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MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES RETREAT GREAT RIFT VALLEY LODGE, NAIVASHA, 11TH TO 13TH AUGUST

2013 SPEECH BY PROF. JUDI WAKHUNGU, CABINET SECRETARY

I am pleased to be here with you today at this important occasion where we are meeting to chart the way forward for our new revamped Ministry, as well as to get to know each other and to appreciate each others role in this Ministry. As you would be all aware, Executive Order No. 2 of May, 2013 created one Ministry out of four now defunct Ministries. It is, therefore, particularly critical at the outset to change our mindset completely: that is desisting from continuing to cling to our past identities, to that of seeing and believing ourselves as one. indisputable fact. For that is an immutable and This requires us, therefore, to identify ourselves as

one team tasked as per the Executive Order to collectively look after our environment for the sustainable development of our country.

From the presentations and discussions we will engage in the next day and a half, it will become readily apparent that we have a wealth of knowledge and a vast reservoir of experience in our Ministry. All that is required and needed, therefore, is to explore modalities to come up with action- oriented recommendations on ways and means to deliver as one. His Excellency the President, on the swearing-in of the Cabinet Secretaries on 18th May, 2013 stated thus:

Our new constitution clearly stipulates the values and principles that we need to inculcate, these include:Responsive, impartial and equitable provision of services; Accountability for administrative acts; and Transparency and provision of timely and accurate information to the public My vision is the ultimate realization of a highly effective Government whose record will be defined by the quality of public service delivery in terms of accessibility, quality, fairness and timeliness, as well as entrenching the sovereignty of the citizen as our customer.

These are potent words and a powerful message for us all. principles into expected outcomes?

The

challenge for us as a Ministry is, therefore, how do we transform these

Firstly, this necessitates a very clear articulation and appreciation of the role and responsibilities of the Ministry. Secondly, it also requires us to critically review the mandate and functions of each Department, conferred by the President, through Executive Order no. 2 of May, 2013 or by statute and evaluate our service delivery standards. Thirdly, it requires us to respond to these recent developments and emerging demands entailed in discharging the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry. The nature of the response and the direction that this change should take is what we must of necessity take into account. In my view, the direction that this transformation or change must take will be influenced by a number of factors: (1) It will be informed by the views of the Kenyan public and the demands of our clients to see significant improvement in our service delivery; (2) It will be determined by the need to respond to the demands of the Constitution and to take cognizance of the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya in the discharge of our roles and responsibilities of the Ministry;

(3)

It will necessitate an active review of the new laws being enacted, policy and legal regime which undertakes the functions and statutory duties of the Ministry;

(4)

It will be determined by the need to respond to the ongoing institutional reforms, by Government as a whole and as well as the Semi Autonomous Government institutions (SAGAs) and as well as in the private sector;

(5)

More importantly, it will be informed by our collective experience and the ways in which we are ready to craft our service delivery in the face of the high expectations of our clients/ customers and our stakeholders.

The primary objective of this Retreat is, therefore, to provide a forum for us to engage, in a robust and very open manner, in an internal evaluation of how the Ministry currently discharges its roles and responsibilities and in what ways we are already positioning ourselves to respond to challenges and demands on our delivery of services, as presented by the new constitutional framework and the evolving and increasingly complex legal system. This requires a great deal of introspection, which must be both honest and open.

Our aim is to develop a roadmap which determines the most appropriate measures for the Ministry. These should be measures that will appreciate and build on our past experiences, lessons learnt and successes. It will capitalise on our existing capabilities and strengths. These are measures that should take advantage of the opportunities that exist for the Ministry under the new constitutional dispensation. Indeed, the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 has created a unique opportunity to rethink the Ministry and its operations. More crucially, developing our roadmap requires us to identify the challenges and limitations that constrain us in effectively and efficiently discharging our roles and responsibilities, and to determine the appropriate measures to respond effectively to these challenges. We must not only recognise, but also address, our weaknesses. We should try and anticipate any threats and risks that have arisen or may arise in the evolving context and emerging complexities of the organizational reengineering, and consider how to manage these risks and to respond against threats to our Ministry. Our introspection, as this is what we must do, should reflect on various key themes. Permit me to outline some of these again: 1.

Institutional review: Is the current institutional/departmental

structures adequate to meet the demands and expectations with regard to the services that we deliver to the government and to the public? Is

the current institutional structure capable of allowing the Ministry to respond to the requirements of a devolved governance structure as set out under the Constitution and the recent Acts of Parliament? Which of our functions must be devolved? Do we have adequate resources and infrastructure - the office space, equipment and the staff to effectively discharge the role of the Ministry under national and county governments? How we will effectively co-ordinate between headquarters and the county offices to ensure operational efficiency?

2.

Human resource capacity and development: Are our current


How do we re-align our human resources

human resource levels adequate to meet the demands of existing and new roles and functions? requirements to the emerging demands? What should be the optimal levels of staffing? How do we tackle the perennial challenge of attracting, developing and retaining staff with the appropriate competencies and skills?

3.

Operational Efficiency:

Are

our

business

processes

and

procedures efficient and responsive to our clients needs? What do we expect our customer satisfaction surveys tell us in the next one year? Have we reviewed our processes? Have we analyzed the legal and regulatory frameworks that embed these processes, and if they are what impede service delivery, what proposals can we make for their review?

I urge the Directors/Heads of Departments to vigorously deliberate on the key themes that I have outlined. In this way, we will determine and therefore own the reform agenda. The outcome of this Retreat must be a clear internal assessment of what we are doing well, what we are not doing well and must improve on and on what we are not doing yet and must focus on to ensure quality service delivery. During this introspection, we must of necessity locate our discussions within the broader context of our countrys national priorities. The context, whether political, legal, economic or social, is dynamic. We must anchor and align our proposed organizational restructuring to the Nations long-term development strategy as set out in The Constitution of Kenya,

Vision 2030, as well as the Jubilee manifesto.

This Retreat must be an interactive forum for the Directors/Heads of Departments to reflect on and deliberate on recent developments and emerging issues that impact on our delivery of services to Kenyans. I, therefore, look forward to listening to our Directors/Heads of Departments critical analysis of the current situation, your appreciation of the demands ad challenges that we must address and your preliminary reform proposals in relation to your respective mandates and functions.

We will all engage in constructive discussions, whose outcome should be a set of actionable recommendations with a view to developing a robust reform agenda to effectively respond to recent developments, demands
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and identified challenges. We will no doubt have to consider a range of options. Some of the options proposed may require further policy considerations and consultations with the stakeholders. Ultimately, the end product of this institutional re-structuring of the Ministry must be aimed at creating an effective, responsive and efficient Ministry capable of delivering its mandate. This must be based on the Directors/Heads of views and contributions, first and foremost of the stakeholders. By documenting the articulate a strong agenda for

Departments, all members of staff and also those of our diverse range of outcome of this assessment, we can the Ministry and prioritise the

implementation, thereof, in the short, medium and long-term through our subsequent strategic plan. In closing, I wish to encourage you to get to know and appreciate each other; especially outside the confines of the four walls of this conference room. One of the key objectives of this retreat, is to bond so that as we go back to our respective offices we can be able to relate to one another easily and in an open manner. Each one of us has a story to tell; each one of us is a valuable member of our team, because, ultimately, the success of Ministry depends on all of us delivering as one. In conclusion, I would urge you to shed all the shackles and negatives vestiges of the past that may inhibit our service delivery. We have been entrusted by the President and People of Kenya to look after our

Environment and our Natural Resources and to provide that conducive environment that will enable the growth of economy by double digit in a sustainable manner. This is indeed an onerous task. I am confident that we shall be able to do so if we deliver our mandate as one united cohesive team. It is now my great pleasure to declare this retreat officially open. I wish us all fruitful deliberations. I thank you.