County governments are urged to enact laws that promote open governance through easy access to information by the public and the media.
Commissioner Lucy Ndung’u of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman) has said to build public trust and help fight corruption in devolution governance, access to information to public and media is of the essence.
The commissioner spoke during her visit to Kajiado County Assembly on Saturday when the Office of the Ombudsman handed to Speaker Johnson Osoi the model law to guide the counties on developing relevant law on ease access to information.
“Ease of access to information will go a long way in giving confidence to the public on what projects and programmes are taking place within the government institutions, it will also promote integrity and ultimately help wage war against corruption,” said Lucy Ndung’u, whose office seeks to reach out to all the 47 counties – both executive and county assemblies.
Speaker Osoi said the Assembly is committed to ensuring ‘Access to Information Act’ is adopted for the benefit of the citizenry and their needs.
He added that ideas and decisions will adequately be incorporated in all major decisions that the legislature and the executive will undertake as aspired by the constitution.
“This is timely and we want to assure the public that as the legislative arm of the county government we are pretty prepared to enact the most relevant and important pieces of legislation that will improve the quality of governance in Kajiado,” said Osoi.
Osoi said his assembly has consistently undertaken open forums like taking plenary sittings to the remote areas to allow the public to glean information, question the staff and their elected representatives on matters devolution programmes and roles of the assembly.
“As the assembly, we have been at the forefront to ensure that we disseminate information to relevant stakeholders and the general public,” he said.
Twice, Osoi said, the county assembly had done open day for civic education calling for the public to interrogate its staff and elected leaders.
“We have incessantly conducted ‘Bunge Mashinani’, taking our plenary sessions to the wards before the public and thereafter engage with them on different issues that affect them at grassroots,” said Osoi.
County assembly clerk, Leboo Saisa, while lauding the commission for considering the assembly in giving out model law said his House is determined to come up with user-friendly platforms that will enable reachability to a larger number of people on public participation matters and accessing information from the institution.
“We appreciate and promise that we shall move swiftly just like we have successfully employed the use of technology when COVID-19 pandemic struck.