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    Kenya gets ombudsman

    President Kibaki has appointed an ombudsman to deal with public complaints.

    Nairobi - The Public Complaints Standing Committee will be chaired by James Simani, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

    The President also appointed Peter Migwi Karing'u, Ms Grace Barbara Ngele Madoka and Ms Nafisa Abdirahman Abass as members of the committee.

    The appointments will run for three years.

    Karing'u and Madoka are advocates of the High Court of Kenya while Abass is a holder of Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

    A Kenya Gazette notice issued later said the committee will have a chairman appointed by the President and a vice-chairman by the committee.

    It shall also have not more that three members appointed by the President following recommendations from Justice Minister. It shall also have a director appointed by the minister and who shall be its secretary.

    The committee is required to promote alternative dispute resolution through mediation.

    It is further mandated to publish quarterly reports on complaints received and action taken. The committee is answerable to the President and could use previous investigation reports in its work.

    The establishment of the public complaints committee is geared towards enhancing good governance, management and administration in public institutions, a statement from the Presidential Press Service said.

    The functions of the committee include receiving, registering, sorting, classifying and documenting all complaints against public officials in ministries, parastatals, statutory bodies and other public institutions, it added.

    In some jurisdictions, including West Australian State, the ombudsman is referred to as the "Parliamentary Commissioner".

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