By KURIAN MUSA
High Court Judge Joseph Onguto has ordered the Devolution Secretary to ensure the Public Benefit Organization Act 2013 is gazette within two weeks.
Justice Onguto directed CS Mwangi Kiunjuri after the Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance filed a case in court. The Civil organization told the court that the Act would enable the formations, operations and growth of Public Benefits Organisations.
The Act provides for the establishment of regulatory framework within which such organisations can conduct their affairs.
In the application, Trusted Society argued that the Cabinet Secretary’s failure to set a commencement date was illegal. They explained that the Act was passed by Parliament in 2012 and should have been gazetted as required by law.
The CS is on the spot because the Act may be cited as the Public Benefits Organizations Act, 2013 and shall come into operation on such date as the Cabinet Secretary may, by notice in the Gazette.
The PBO Act sets the stage for voluntary self-regulation. This will allow PBOs to determine standards, certifications and adherence to a professional code of conduct.
Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.
The Act if implemented, it shall enhance co-operation between PBO’s, government, private sector, and development partners. It is believed that the new Act will facilitate a constructive and principled collaboration between public benefit organizations, the Government, business, donors and other actors in order to advance public interest.
There was a proposal to amend the Act but the court said on Monday that it was illegal to do so before it is enforced.
The civil society is the greatest beneficiary since the law will generally strengthen civil society, promote social welfare and improve the conditions and quality of life for the people of Kenya.
Public benefit organizations does not include trade union, political party, religious organization, a society within the meaning of the Societies Act, co-operative society, community based organization and micro-finance institution.
However, an international non-governmental organization may register as a public benefit organization.
Once commenced, CS Kiunjuri will be expected to appoint the Public Benefit Organizations Regulatory Authority as will be established under section 34.
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