MPs demand reports on Sh55b airport tender

September 4, 2012 3:29 pm
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The MPs led by Transport committee Chairman David Were also want the PPOA to submit the report of last week’s ruling that directed the Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) to award the tender to the winning bidder/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 4 – A joint parliamentary committee wants the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) to submit a complete report on its investigations concerning the controversial tender of the construction of a new terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The MPs led by Transport committee Chairman David Were also want the PPOA to submit the report of last week’s ruling that directed the Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) to award the tender to the winning bidder, a Chinese firm, by Friday this week.

“We need some detailed information that will help us in the end understand the real controversy in this very important project that Kenyans are eagerly waiting. And remember you must do quickly because we also don’t have much time, “said Were.

The MPs demanded for the report after the PPOA officials led by the Director General Morris Juma told the committee that it discovered there were several tendering conditions which were not followed and cannot be ignored despite its ruling.

“We have already sent a letter of enquiry to KAA concerning some procurement rules which we feel were not followed in this process and we have given them up to 7th September, 2012 to give us their feedback for us to finalise our investigation report,” Juma said.

He said some of the problems that PPOA discovered in its investigations included some members of the KAA evaluation committee not officially appointed despite them participating in the evaluation.

He added that the PPOA also noticed that some of the minutes of the meetings including the opening tender meeting, which was crucial were not signed by all members.

On the issue of cancellation, PPOA insists that the minister and the KAA board did not have the right to cancel the tender especially without consulting the management.

Juma said the reason that the tender was not competitive is not convincing adding that most of the bidders were locked out because they could not meet the required conditions especially the one that required each bidder to propose a financier.

The MPs raised questions as to why the authority was not fully involved in the process from the beginning as it was supposed to be, after it emerged that Transport Permanent Secretary Cyrus Njiru is the one who alerted it to start a pre-evaluation of the project.

However Juma said that Public Procurement Act does not allow the authority to be fully involved in any tender process something he said need to be revised.

He said the Act which started its operation in 2006 need to ensure that the authority participates from the initial award tendering of any public project, to avoid delay and unnecessary scandals in implementation of important projects.

“We believe that a law that has gone through such a period is ripe for review.”Juma said.

The committee which is expected to give its report on Thursday next week on the issue is yet to interrogate officials from the Prime Minister’s office and the Attorney General on Wednesday.

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