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[June 25, 2014]
City Hall sets aside Sh400m for new automated data unit in war on fraud [Business Daily (Kenya)]
(Business Daily (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nairobi will spend Sh400 million to set up a data centre and end manual operations that have been blamed for fraudulent dealings and ghost workers.
City Hall expects the data unit to be ready next year and plans to float a tender in August that will lead to the development of a county management system, which will integrate all its operations.
The software development is expected to be complete by December 2015.
The e-payment service recently unveiled, the clearing of ghost workers and access to county documents will all fall under this new integrated system.
"It will involve a HR management system so this thing of ghost workers is going to go away completely because everything now will be automated in terms of our human resources," said deputy governor Jonathan Mueke.
This will accelerate the recently started process of cleaning the payroll and weeding out ghost workers. 373 workers were suspended on April 29 following an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers which revealed that City Hall was losing more than Sh100 million every month in salaries paid to more than 2,000 ghost workers.
READ: 2,260 ghost workers found in Nairobi County's payroll The system will closely monitor income and expenses. This is expected to make it more difficult for officers in revenue collection and expenditure to divert money, a practice that is entrenched at City Hall.
The e-payment module that was recently unveiled will be key to ensuring revenues are not lost through false declarations by collecting officers. Also featured will be a customer database as well as a document management system bringing together all files that will be accessible to Nairobi residents through a web portal.
READ: City Hall automates revenue collection to curb theft A business intelligence system will allow the governor, his deputy and other senior staff to collate all available information to assist in making decisions.
All the county facilities (City Hall, City Hall Annexe, City Funeral Home, fire stations, health centres) will be interconnected and provided with a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service to cut on costs.
"It will not only enable us to communicate well but it will bring down our costs significantly. Right now we are paying market rates to make calls between all these facilities," said Mr Mueke.
There will also be a health management system to coordinate the services of the county's 85 healthcare facilities. This will help streamline processes like drug procurement, staff needs based on patient numbers as well as referrals.
"It's a central system that will manage all the aspects of service delivery for the county. It's the single most important project that this county is going to have because it will determine how this county is run for the next few decades," said the deputy governor.
City Hall is not the only body that is turning to technology to improve services.
The Lands ministry, another government entity hit by fraud, has recently turned to technology to beat dishonest officers at their own game and cut the time it takes to provide vital services.
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