The Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ), in its pursuit of enhanced accessibility and efficiency, is gearing up to launch the PASHA Ombudsman platform, an innovative application designed to simplify the process of filing complaints about subpar public services. Florence Kajuju, the Chairperson of the Commission, shed light on this groundbreaking initiative at the Fourth Huduma Ombudsman Award ceremony at KICC. She emphasized not only her team’s dedication to modernizing complaint management systems but also their commitment to staying abreast of evolving technological advancements.
CAJ, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service, is focused on streamlining the entire complaints process. This partnership empowers individuals to voice their dissatisfactions from the comfort of their homes. The PASHA Ombudsman app, a tool that navigates through bureaucratic mazes, ensures prompt hearing and addressing of grievances for each user.
Established in 2011, the Commission on Administrative Justice has been a crucial catalyst for resolving complaints, enhancing efficiency, and developing responsiveness within the public service. Chairperson Florence Kajuju highlighted their significant stride in successfully addressing over 920,000 complaints. She underscored, through capacity-building initiatives, the pivotal role of her commission in reshaping how Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and County Governments (MDACs) handle grievances.
Kajuju mentioned the Wajibika initiative, symbolizing a transition towards public accountability of MDAs. The Commission actively promotes this initiative with aspirations to foster transparency and responsibility among public officers and institutions. Nonetheless, Kajuju adopted an impartial stance, refraining from lavish commendations yet duly recognizing some dedicated public officers.
Addressing the Office of the Ombudsman’s mission, Kajuju reiterated a commitment to promote good governance and uphold the rule of law, particularly emphasizing accountability within public affairs management. She shared an anecdote that unveiled an alarming incident reported to the Commission, underscoring the crucial significance of vigilant oversight.
Mercy Wambua, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, echoed a staunch commitment to administrative justice, encapsulated in their rallying slogan, “Hata anyone ana haki”, signifying that everyone indeed possesses rights. Her discourse further delved into a comprehensive analysis of complaints received over time, delineating major grievances such as service delays, unlawful official conduct, both acts reflecting gross inefficiency, and instances characterized by unfair treatment or power abuse, all disconcerting lapses within the system.
The Huduma Ombudsman Awards ceremony further acknowledged exceptional service, bestowing prestigious recognition on both institutions and individuals for their outstanding contributions. Notable winners in the institutional category were Kenya Revenue Authority, Huduma Kenya, and the National Council for Law Reporting. Celebrated as individual awardees were Corporal Julius Karanja Irungu and Assistant County Commissioner Precious Dama Randu, who stood out due to their exceptional service.
In a bid to incentivize effective, accountable, and responsive public service, the awards span individual categories such as institutional recognition and Ombudsman Valor. The Commission underscores its dedication by adopting this approach toward promoting compliance with administrative justice and facilitating access to information. As we gear up for the launch of the PASHA Ombudsman platform, it symbolizes not only a digital leap but also an exciting stride towards enhancing accessibility in Kenya’s public complaints system, making it more responsive than ever before.