Probe on Sh12bn police vehicles tender row begins
Parliament is investigating wrangles involving a Sh12.5 billion procurement tender for leasing National Police Service vehicles, a crisis that threatens to ground police operations.
Mid this year, the Ministry of Interior tendered for leasing 1,290 police vehicles, but the process has been stopped by the High Court after a protracted legal battle.
Following a request for a statement by Endebess MP Robert Pukose, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi directed that the Finance and National Planning Committee investigate the procurement, which is shrouded in secrecy and irregularities, and table a report within 21 days.
Dr Pukose claims that the unwarranted haste to award the tender by mandarins in government seems to favour a specific bid that may have been pre-identified. He wants the committee, chaired by Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo, to establish whether the new bidders were called by phone to submit bids, leading to an irregular award that took place on October 2, 2019.
“The cancellation and repetition of the procurement process has caused massive inconvenience, leading to unwarranted wastage of manpower and resources that may eventually run into billions of taxpayers’ money,” Dr Pukose said.
The MP wants action taken against government officers found culpable of unprofessionalism and interfering with the tender process.
Since 2013, the government has been leasing vehicles for the police, a move it says has saved taxpayers’ money compared with buying new vehicles.
The current tender was to lapse in April 2019, but it was extended to October 15. This means there is just less than five days to resolve the issue.
On September 30, High Court Judge John Mativo stopped the Interior ministry from concluding the process of leasing vehicles from local assemblers after CMC Motors Group Ltd filed a petition.
But despite the order, the Ministry went ahead and advertised a new tender.
Dr Pukose said the apparent manipulation of the procurement process by State agencies exemplified by defying decisions of the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board, the High Court and other instances of blatant disregard of procurement procedures must be stopped.