Evaluating the role of the wealth declaration system in fighting corruption in Kenya
Ogada, Imelda Aluoch
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Recently, many developed and developing countries have embarked on a thorough re-evaluation of the role of government in their societies. Flowing from this, a redefinition of the political-administrative relationship has evolved, designed to ensure greater accountability and a greater devolution of power. Governance is concerned with structures and processes for decision-making, accountability, control and behavior at the top of organizations. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the wealth declaration system and its role in fighting corruption in Kenya. The specific objectives that guided the study were: To establish the compliance level of wealth declaration users in Kenya; Establish the enforcement outcomes of wealth declaration users in Kenya; Determine the awareness level of wealth declaration by users in Kenya; Investigate the effect of verification of declared forms on perceived corruption levels and to Assess the impact of the public disclosure policy on perceived corruption levels. The research was anchored on theory of reasoned action and institutional theory. The research design that was used for this is a mixed methodology which is both quantitative and qualitative. The target population for the study were enforcers and users of the wealth declaration system. These included independent offices, commissions, selected counties, and specific state departments. The study used purposive sampling to select ten (10) institutions and random sampling to select 10 employees in each of the institutions to form a sample size of 100. Date was collected using structured questionnaire. Data collected was cleaned and analyzed using SPSS version 25.0. The study found that public disclosure, compliance level and enforcement outcomes, awareness level of wealth declaration and verification of declared forms have positive and significant effect on the fight against corruption in Kenya. The study therefore concludes that although the asset declaration process has been ‘successfully enforced’ and that the compliance levels are high, the users (public officers) have been participating in the process as a formality and to avoid sanctions that come with non-compliance. The study recommends that Verification, Public disclosure and monitoring as tools for enforcement is what the Kenyan government should do to drive the purpose closer to its goal. The study also recommends that the government needs to amend the policy and legislation of the country to allow certain parameters like public disclosure to be legal so that the wealth declaration process can be more effective especially in fighting corruption. Likewise, the wealth declaration process should be automated for easier storage in a central depository system for ease of verification and ease of recognition and amendment of errors for accountability purposes.