Curbing corruption in public procurement in Kenya : a case for mainstreaming social accountability

Author: Muraya, Julius Njire

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : LLM

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Corruption in government ; Purchasing ; Public enterprise ; Social responsibility ;

Pages: 153

Advisors: Njaramba Gichuki


Globally, the last three decades have seen intensified reforms in public procurement in two predominant ways: Bounding discretionary powers within clearly defined transactional rules and opening government contracting to the market discipline of full and fair competition. Kenya has been no exception. Nonetheless, a growing number of scandals and value of loss through corruption in public procurement provide compelling evidence that more has to be done than merely wrestling public procurement from the government's control. This study looks at the phenomenon of corruption in public procurement to challenge the reflexive tendency to fireproof procurement through more intense regulation of the processes coupled with heavier penal sanctions for breach. It makes a case for a recast of the accountability regime. Corruption is identified as a force of an insidious nature, finding host from within and outside the prescriptive rules and the market ordering. It threatens the stability of the new accountability regime. To leverage against debilitating corruption, it is argued that infusion of the diffused social accountability mechanisms of civic oversight and participation is an imperative. This study makes a compelling case for the mainstreaming of social accountability by pointing at the space, place and potency of its mechanisms in the fight against public procurement-related corruption in the Kenyan context. Key words: Corruption, public procurement, social accountability.