Common Breaches of Procurement Rules and Regulations

IEBC showing equipment at a trade fair. Photo: IEBC
IEBC showing equipment at a trade fair. Photo: IEBC

Procurement related corruption is common in Kenya. The most serious scandals that have ever happened in Kenya involve procurement. Examples include the Anglo-Leasing Scandal, NHIF Civil Servants Medical Cover Scheme, IEBC BVR Kits, NSSF Tassia Estate and Standard Gauge Railway Scandal.

The Auditor General (OAG) of Kenya often points out a number of breaches relating to procurement by counties that journalists should look out for (ext. link to 2013/14 reports page). It is worth looking at the reports themselves.

The most common Breaches of Procurement Rules

In the following list of breaches of procurement rules we have cited an example for many: Breaches that are mentioned in the mombasa-county-executive-OAG-report-2013-14 (pdf, internal) – ext. source.

The breaches include;
  • Suspected rigging of tenders (like in paragraph 1.3 of the Mombasa OAG report)
  • Use of single sourcing or request for quotation methods (see 1.2 of the OAG Mombasa report) without plausible justification
  • Tender-splitting: this involves splitting a tender involving huge amounts of money to make it low value tender and avoid meeting the requirements of the Law (Sec. 54 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act)
  • Improper constitution of tender committees e.g. not meeting quorum requirements, having ‘wrong members’ sitting in committees, (for the constitution of tender committees see COUNTY GOVERNMENTS PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS 2013
  • Over-pricing or under-pricing – Over-pricing is the most common. Three recent examples suffice: the high court recently stopped a 24.6BN Laptop tender award because it was Kes. 1.4Bn above what the winning bidder requested; 63.5Bn JKIA Terminal tendering was inflated by 9.5BN and the Standard Gauge Railway was inflated from 220Bn to 327Bn. (see also 1.3 of the OAG Mombasa report)
  • Improper documentation (e.g. see 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5 of the OAG Mombasa report)
  • Undeclared conflicts of interest (here for the offence)
  • Unclear tendering documents e.g. not having clear and or all details in tender advertisements
  • Payments to suppliers that were not prequalified (see 1.1 and 1.6 of the OAG Mombasa report) – For Prequalifikation see Sec. 93 and 94 of the Act