State counsels at all levels and across functional departments have been implored to demonstrate satisfactory expertise while discharging their duties. The Attorney General (AG) Prof. Githu Muigai, while addressing the counsels at a colloquium at the Kenya School of Government, emphasized that integrity in service delivery will reduce risks that are associated with the provision of legal advisory services or in representing government in court proceedings. “You must operate with professional efficacy and ethics and provide value in service,” said Prof. Muigai.
The AG told the colloquium that the theme ‘Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice: Delivery as One for Effective and Efficient Service Delivery’, was chosen deliberately in relation to achieving seamless service provision to the government and people of Kenya. The objective of the theme is to bring together officers across all functions to provide strategic direction for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and to identify and implement policies aimed at strengthening the offices for operational and functional efficiency. Prof. Muigai disclosed that the theme was borrowed from the ‘United Nations Delivery as One Initiative.’
He informed the state counsels of their critical role in pursuit of ensuring smooth operations to the government and people of Kenya; the counsels are critical actors in the country’s transformative economic development agenda besides ensuring that best interests are identified, negotiated, defended and preserved.
“My expectations of the level and quality of duty by state counsels, whether at the headquarters, regional offices and within Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), have heightened considerably, as have the demands of our client ministries and the public,” he noted.
State counsels, whose duty is to provide legal services to the public, were further advised to be expeditious and accurate when handling transactions. This, according to the AG, is because clients want their matters to be dealt with fairly, efficiently and transparently. Prof Muigai noted that all departments need to review their business or operational processes to ensure that they meet the needs of clients while not compromising on professionalism and roles as legal advisors.
In his part, the Solicitor General, Mr. Njee Muturi, encouraged the state counsels to uphold commitment to the highest possible standards of service delivery to the government and citizenry and to provide professional, customer–focused and responsive services to clients. KSG Director General, Dr. Ludeki Chweya, asked the advocates to endeavour to be decent officers. “Most importantly, perform your duties with finesse,” Dr. Chweya said, further challenging them to reach out to the many Kenyans who suffer injustices yet they do not get to know what do do about it. He reminded them that it is their duty to listen and assist such Kenyans who are in need.
Also in attendance were Mr. Charles Nyachae, former Chairperson, Commission on Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), and Mr. Joash Dache, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Law Reform Commission.
By Ruth Wanjiru