This article looks at the functions and roles and roles of the Office of the Ombudsman in Kenya. The Commission on Administrative Justice (CAJ), also known as the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional office.
The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the Commission on Administrative Justice Act 2011 under Article 59 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya as a successor to the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission (KNHREC) and the Public Complaints Standing Committee.
It is mandated to address all forms of maladministration, promote good governance and efficient public service delivery by enforcing the right to fair administrative action. The primary function of the Office of the Ombudsman is to ensure public officers and public institutions respect the sovereignty of the people of Kenya.
Functions Of The Commission on Administrative Justice – Office of the Ombudsman
1. It investigates any conduct in state affairs, or any act or omission in public administration by any state organ, state or public officer in National and County Governments that is alleged or suspected to be prejudicial or improper or is likely to result in any impropriety or prejudice.
2. It investigates complaints of abuse of power, unfair treatment, manifest injustice or unlawful, oppressive, unfair or unresponsive official conduct within the public sector.
3. The office inquires into allegations of maladministration, delay, administrative injustice, discourtesy, incompetence, misbehaviour, inefficiency or ineptitude within the public service.
4. It facilitates the setting up of and builds complaint-handling capacity in the sectors of public service, public offices and state organs.
5. It works with different public institutions to promote alternative dispute resolution methods in the resolution of complaints relating to public administration.
6. It recommends compensation or other appropriate remedies against persons or bodies in question.
7. It provides advisory opinions or proposals on improvement of public administration, including review of legislation, codes of conduct, processes and procedures.
8. The office publishes periodic reports on the status of administrative justice in Kenya.
9. It promotes public awareness of policies and administrative procedures on matters relating to administrative justice.
10. It takes appropriate steps in conjunction with other State organs and Commissions responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights to facilitate the promotion and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual in public administration.
12. It works with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and complementarity in their activities and to establish mechanisms for referrals and collaboration
The Commission on Administrative Justice – Office of the Ombudsman Branches & Contacts
1. Head Office
Location: 2nd Floor, West End Towers Opposite Aga Khan High School off Waiyaki Way – Westlands
Contact: 020 2270000, 0800221349
2. Kisumu Branch
Location: Central Square Building, 2nd Floor, Oginga Odinga Street
Contacts: 0748254529, 0731248906, 0572022810
3. Mombasa Branch
Location: Commission on Administrative Justice | Office of the Ombudsman 2nd floor, North Tower, Mombasa Trade Centre (Ambalal)
Contact: 0731 011116
4. Eldoret Branch
Location: Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Plaza 7th floor, Oloo Street
Contact: 020 8106515
5. Isiolo Branch
Location: County Estate along Kiwanjani Road
Contact: 020 2007671
6. Nyahururu Branch
Location: Next to Laikipia West Constituency Offices
Contact: 020 2210657
7. Garissa Branch
Location: Off Ijara-Lamu Road
Contact: 020 7868338