, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) have on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting a fair, competitive and sound public procurement environment in Kenya.
The MoU will see the two regulators collaborate when handling anti-competitive behavior in the public procurement sector, including sharing information when conducting inquiries and investigations with a focus on collusive tendering.
The move is intended to deal with cases where suppliers take turns to win contracts by agreeing that only one will submit a bid for a certain contract, with the party abstaining often getting a kickback.
In other arrangements, suppliers submit unreasonably inflated bids for a contract with the intention of securing disqualification to the prearranged advantage of another supplier.
CAK Director General Wangombe Kariuki says prudent and transparent public procurement is central to ensuring that the socioeconomic goals set out in the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030 are achieved.
“Strict adherence to procurement rules is not only the moral thing to do, but will also translate into savings from the procurement budget which the national and county governments can employ to support social utility projects,” he added.
The CAK and the PPRA have also committed to work together to identify and address bottlenecks that restrict entry, investment, and competition in this critical sector, especially for the youth and other vulnerable social groups like SMEs.
“In the next 6 months, the CAK and PPRA will form a joint working committee which will operationalize the MoU we have signed. The committee’s first assignment will be pouring through all major tender documents stored with government entities to seek out any red flags that may point to collusive tendering and thereafter apply the law accordingly,” Kariuki explained.
Maurice Juma, PPRA’s Director-General, said the signing of the MOU has come at an opportune time when the Authority is undergoing transformation.
“The Government is backing PPRA’s efforts to ensure the Authority’s mandate is in tandem with emerging issues in procurement, technological changes and embraces best practices,” he said.
Public procurement of goods and services accounts for approximately 40 percent of the government’s budget.