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What gaps need to be filled to make the eCitizen self-service portal more efficient?

The State has little control over the e-Citizen self-service and payment portal, Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has said, warning that this could compromise accountability of the billions of shillings processed through the platform. Collections through the platform average Sh350 million daily, up from Sh50 million in the financial year ending June 2023. More than 19,000 public services are available on e-Citizen, of which 15,440 have been fully on-boarded.

According to the OAG Report 2023, there are several findings on e-citizen some of which I have highlighted below:

1. The completeness and accuracy of the receivers of revenue receipts amounting to Kshs.15,570,013,245 could not be confirmed.

2. The completeness and accuracy of the bank balances of Kshs.611,179,132 could not be confirmed.

3. The completeness and accuracy of the prior year’s balances of Kshs.146,426,357 could not be confirmed.

4. The adequacy and effectiveness of the current IT controls on E-Citizen may not guarantee the integrity of the data processed through the system.

5. The adequacy of internal controls over reconciliations and settlements through the E-Citizen Government Digital Payments Platform could not be confirmed.

6. The governance arrangements in support of the E-Citizen platform could not be confirmed.

7. Users may not have any rules and procedures to follow to minimize the risk of errors, fraud and the loss of data confidentiality, integrity and availability.

8. The Office is undertaking a special E-Citizen Government Digital Platform audit whose outcome is not yet out.

9. The outcome of the out-of-court negotiation between the Treasury and the vendor was not disclosed at the time of the audit.

10. The Management has not resolved the issues raised in the previous year’s Report on Revenue Statements nor explained the failure to resolve them.

The continued use and integration of services on e-citizen has made the portal one of such national importance. Yet, at a policy and institutional level, there seem to be some glaring gaps. I do hope the governance of e-citizen is one of the issues that has been tackled by the task force reviewing the ICT policy and legal framework.

Read more: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/economy/state-has-little-control-over-e-citizen-portal-auditor-general–4533020

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