Advocacy and Policy Formation
The main objective of this programme is to provide leadership in professional matters affecting the public, to encourage good governance at social, economic and political levels, to support public policy and legislation by lobbying parliament, government and other stakeholders in order to improve the quality of service delivery of professionals in the region.
APSEA continues to represent Corporate Members on crosscutting issues at higher levels. To provide a unified advocacy platform for APSEA members to address issues that affect professionals and Kenyans in general. Such issues may include government policies, political issues e.g. Constitution making, corruption, etc. and regional integration and trade in professional services, trade facilitation.
Some of the Advocacy activities include:
a. Constitution Making Process.
The month of August marks 4 years since the passing of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and as APSEA we have been involved in all aspects of the development, passing and implementation of Constitution of Kenya.
APSEA has participated in all the stages in the making of the Constitution of Kenya 2010; APSEA was actively involved in the part of the Constitution review process initiated by the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) in 2003. This process resulted in the development of three draft constitutions: The Constitution of Kenya Review Commission Draft submitted to Bomas Constitutional Conference (Ghai Draft), the Constitution Conference Draft (Bomas Draft) and the Proposed New Constitution 2005 (Wako Draft). All of which APSEA was able to participate through the stakeholder forums and giving submissions. APSEA worked with the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs in 2008 and contributed to the completion of the Constitutional Review Process by giving submissions on the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2008 and the Constitution of Kenya Review Bill 2008 on request from the then Minister for Justice.
APSEA also gave a submission to the African Panel of Eminent Persons and from APSEA’s submission, Agenda 4 in the National Accord was born which included undertaking constitutional, legal and institutional reforms among other pertinent issues. This led to a renewed push in the search for a new constitution and two years later in August 4, 2010 following a referendum, a new constitution was finally passed.
b. Sensitization forums on the Proposed Constitution of Kenya
APSEA engaged in an advocacy program which involved working with the Committee of Experts, the Parliamentary Select Committee, and other key decision makers in building consensus around the contentious issues in an effort to move the process forward Primarily, APSEA sought to generate consensus amongst its wider membership. The contentious issues were among others: the structure and relationship between the executive and the legislature (whether to adopt a fully fledged parliamentary system of government and the subsequent allocation of the roles of Head of State and Government), devolution, land and property amongst others. These issues were at the centre of contention in the run up to the 2005 referendum.
APSEA organised civic education forums in form of 4 sector based workshops (Finance, Governance Management & Law; Medicine & Health; Built and Natural Environment; Media & Public Relations Sectors) for professionals on the then proposed Constitution of Kenya 2010 and a 4 Day workshop for the members of the public on the Proposed constitution of Kenya where constitutional experts on the Constitution facilitated at the workshop.
c. APSEA’s Role in the implementation of the Constitution
The year 2011 was of significance both to APSEA and to the Country. It is the year that APSEA has been actively involved in the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the establishment of various commissions as created in the Constitution.
APSEA as the joint forum of all professionals in Kenya is recognized in Article 230 2c(3)of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and has a stake in the implementation of the Constitution.
We played and continue to play a major role in contributing towards reforming crucial institutions and refining of legislation and draft bills related to judicial issues, land, national values, and devolution, among many others.
Further to that, APSEA, on request from the Office of His Excellency The President was called upon to nominate professionals to a number of Selection Panels and Commissions pursuant to the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. These panels and commissions include:
- A Commissioner to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
- A member to the Selection Panel of the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
- The Chairman to the Selection Panel that would then select the Chairperson of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
- The chairperson to the Selection Panel of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
- A Member to the Selection Panel for the Commission on Administrative Justice.
- A member to the Selection Panel for the National Gender and Equality Commission.
- Two members to the Selection Panel for the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights;
- Two members to the Selection Committee for the appointment of the Registrar of Political Parties
- A member to the Selection Panel for the National Police Commission.
- A member to the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.
- A member of the Selection Panel of the Public Service Commission.
- The Chairman of the Selection Panel for the National Land Commission.
- A member to the Selection panel of the Complaints Commission.
- A member to the selection panel of the Media Council of Kenya.
- A nominee to the Audit Advisory Board
- A nominee to the Technical Committee on Internships.
d. APSEA’s advocacy work on Devolution:
As part of the ongoing efforts by the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa (APSEA) to influence governance reforms in Kenya, our organization developed a Policy Paper on the Role of Professionals in Devolution in line with the principles of devolution as espoused in the Kenya Constitution, 2010 and the APSEA County Government Model (Administration and Finance Models) for Devolution which were circulated to its membership, the government and parastatals, universities and members of the public. The models gave recommendations on how devolution would be implemented at the County Level. This would guide Professionals and the public as they actively participated in implementation of the Kenya Constitution, 2010 and in bringing about positive lasting change. APSEA organized numerous devolution forums for professionals and the public in an effort to demystify devolution and to that end APSEA organized civic education forums for its members and the public. The main objectives of the 2 devolution documents prepared by APSEA were:
a) To enhance a greater understanding of devolution as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 among professionals and the country as a whole.
b) To think through matters of devolution and develop policy/position papers on the implementation of the same.
c) To provide a professionals perspective in relation to the implementation of devolution in Kenya
e. APSEA’s continued engagement in review of policy and legislations.
APSEA worked with the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution
(CIC) in 2011 and 2012 and played a major role in contributing towards reforming crucial institutions and refining of legislation and draft bills related to, among others, judicial issues, land, national values, and devolution and many others.
To date APSEA has continuously been involved in the review of various legislations. The bills include; High Court Administration Bill, 2015, Small Claims Court Bill, 2015, Succession Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015, NCIC Act No. 8 of 2008, the Marriage Bill; Matrimonial Property Bill; Family Protection Bill; Land Registration Bill; Public Procurement, Consumer Protection Bill; Public Service Commission Bill; Public Finance Management Bill; National Land Commission Bill; Labour Court of Kenya Bill; National Human Rights Commission Bill; Ombudsman Commission Bill, 2011 and the National Gender Commission Bill; Family Protection Bill; The Data Protection Bill; Freedom of Information Bill; The Contempt of Court and Magistrates Court Bill; The Petition to Parliament Bill; Community Land Bill, among others.
In an effort to promote leadership and integrity, not only in the delivery of professional services but also in the Country as a whole, APSEA as a major stakeholder in the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, engaged with the Taskforce on the Policy, Legislation and Institutional Framework of the National Values Systems and lobbied for the recognition of APSEA as an independent nominating body under the category of professionals rather than its original categorization under the Civil Society Group in the National Values Bill.
APSEA’s has certainly not ended its engagement there Professionals are being urged now more than ever to take part in the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 by actively engaging in devolution in the forty seven(47) Counties of Kenya.
APSEA has a critical role to play in providing leadership and engaging themselves by lending their technical expertise in the implementation of county governance structure to ensuring that we do not “devolve corruption”. Professionals should also keep vigil and ensure that the process of implementation of county governance structure is not marred by political interference and that the implementation adheres to the letter and spirit of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, and Chapter six (6) on Leadership and Integrity.
IN THE RECENT PAST: Advocacy and lobbying efforts have been geared towards several initiatives:
- On East African Community (EAC) Integration Matters.
- Development of an overarching Natural Resources Development and Management Bill.
- APSEA and the Institute of Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) Lobbied the H.E the President on certain recommendations for the Companies Bill 2015
- APSEA lobbied Parliament for the involvement of Professionals in the Kenya Road Bill, 2015
- Lobbied the Nairobi County Assembly for adoption of recommendations that would enhance accountability in The Nairobi County Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2016/2017.
- Lobbied for the development of the Health Bill and Policy.
- APSEA and the Kenya Institute of Planners lobbied for changes in the Physical Planning Bill.