Mombasa, Kenya – Residents of Mombasa are advocating for the decentralization of Government Press services to regional headquarters or counties to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. This call was made during a public participation exercise held by the Presidential taskforce on the modernization and transformation of the Government Press at the Mama Ngina Water Front hall.
According to Kenya News Agency, the government aims to modernize and transform the Government Press into an efficient, high-performance entity capable of meeting government printing and publishing needs while also exploring commercial opportunities. The estimated Sh18 billion implementation plan involves a joint venture with a global security entity for high-end security printing. The framework is built on five pillars: a clear statutory foundation, customer satisfaction, diversified products and services, a strong organizational foundation, and a capable, motivated workforce.
Shahid Abdallah, a village elder, suggested that regionalizing services would reduce costs for citizens from distant counties like Tana River and Lamu. He believes that decentralization would address delays in issuing documents like birth notifications, birth certificates, and passports. Residents also expressed concerns about the security of their details and the costs associated with obtaining documents once new machines are introduced.
Irene Randu, a resident of Kisauni, questioned the safeguards against private printers mishandling documents. Hassan Mohamed, an Old Town Village Elder, emphasized the importance of timely delivery of documents as per service charters. The Government Press plans to handle 60% of printing and publishing works, with the remaining 40% sourced through Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs).
Collins Kiprono, a member of the Taskforce Technical Committee, stated that their focus is on changing document production infrastructure, improving staff working conditions, and establishing legislative support for the Government Printer. He acknowledged the majority of residents’ requests for decentralization and mentioned that these recommendations would be presented to the President for consideration.