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OPERATIONS TO CURB THE MISUSE OF GOVERNMENT VEHICLES VICE ENHANCED.

Are you aware that the Government Vehicle Check Unit (GVCU), is a Unit within the Traffic Department of the Kenya Police Service mandated to curb the misuse of government vehicles in the Country?

Government vehicles assigned to officers serving in government Ministries, National Police Service, Parastatal bodies, County Governments, public schools and colleges in Kenya are under surveillance by the Check Unit to ensure prudent use.

Movement of any government vehicle must therefore be sanctioned by an authorized officer who must sign the work ticket specifying place of origin and destination of a GK vehicle at any given time that the vehicle shall be deployed.

The GVCU, established in 1967 at the Police Headquarters to curb the misuse of only Police vehicles, did extremely well necessitating its expansion to cover all government vehicles in 1987.

The Check Unit has since gained both friends and foes in equal measure after its mandate expanded to cover all government institutions and departments that have been allocated government vehicles.

The objectives of the Check Unit include the following:

  1. ensure and facilitate the GK vehicle service into serving the public as intended by the Government
  2. ensure that all government vehicles are used for government work and purposes only
  3. safeguard against misuse of government vehicles
  4. enforce traffic rules in respect of government vehicles
  5. generate government revenue through surcharges
  6. equip drivers and transport officers with knowledge pertaining to traffic laws, road safety and government procedures.

Transport sections within Ministries and government departments, parastatals and other government institutions have equally established guidelines to ensure proper management of government vehicles where officers and drivers are advised to adhere to regulation code section K10 (Transport)

To ensure the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of the vehicles, a driver of the GK vehicle must have the following

  1. valid driving licence
  2. suitability test certificate
  3. certificate of good conduct
  4. drive only the class of motor vehicle endorsed in the driving licence and any officer who authorises use of government vehicle by a driver with no valid driving licence will be held responsible for any peculiar loss in case of any eventuality 

It is equally important to note that Government Parastatal vehicles are expected to be driven by official and established drivers only; except where a written authority/ letter from the Principal Secretary for such an officer who must fulfil conditions to drive.

Drivers of Government vehicles are therefore expected to set high standards at all times and should avoid drunk driving, smoking and talking on mobile while driving,

Transport work Ticket (GP-26) is mandatory for all Government vehicles and authorized officers are expected to clearly indicate authorized route.

To prevent misuse of Government Vehicles, accounting officers have formulated a number of policy guidelines to ensure prudent use of such vehicles. The policies range from who should authorize movement of the vehicles to how to deal with defects detected and where to indicate them.

Equally, when a government vehicle is used for private purpose for example ferrying non civil servants, the driver and authorizing officer must acquaint and adhere to regulations governing such venture to avoid falling into the wrong hand of the law.

For proper  monitoring of the use of Government vehicles, Ministries and heads of departments are expected to submit monthly returns of all GK vehicles under their charge to the accounting office-Principal Secretary giving information on the following areas;

  1. motor vehicle particulars
  2. distance covered during the month
  3. amount of fuel/oil used
  4. details and costs of repairs
  5. details of grounded vehicles and reasons
  6. any other relevant information regarding the GK vehicle

According to the Code of Regulations revised in in 2006, misuse of Government vehicles may lead;

  1. Surcharge
  2. Pre-mature retirement
  • Dismissal from service
  1. Withdrawal of the vehicle from the Ministry/Parastatal

As regards accidents involving GK vehicles, all government officers and drivers in charge of such vehicles must acquaint themselves with the provisions of the traffic Act Cap 403, Laws of Kenya.

Below is a summary of work ticket irregularities;

  1. Previous work ticket number not reflected
  2. Registration number not indicated
  3. Make of the vehicle not reflected
  4. Ministry/Department/Unit not indicated
  5. Station not indicated
  6. Name of the driver/personal numbers missing
  7. Name of authorizing officer/personal number/specimen signature not reflected
  8. No date/time out/time in indicated
  9. Speedometer reading at the beginning and end journey not indicated
  10. Previous journey kilometres covered not calculated and indicated
  11. Motor vehicle off authorised route
  12. Officer driver driving himself without authority from PS
  13. Advance authorization of the journey
  14. Operating on weekends

The work ticket should also indicate

  1. Motor vehicle defective parts i.e. speedometer, side mirror, lights, screens, stickers etc.
  2. Motor vehicle fitted with won out tyres, seatbelts etc. and

It should be noted that failure to act on reported   motor vehicle defect(s) will equally attract surcharge. Towing of a civilian vehicle using a GK vehicle is prohibited.

Surcharge rates for Misuse of Government, state Corporations, Independent Commissions and County Government vehicles have been reviewed. Therefore, both public and civil servants must be acquainted with them to avoid misuse of vehicles allocated to them.

The GVCU also mounts frequent trainings for GK drivers and sometimes responsible transport officers to ensure prudent use of government vehicles at their disposal.

Head of the GVCU Mr Perminus Kioi says the unit has laid down stringent measures to curb the misuse in all parts of the country.

Proper record keeping coupled with fast and effective communication to and from his office during operation, has enabled the team to urgently respond to cases of interest before being influenced. Cases of interest revolve around senior government and parastatal officials who sometimes find themselves on the wrong footing and before they know it, the head of the Unit is alerted. “By the time an affected senior government official calls me for lenience; I will have processed and dispensed with the case. Here, I only ask the affected officer to comply and pay the surcharge, which they readily comply”, Mr. Kioi exudes confidence.

Out of 2,093 detected cases of misuse of Government vehicles, 1,029 cases have been able to pay a total of 9,360,848 as surcharge fee since May this year while 1,064 cases are yet to pay before

With the good will from the Head of Traffic Mr. Samuel Kimaru the Deputy Inspector General Kenya Police Mr. Edward Mbugua and the Inspector General of Police Mr. Hilary Mutyambai, GVCU is determined to drastically control  the misuse of all Government vehicle.

He says, any complaint against the GVCU officers involved in corruption or any form of misbehaviour is reported and punitive measures taken against those found culpable.

Vehicles which have not been fully paid for as required are impounded and taken to the nearest police station and released only after surcharge rates have been paid. And if impounded vehicles continue staying in a police station over a certain specified period, the head of Public Service is provided with the information and the said vehicles confiscated and taken elsewhere for public service.

Before the GVCU officers are dispatched to various parts of the country, respective regional, County, sub county and traffic officers are informed for the exercise to run smoothly.

Mr Kioi says, it is important to note that GVCU officers do not inspect PSV and private vehicles whatsoever because it is out of their jurisdiction. He appeals for concerted efforts between the police and members of the public to use the HOTLINE NUMBER 0736875136 to report any form of misuse of Government vehicles so that urgent action could be taken.   

END.

  

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