The Auditor-General has put the Health ministry on the spot over the secretive procurement of Sh7 billion CT scanners via a Chinese loan.
No procurement documents were made available for audit in the quest to establish how Chinese firm, Neusoft Medical Systems, was hired to supply the 37 computer tomography (CT) Scanners, said Mr Edward Ouko.
“Information available indicates that Neusoft Medical Systems was proposed by the government of the Peoples Republic of China as a leading manufacturer of CT scans. Consequently, it was not possible to ascertain whether due diligence and fidelity to the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015 was observed,” Mr Ouko said.
Procurement law demands tenders to be assessed by the evaluation committees of the procuring entity, which recommends to the accounting officer on firms or individuals to tap for purchase of goods in government and parastatals.
The law also allows for direct procurement for sensitive goods like arms or specialised equipment, but demands detail of the contract be provided to National Audit Office.
In the deal, the Kenyan government contributed Sh1.7 billion under the agreement of economic and technical cooperation signed between the China Development Bank and the Treasury, which translates to 20 percent of the total cost.
The Chinese government was to advance Sh7 billion.
Neusoft was to supply, install, and maintain the CT scanners in hospitals identified by the ministry for five years.
The equipment’s were to be installed at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital and 34 facilities in 34 counties.
Questions have been raised over cost of the scanners with each being priced at Sh227 million against quotations of between Sh40-45 million captured in Parliamentary reports.
The ministry defended the unit cost, saying it included construction of new buildings, air conditioners, special thermal film printer, report printer, warranty and spare parts for five years among other components.
Mr Ouko is also doubtful that the government got value for the Sh1 billion spent on the acquisition of 100 portable clinics, which remain stored in government premises in Mombasa for the last four years.