Dr. Katherine W. Getao has been appointed as the CEO of the ICT Authority in Kenya taking over from acting CEO John Sergon, a former director of ICT in the ICT Ministry which was established in 2013 by act of parliament.
The ICTA has been marred by a series of corruption scandals and the no nonsense Dr. Getao is expected to clean up the mess which John Sergon and Robert Mugo, the former acting CEO brought to light. ICT Authority used to be one of the governments best performing agencies showcasing innovations and lobbying for policies that enhanced the development of ICT services in the country but things started going south with lack of proper leadership. In August 2017, there were reports of a well-orchestrated theft of more than Sh160 million at the ICT Authority in a scheme involving at least four senior managers and two banks.
A year later, the Auditor-General Edward Ouko said the authority recorded a Sh2.41 billion loss with liabilities of Sh1.6 billion exceeding its Sh386 million assets. Most of the monies were lost in fraudulent projects and per diem to senior officers at the agency. Just recently, Lugari Member of Parliament Ayub Savula, ex-ICT Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere and former Director of Government Advertising Agency (GAA), Dennis Chebitwey were arrested over an advertising scandal that cost the tax payer Sh2.5 billion. The three were among 23 individuals and five companies believed to have siphoned money from the ministry of ICT.
Dr. Getao was the ICT Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology and between 2014 and 2017, was an active member of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts in cybersecurity. From 2010 to 2013 Katherine led the eGovernment Directorate in the Presidency, providing strategic advice to the Government of Kenya and overseeing the ICT operations of the government. Katherine prioritized the use of ICTs to deliver public services to all Kenyans and the achievement of Vision 2030 through improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government services. Katherine led the design phase of the Huduma Kenya Initiative which has transformed the way citizens access Government services.
In a Gazette Notice issued yesterday, the Joe Mucheru, the CS Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology announced, ” The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Technology appoints KATHERINE GETAO (DR.) to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Information and Communications Technology Authority, for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 11th October, 2018.”