None of the 47 counties followed the set procurement and tender guidelines, a new regulatory report that reveals the missing link in the renewed push to tackle graft shows.
Latest assessment by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) indicates widespread violation of laws that, among other things, require public entities to maintain records, publicise contract awards and submit plans.
About 34 parastatals that were reviewed also failed the compliance test that also measures observance of guidelines such as award of tenders to women and youth.
The report comes at a time Kenya is struggling with a new spate of scandals involving questionable tenders and suppliers that allegedly resulted in the theft of hundreds of millions of shillings by State officials across the board.
“Out of the 30 compliance assessments undertaken for counties, none was fully compliant, only one was partially compliant, 17 were marginally compliant and 12 were non-compliant,” said PPRA board chairman Andrew Musangi. “Out of the 34 State corporations that were assessed during the period, none was fully compliant,” he added.
Investigations and audits suggest that collusion by civil servants and other officials to steal billions of shillings annually is coordinated at a high level. The report comes just a week after Parliament raised concern over failure by State to act on lifestyle audit ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year, leading to the suspension of heads of procurement and accounts in public service and parastatals.
All the suspended officers are still on payroll one year later. Counties and State Corporations have increasingly found themselves in the eye of legal storm over procurement flaws.
Samburu governor Moses Lenolkulal, his Migori counterpart Okoth Obado, Murang’a’s Mwangi wa Iria, Sospeter Ojaamong of Busia and Ferdinand Waititu of Kiambu are some of the county chiefs that have had dramatic arrests over allegations of procurement flaws.
Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) former chief executive David Kimosop was recently forced out of office after claims of procurement regularities hit the Arror dam project.
Last year, the National Cereals and Produce Board’s chief executive Newton Terer was forced to resign amid claims of irregular purchase and sale of subsidised maize and fertiliser.
The PPRA assessment report released yesterday classified Narok County as the only partially compliant entity after it scored 80.3 percent. The rest of the counties, led in that order by Mombasa (75 percent) Kwale (73.2), Meru (70) and 14 others are classified as marginally compliant while Isiolo (22.91) leads 12 others grouped as non-compliant.
Among the State Corporations, National Aids Control Council tops the list of 25 marginally compliant entities with a score of 75 percent while Kakamega Golf Hotel (24 percent), National Museums (30) Kenya National Shipping Line (38) and Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (41.7) are not compliant at all.