The State Department of Devolution has developed draft Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations. The regulations once finalized will guide in amicable settlement of disputes that arise between the two levels of governments and between various institutions within the counties without necessarily seeking judicial intervention.
In the past, disputes between the two levels of government, between counties and between County governments and county Assemblies, has led to a lot of acrimony between the warring parties and has sometimes led to disruption in the delivery of services to citizens.
In addition, we have witnessed enormous resources being spent to either institute and or defend judicial proceedings against each other. Such proceedings are not only against the spirit of the Constitution in managing disputes, but also lead to wasteful use of the scarce public resources.
These are some of the challenges that have been encountered in the last five years of devolution in the country, some of which require legislative interventions as a means of achieving permanent solutions.
To address this concern in fulfilment of its mandate and in line with section 38 of the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012, the Ministry of Devolution embarked on the preparation of the draft alternative dispute resolution regulations in order to provide a road map that will ensure all intergovernmental disputes are settled amicably and only resort to judicial process when such mechanisms are exhausted.
It is hoped that this approach will enhance the relationship not only between the two levels of government but also between County Governments and the various players and institutions within the counties.
The development of the draft ADR regulations was done in a consultative process was spearheaded by the State Department of Devolution, Council of Governors, The Attorney General’s Office and the Kenya Law Reform Commission. Views from stakeholders were sought and incorporated.
The Ministry then carried out validation of the Draft Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) Regulations between February and March this year. Participants during the validation process were drawn from a wide range of representation including the Judiciary, Legislature (Members of the Senate and National Assembly Committees on Delegated Legislation Committees and the Finance and Planning Committee of the National Assembly), Government Ministries and Independent Commissions, County Government and Assemblies and Elders. The validation meetings were held in Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Nairobi and Mombasa.
The task force is currently analyzing the views received from the validation process to see how they can be incorporated to improve on the draft. Once this process is complete, the Draft ADR Regulations will be shared with the relevant stakeholders. It is hoped that the regulations will be in place by June 2018.