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
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