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Counties, parastatals contravene public procurement regulations

Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka

No county government or State corporation has complied fully with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) requirements, a report has revealed.

The procurement compliance report for the period ended March 2019, released yesterday, shows that of the 30 counties audited by PPRA so far, only Narok county was partially compliant.

Narok had a compliance score of 80.3 per cent followed by Mombasa County at 75 per cent and Kwale at 73.2 per cent.  The least compliant county so far is Isiolo at 22.91 per cent followed by Tana River at 28.14 per cent.

Proper records

Counties that emerged top kept proper procurement records and made good attempts to adhere to regulations. A total of 17 counties were found marginally compliant while 12 were found to have flaunted the requiremnts. Results for the remaining 17 counties will be released during the second quarterly report due later this year.

The situation is even worse for State corporations with 25 of the 34 audited found to be marginally compliant while the remaining nine did not adopt the requirements at all.

National Aids Control Council led in compliance at 75 per cent followed by Nyeri Water and Sewerage Company at 69.6 per cent.

The least compliant parastatals are Golf Hotel Kakamega at 24 per cent and the National Museums of Kenya at 30 per cent.

The widespread non-compliance has resulted in an avalanche of cases being lodged at the Faith Waigwa led Tender Review Board, according to PPRA chairman Andrew Musangi.

Speaking when he released the report in Nairobi yesterday, Musangi said common forms of non-compliance included improper maintenance of procurement records, failure to submit contract plans and the refusal to allow losing bidders time to appeal award decisions. Others included price inflation and failure to apply proper tender evaluation criteria.

Musangi warned procurement officers against engaging in corruption saying the sector was prone to the vice and accounted for a large portion of graft in the country.

Partner institutions

He warned that willful misconduct in public procurement would not be tolerated and perpetrators of such would be prosecuted.

“ To fight corruption in public procurement systems, the Authority is collaborating with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, The Directorate of Criminal Investigations, The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Office of the Attorney General under the Multi-Agency Taskforce Team, that was established in November 2015,” said Musangi.

“The authority has also partnered with other institutions like the Competition Authority of Kenya, and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance to root out bad competition practices that distort procurement prices,” he added.

Musangi said that soon procurement officers will be required to adhere to a Market Price Index the regulatory authority was developing, failure to which an entire tendering process could nullified. The compliance rating looked at how well the procurement entity adheres to Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Law.

The regulatory authority was established by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 and is mandated to monitor, assess and review the public procurement and Asset Disposal system to ensure they respect National values and other provisions. 

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