- The issue of good governance has been discussed worldwide since the end of the twentieth century.
- In Kenya, prior to 2002, General Elections, development partners had expressed displeasure with the business-as-usual attitude in Kenya and curtailed aid due to lack of good governance in our institutions.
- In 2003 the NARC government embarked on an ambitious strategy to enact laws to combat rampant graft that was threatening to tear institutions apart.
- The government enacted various laws geared towards eradicating graft and improving governance in public institutions. These legislations include:
(i) The Public Officer Ethics Act 2003 (POEA)
(ii) The Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003
(iii) The Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 among others.
- Prior to the year 2002, governance in cooperatives had deteriorated to an extent that most cooperative societies had failed while others were on the verge of collapse.
- All public officers as defined in the Public Officer Ethics Act, had commissions responsible for their integrity, and discipline with established administrative structures, none of which was appropriate to handle the integrity issues of the cooperative public officers e.g.
(i) The Public Service Commission
(ii) Judicial Service Commission
(iii) Parliamentary Service Commission and
(iv) The Teachers` Service Commission among others
- Part I Section 2 (e) of the Public Officer Ethics Act defines co-operative societies’ staff and Board/committee as public officers.
- This necessitated the creation of an integrity commission for the Co-operative sector which was done via Legal Notice No.120/03 (under The Public Officer Ethics Regulations 2003). The Commission was to serve as the responsible commission for officers and employees of co-operative societies
- Membership of the Commission then, was drawn from officers within the Ministry and Co-operative College of Kenya
- Over time, it was felt that a purely internal Board, was not the best arrangement, and there was need to have stakeholder participation.
- After numerous discussions with the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, Regulation 7(2) of the Public Officer Ethics Regulations, 2003, was amended by the Minister responsible, via Legal Notice No.64 of 2010 to include stakeholders in the membership of ECCOS Board.
- The Commission was established under Regulation 7(2) The Public Officer Ethics (amendment) Regulations, 2010 as an unincorporated body to be known as the Ethics Commission for Cooperative Societies.
- The Commission is categorized as a special body under the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing.
- The secretariat to the commission comprises of officers, deployed from amongst officers of the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing
- The Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 28, of 7th May 2010, Legal Notice No. 64 `The Public Officer Ethics (Amendment) Regulations, 2010` spells out the new composition of the commission members which includes the relevant stakeholders as follows;
- Chairman appointed by the Minister for Co-operative Development and Marketing.
- Vice Chairman elected by the members of the Commission from amongst the members
- Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing or his/her representative.
- Permanent Secretary, Ministry responsible for National Integrity issues, or his/her representative
- Director – Co-operative College of Kenya or his/her representative
- Representative of Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK)
- Four other persons appointed by the Minister for Cooperative Development to represent;
i. Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK)
ii. An institution of Higher Education (University)
iii. Kenya Bankers Association
iv. Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA)