Group wants private sector employees to sign anti bribery code of conduct

Group wants private sector employees to sign anti bribery code of conduct

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has initiated a drive seeking to have private sector employees sign an anti bribery code of conduct with their employers.

The code of conduct is expected to enhance the fight against corruption and bribery.

The move comes after KEPSA handed over a draft anti bribery bill to the Attorney General last year, which lays out a framework by which organisations do business amongst themselves as well as government.

“Kenya loses over one third of its annual budget to corruption and misappropriation of public funds and assets. The actual cost of corruption to the overall economy is however yet to be quantified as private companies are also subject to corruption and collusion within their operations leading to massive loses that are yet to be quantified,” KEPSA said in a statement.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has in the past alluded to the fact that 70 percent of corruption in the country is in the procurement departments, which do business with the private sector.

So far over 400 companies have signed up to the Code. All professional associations and business member organisations that have signed up to the code will also make it a requirement for their members to sign up and abide by the Business Code of Conduct.

The code of conduct proposes lengthy bans and black listing of firms and directors of companies engaging in bribery or corruption. The private sector body is also pushing for stiff penalties for individuals found guilty of giving or receiving a bribe.

Companies and investors cite pervasive graft as one of the biggest challenges to doing business in Kenya.

According to a PwC survey on the prevalence of economic crimes, Kenya was ranked third out of 103 countries that participated in the survey. The survey found that majority of economic crimes cases were perpetrated by internal fraudsters exploiting their intimate knowledge of internal systems.

“Going by the findings additional emphasis must be placed on sealing the loopholes within our own processes and procedures along with the regulations that govern procurement,” the lobby group said.

The private sector lobby group is also calling for the introduction of special tribunals to determine corruption cases.

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Story By Michael Karanja
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