenyatta University.

Matiang'i however dismissed ICTAK protest as "petty" from "idle" people saying he went for some of the best brains.

"This was deliberate because we want to take standards higher," he said. "They have engaged in...research for many years and they will come up with seamless policies. "

Other appointed members are Bertha Dena of Unites States International University, David Mugo and Ugas Mohamed from the private sector.

They will be joined on the board, chaired by last month's presidential appointee Edwin Yinda, by representatives of Principal Secretaries in ministries of ICT,Treasury and Lands.

The authority in August 2013 assumed duties previously discharged through Kenya ICT Board, Department of e-Government and the Government Information Technology Services then under Treasury.

Matiang'i however remained non-committal on when he will appoint the chief executive of the authority saying it will be done procedurally and in due course.

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