The Information Communication Technology Practitioners Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 38 of 2020) seeks to establish a legal framework for the training, registration, licensing, practice and standards of Information, Communication Technology (ICT) professionals in Kenya.
The Bill sponsored by the Hon. Godfrey Osotsi, M. P, was published on 17th November, 2020 and was read for the first time on 22nd December and subsequently referred to the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation for review and report to the House.The Committee considered the Bill and laid the Report in Parliament.
Features of the Bill
- The Bill establishes an Information Communication Technology Practitioners Institute that will be governed by a Council.
- It contains provisions relating to the registration of ICT Practitioners. This includes the requirements, maintaining of a register and the manner in which alterations may be made to that register.
- Contains provisions relating to the licensing of ICT Practitioners. This includes the issuance of practicing licenses and the duration of those licenses.
- It has enforcement provisions that provide for professional misconduct, disciplinary proceedings by the Council against an errant practitioner, removal, suspension or cancellation of a member and the effect thereof and the various offences relating to different matters in the Bill.
- It contains financial provisions and defines sources of funds of the Institute, its annual estimates and auditing of the accounts.
The Committee held Public Participation and received seven (7) memoranda from the Communications Authority of Kenya, Service Management & Artificial Intelligence at Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the Technology Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) among others.
The Committee’s Recommendations
The Committee recommended that the House approve the Bill with amendments. Some of the Committee’s recommendations to the Bill were as follows:
- The Committee recognizes that professional qualifications in ICT are offered by various examinational bodies both nationally and globally such as the Certified Information Technologists and Certified Information Systems Solutions Expert (CISSE) offered by KASNEB.
- The Committee recommends that the registration of an ICT Practitioner be voluntary. Therefore, recommended the deletion of the clause that provided for the offences by unregistered or unlicensed persons.
- On the registration of ICT Practitioners, the Bill notes that a person shall be eligible for registration if the person is a holder of at least a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering, mathematics or physics and has at least one-year post qualification experience in the ICT Field. The Committee recommended lowering requirements in order not to lock out the ICT Practitioners and further provided for the voluntary registration of an ICT Practitioner.
Following the tabling of the Report, the Bill will come up for Second Reading at the National Assembly, where the Members of Parliament will debate on the bill.