NWHSA’s WHISTLE BLOWER POLICY
The Public Service Commission (PSC) in conjunction with the State Corporation Advisory Committee (SCAC) issued the code of Governance for State Corporations; Mwongozo Code in 2015 to guide operations of State Corporations. The Mwongozo Code advocates for ethical leadership, best practices in Corporate Governance and prudent management of public resources.
While the government has initiated various reforms to curb corruption in the country, there is need for concerted efforts to ensure success. Article 5 of The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) recognizes the core principles associated with the prevention of corruption in the public sector i.e. the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability. Corruption is a vice that needs to be nipped in the bud as it poses serious social and economic risks and ultimately affect the reputation of an organization.
National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) has the core mandate to “Undertake on behalf of the national government, the development of national public water works for water resources storage and flood control.” In this respect, the Authority recognizes that corruption can adversely affect its performance and ultimately its reputation. This therefore calls for transparent implementation of projects while ensuring value for money. The Authority further recognizes that all its other areas of operations are prone to potential corruption risk.
It is on this back drop that we have developed the Authority’s Anti-corruption policy whose main objective is to provide a framework to combat corruption and unethical conduct. The policy will further lay a firm foundation that will develop a culture of accountability and transparency through development of procedures of managing corruption risks at the Authority.
This policy will supplement the existing legal provisions and other government initiatives for fighting and preventing corruption in Kenya. The Authority also believes that existence of a good regulatory framework provides a sound structure for the Management of public resources as entrenched in the Public Finance Management Act, 2012. (PFM Act, 2012)
Management through the leadership of the Board has ensured that this policy is formulated hence it shall apply the same enthusiasm in its implementation. Most importantly, management will ensure all stakeholders have been sensitized on corruption prevention mechanisms through a participatory approach so as to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the policy.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer CS. Sharon Obonyo says whistleblowing is becoming more accepted as a way for organizations to access internal information that would have otherwise remained secret hence becoming a risk to the organization. A whistle blower policy provides confidentiality of all informers who wish to report any issues that they feel are unethical.
The main objective of this policy is to encourage openness and transparency while guaranteeing protection of the whistle blowers. It is on this premise that I present this Whistle Blowing Policy to NWHSA’s staff, Board of Directors and our stakeholders. This policy will play a crucial role in ensuring we uphold integrity, accountability and fairness.
The policy has been developed in line with the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, particularly Chapter Six and Article 10 on Leadership and Integrity and National Values and Principles of Governance respectively.
The purpose of this policy is to provide internal mechanisms to encourage all stakeholders to report suspected or actual unethical practices. It will also guide on procedures for handling whistle blower reports, feedback, and responsibility of all stakeholders and protection of whistle blowers. It is designed to ensure good corporate governance through transparency and integrity as outlined in our core values.
This will ensure employees can raise concerns of unethical conduct without fear of suffering retribution and provide a transparent and confidential process for dealing with such concerns in line with the various statutes which include but not limited to Constitution of Kenya, 2010, Witness Protection Act, 2010, Bribery Act, 2016, Access to Information Act, 2016, Anti-Corruption & Economic Crimes Act (ACECA), 2003, United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) 2003 and International Labor Organization (ILO).
The policy will help to mitigate against risks through discovery of malpractices in good time to avoid risks such as loss of funds and others that would have a negative impact on the performance of the Authority. When we win the war against corruption, we shall enjoy far reaching benefits and create a conducive work environment where service to the public takes center stage.
Written by: Joyce Jepkemboi
Chief Corporate Communications Officer
7th July, 2021