FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
COUNTY ASSEMBLY OF EMBU
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE 5TH DECEMBER 2019
COUNTY GOVT TO IMPROVE CITIZEN PARTICIPATION THROUGH NEW LAW
County Assembly has repealed the Embu County Public Participation Act in a bid to revive constructive discourse between the people and the County Government.
The Legislature has subsequently drafted the Embu County Public Participation in Governance Bill 2019, to provide a framework for participation by the public in the affairs of the County through actively informing them of the form and content of legislation, policy and development plans formulated by the County Government.
The law aspires to give effect to the public participation framework stipulated under the County Governments Act, 2012, the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 and the Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011 which require the County Government to seek the opinion of the people before making fundamental decisions on matters affecting their lives and use of public funds.
The new law aims at providing community empowerment and support, at the same time providing for a framework for informed, effective, efficient and sustainable engagement of the public in the County in the formulation of policy, legislation, budgeting and implementation of the development plans and programmes by the Government;
According to the proposed legislation, public participation promotes transparency and account ability in decision making, improves partnership and collaboration in public processes and participatory democracy and also enhances public awareness and understanding of Government processes.
When enacted, the law will be expected to reduce conflicts related to public or Government decisions; and enhance community ownership decisions of public decisions by ensuring that any major undertaking by the County Government has the blessings of the residents of the county following consultations during public forums.
The Assembly aims at providing of meaningful information in a format and language that is readily understandable and tailored to the needs of the target groups through this law, as well as giving feedback to the people after holding public participation forums, with a clear mechanism for responding to people’s concerns, suggestions and grievances.
The Assembly has proposed the formation of a Public Participation Committee by the County Executive to spearhead all community engagement activities as proposed by various dockets within the County Government.
The proposed law awaits approval by the people before going through the subsequent stages of the legislative process and enactment by Ward Reps at the Assembly.