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About the PBO Act

The PBO ACT 2013 is a new ACT to provide for the formations, operations and growth of Public Benefits Organisations (PBOs); to establish a regulatory and institutional framework within which Public Benefits Organisations can conduct their affairs and for such other connected purposes.

Goal

The Goal of the Public Benefit Organisations Act 2013 is to advance a new legal, regulatory and institutional framework for Public Benefit  Organisations (PBOs) in Kenya.

Objectives

  1. To facilitate the formation and growth of public benefit organisations (PBOs) in order to generally strengthen civil society, promote social welfare and improve the conditions and quality of life for the people of Kenya;
  2. To encourage public benefit organisations to maintain high standards of governance and management through effective self-regulation;
  3. To establish an effective regulatory and institutional framework for PBOs;
  4. To promote compliance by public benefit organisations with their legal and statutory obligations;
  5. To promote a spirit of co-operation and shared responsibility within government and among donors and other interested persons in their dealings with public benefit organisations.

Principles

  1. Strong Public Benefits Organisations Sector promoting social welfare and improving the conditions and quality of life for the people of Kenya;
  2. Adherence to and promotion of the values of the constitution of Kenya within the Public Benefits Organisations Sector;
  3. High standards of governance, transparency and accountability by Public Benefit Organisations;
  4. Enhance co-operation between PBOs, Government, Private Sectors and Development Partners;
  5. Statutory and legal compliance by Public Benefit Organisations.

Key Highlights of the PBO Act

  • Protection of the freedom of association: The ACT is in line with the Spirit of Article 36 of the constitution which guarantees the freedom of association, which includes the right to form, join or participate in the activities of an association of any kind. The implementation of the Public Benefits Organisations (PBO) Act will effectively contribute towards realization of these rights;
  • Basis for the existence of a variety of types of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): It allows different types and forms of CSOs doing pubic benefit work to operate under one single Act - the Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) Act; 
  • Framework for collaboration between Government and PBOsSection 67 of the Act provides an institutional framework for principled partnership between Government and PBOs including at all levels; 
  • Voluntary Self-regulation by PBOs: Allows the Public Benefit Organisations to determine standards, certifications and adherence to professional code of conduct; 
  • Complaints and Redress Mechanism: Part V provides for the establishment of an independent Disputes Tribunal; 
  • Good Governance, Transparency and Accountability of PBOsPrescribes minimum provisions to be included in the governing documents of Public Benefit Organisations. The Act also provides for financial transparency and reporting by PBOs;
  • Leadership and Integrity: It advances and demands good leadership and accountability from PBOs and the Regulator in line with the spirit of Chapter Six of the new constitution on Leadership and Integrity;
  • Establishment of an Independent Registration and Regulation agency: Sections 34-36 of the PBO Act outlines a rigorous process for the selection of members of the governing body of the PBO Regulatory Authority in line with the provisions of the constitution.
  • Definition of Public Benefit Organisation;” Section 5 of the PBO Act defines a PBO as “a voluntary membership or non-membership group of individuals or organisations, which is autonomous, non partisan, non profit making engaged in public benefit activities”