The Office of the Ombudsman, also known as the Commission on Administrative Justice CAJ, says there has been a marked increase in the number of women lodging complaints with the Commission, through the Complaints Management Information System (CMIS).
CAJ says that within the first three months after the online portal was launched, there was a 50% increase in the number of women lodging complaints. This was revealed during a public institutions webinar, held by the CAJ, under the theme: “Enhancing efficiency and management of public complaints through automation of the complaints handling process”.
Similarly, the Commission has so far received more than 6000 cases and processed over 493 complaints through the system.
According to the Commission Chairperson, Hon. Ann Kajuju, since its establishment, the commission has handled over 800,000 complaints with a resolution rate of 87 per cent and has processed more than 500 access to information applications for review.
Some of the high-profile cases the commission has successfully handled include reversal of title deeds of two plots worth Sh100 million to a widow whose land had been grabbed by a Senior Kiambu County official.
She adds that the CAJ has also helped recover grabbed public land, assisted pensioners access their dues, secured release of title deeds/allotment letters and also intervened in cases where public officers have been unfairly dismissed.
CAJ attributes this to the convenience, access and anonymity brought about by the online system, which is helping members of the public appeal or complain against the delay of government services, abuse of power, access to information and track complaint resolution progress online.
The CMIS whose development was supported by the GIZ and launched towards the end of May this year, has registered very visible successes, in helping the Commission achieve its mandate of among others addressing all forms of maladministration, promoting good governance and efficient service delivery in the public sector by enforcing the right to fair administrative action.
“We investigate abuse of power, manifest injustice and unlawful, oppressive, unfair or unresponsive official conduct” says the Commission.
Similarly, the system is expected to ensure cost effectiveness in accessing the commission’s services and help it reach the marginalized and vulnerable groups in society, given the Commission’s mandate to provide quick, flexible and cost-effective interventions to mediate between the citizen and the more powerful state bureaucracy.
However, the office of the Ombudsman has not been without challenges, key among them are delays in expediting matters brought before it. The chairperson Ann Kajuju has cited lack of cooperation by some public institutions and officers, which affects the turnaround time for resolution of complaints. The public portal, Complaints Management Information System (CMIS), is expected to improve the turnaround time.
The Office of the Ombudsman was established in 2007 as a department within the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion, and Constitutional Affairs.It is an independent commission established by the Commission on Administrative Justice Act, 2011 pursuant to Article 59 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya.