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Queries after Education ministry gets 10 consultants at Sh252m

OUMA WANZALABy OUMA WANZALA
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The Ministry of Education is on the spot over procurement of 10 consultants at Sh251.64 million for the Schools Improvement Plan (SIP).

SIP, funded by Global Partnership for Education, targets 4,000 schools whose performance was below average for years.

These are schools that attained a mean score of 243 marks and above in the 2012 and 2013 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.

The plan, which has been extended for a year at Sh1.1 billion, is being implemented by the ministry under the supervision of the World Bank.

Its funding was part of the Sh8.8 billion Global Partnership for Education grant to the ministry.

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However, the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said in a report that the disbursement of resources to regions did not appear to be equitable and fair, contrary to Article 201 of the Constitution

“The committee observed that the classification of 10 regions was unclear as there was no standard format or guidelines on the same,” reads the report on the examination of the Auditor-General’s report on financial statements for the national government for financial year 2016/2017.

The committee said the matter remains unresolved.

AUDITOR’S REPORT

Former Auditor-General Edward Ouko observed that the ministry awarded the contract without obtaining prior no-objection from the bank as required by World Bank guidelines on procurement of consultants.

The guidelines stipulate that if less than three firms are shortlisted, the borrower should seek a no-objection from the bank.

“In the circumstances, procurement of the consultants was done contrary to the banks procurement guidelines,” said the Auditor-General.

“The project management was therefore in breach of law and the propriety of expenditure totalling Sh251,637,245 could not be a proper charge to public funds for the year ended June, 30, 2017.”

However, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the consultancy was advertised for the 10 regions and a common criteria derived from the terms of reference.

“It is true that the evaluation report was not availed during the audit. The technical evaluation report for the 10 regions, showing strengths and weakness of bidders, is now available,” he sad.

The committee, however, rejected his argument.