Role of Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission

The functions of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission derive from the provisions of Articles 79 and 252 of the Constitution, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, and the Leadership and Integrity Act.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is a statutory body established under Section 3 of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act pursuant to Article 79 of the Constitution of Kenya.

These laws provide, among other things, for the functions and powers of the Commission as well as its role in implementing Chapter Six of the Constitution (on leadership and integrity). This is alongside implementing the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

The major role of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is to combat and prevent corruption through law enforcement, preventive measures, education and promotion of standards and best practices in integrity and ethics.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should consist of a chairperson and four other members appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act.

The chairperson and members of the Commission should be appointed for a single term of six years and are not eligible for re-appointment. Moreover, they should only serve on a part time basis.

The Commissioners should meet at least once every quarter or as often as the need arises for the execution of their functions.

functions of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission

The powers and functions of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Kenya under Article 252 of the Constitution stipulate the Commission:

  • may conduct investigations on its own initiative or on a complaint made by a member of the public;
  • has the powers necessary for conciliation, mediation and negotiation;
  • should recruit its own staff; and
  • may perform any functions and exercise any powers prescribed by legislation, in addition to the functions and powers conferred by the Constitution.

Section 11 of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act stipulates additional functions for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission where the Commission should:

  • in relation to State officers—
    • develop and promote standards and best practices in integrity and anti-corruption;
    • develop a code of ethics;
  • work with other State and public offices in the development and promotion of standards and best practices in integrity and anti-corruption;
  • receive complaints on the breach of the code of ethics by public officers;
  • investigate and recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions the prosecution of any acts of corruption, bribery or economic crimes or violation of codes of ethics or other matter prescribed under the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act or any other law enacted pursuant to Chapter Six of the Constitution (on leadership and integrity);
  • recommend appropriate action to be taken against State officers or public officers alleged to have engaged in unethical conduct;
  • oversee the enforcement of codes of ethics prescribed for public officers;
  • advise, on its own initiative, any person on any matter within its functions;
  • raise public awareness on ethical issues and educate the public on the dangers of corruption and enlist and foster public support in combating corruption but with due regard to the requirements of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, as to confidentiality;
  • subject to Article 31 of the Constitution, monitor the practices and procedures of public bodies to detect corrupt practices and to secure the revision of methods of work or procedures that may be conducive to corrupt practices; and
  • institute and conduct proceedings in court for purposes of the recovery or protection of public property, or for the freeze or confiscation of proceeds of corruption or related to corruption, or the payment of compensation, or other punitive and disciplinary measures.

The Commission may cooperate and collaborate with other State organs and agencies and any foreign government or international or regional organisation in the prevention and investigation for corruption.

The Commission should have all powers necessary or expedient for the efficient and effective execution of its functions, under the Constitution, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act or any other written law.

The Commission may request and obtain professional assistance or advice from such persons or organizations as it considers appropriate.

The functions of the Commissioners of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should be to—

  • assist the Commission in policy formulation and ensure that the Commission and its staff, including the Secretary, perform their duties to the highest standards possible in accordance with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act;
  • give strategic direction to the Commission in the performance of its functions as stipulated in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act;
  • establish and maintain strategic linkages and partnerships with other stakeholders in the rule of law and other governance sectors;
  • deal with reports, complains of abuse of power; impropriety and other forms of misconduct on the part of the commission or its staff; and
  • deal with reports of conduct amounting to maladministration, including but not limited to delay in the conduct of investigations and unreasonable invasion of privacy by the Commission or its staff.

powers of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission

The Commission should have all powers generally necessary for the execution of its functions under the Constitution, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, and any other written law.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission should have the power to—

  • educate and create awareness on any matter within the Commission’s mandate;
  • undertake preventive measures against unethical and corrupt practices;
  • conduct investigations on its own initiative or on a complaint made by any person;
  • conduct mediation, conciliation and negotiation; and
  • hire such experts as may be necessary for the performance of any of its functions.

For more about the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, see the EACC Act and visit their website at eacc.go.ke.

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George Githinji

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