THE STATE OFFICER VETTING GUIDELINES BILL,2011 now known as “THE SELECTION OF CANDIDATES TO STATE OFFICESAND PUBLIC OFFICES BILL, 2012”.
Entrenching Ethical Leadership in Kenya- APSEA’s Journey
The draft APSEA State Officer Vetting Guidelines Bill, 2011 now knows as the “The Selection of Candidates to State Offices and Public Offices bill, 2012”.was developed as part of the ongoing efforts by the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa (APSEA) to support and influence governance reforms in Kenya following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
The Success story continues on from the APSEA Lobbying meeting on the State Officer Vetting Guidelines Bill, 2011 held on 3rd July 2012 with CIC, the AG’s office, MOJNCCA and KLRC. The meeting saw the Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) agree to a partnership with APSEA. The meeting also saw the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs (MOJNCCA) and the Office of the Attorney General reach a consensus that they would work towards the passage of the State Officer Vetting Guidelines Bill, 2011 into an Act.
Following the Kenya Law Reform Commission’s commitment to review the draft bill, KLRC assigned a legislative drafter from the Office of the Attorney General; Ms. Shamsy Bahar Maleka to review the draft bill. The bill would be reviewed to ensure that it conforms to the structure of other legislations and to review the component and contents of the draft bill from a legal perspective.
The State Officer Vetting Guidelines Bill, 2011 was then forwarded back to APSEA by the Chairman of the Kenya Law Reform Commission as “The Selection of Candidates to State Offices and Public Offices bill, 2012”.
A meeting of the APSEA Executive Officers and Public Affairs Committee Members was convened to critically analyse the changes made to the draft bill. On review of the bill, the meeting resolved to request KLRC to join APSEA for a technical review meeting where the legislative drafter would take the members through the changes made to the bill and give justifications for the changes. The technical review team was constituted, the retreat was organized and was held on 29th, 30th and 31st October 2012 to review discuss and get consensus on the changes in the bill. The meeting was successful and the changes recommended by KLRC were adopted together with additional recommendations suggested by APSEA. The input was consolidated and incorporated in the bill.
The Selection of Candidates to State Offices and Public Offices bill, 2012 was taken through 3 phases of stakeholder participation in an effort to ensure APSEA obliges with the constitutional requirement for formulation of public laws. The process must not only be inclusive but must also put into consideration the role of the public through stakeholder engagement. The first phase was a stakeholders meeting held on 27th November, 2012 with professionals and members of the public. The input from the meeting was incorporated into the bill.
APSEA organized a meeting with the Constitutional Commissions. The meeting was held on 11th December 2012 and was attended by the CEO of the Kenya Law reform Commission, Commissioner Reginer Mwatha, from the Commission on Administrative Justice, Commissioner Philemon Mwaisaka from the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, and Commissioner Irene Wanyoike from the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission (EACC). The meeting with the commissions was significant milestone to APSEA and its lobbying efforts because the commissions present acknowledged the significance of the bill and committed to support the draft bill. The meeting resolved that once the draft bill was harmonised to include the input from the various commissions, APSEA would officially forward the bill to the Kenya Law Reform Commission. The CEO of the KLRC committed himself and gave his word that he would personally forward it to the Attorney General’s Office once all the input was incorporated.
Commissioner Philemon Mwaisaka stated that “ The bill takes care of matters of credibility and accountability and professional qualification. This is a good effort and the earlier it is forwarded the better”
The KLRC CEO committed himself to ensuring that the he forwards the draft bill to the Attorney General’s office as soon as he officially received the bill from APSEA.
On 20th December, APSEA also organized a final stakeholders meeting with Civil Society Organizations and members of the public this was in an effort to ensure comprehensive stakeholder participation. The meeting was successful and the input was consolidated.
APSEA was able to forward “The Selection of Candidates to State Offices and Public Offices bill, 2012” to the CEO of the Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) in order for the KLRC to forward it to the Attorney General’s Office.
It is our hope that through these lobbying efforts, we shall inspire a ripple effect that will nature a people/ generation that promotes and advances accountable and good leadership and governance around the continent and across the globe. If the bill is passed, Kenya will have its first ever law that will guide the selection of public and state officers, the first ever law that governs leadership right from the selection process and this will ensure that the right leaders are in charge of the organs and institutions that govern this country and the overall constitution implementation process. This will be a great milestone not only for APSEA’s advocacy efforts on governance reforms but it is also a major milestone for the country in its quest for Governance and institutional Reforms.