Buck stops with Wambora, says Auditor General

February 12, 2014 3:08 pm
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Edward Ouko stated that two firms which were awarded contracts of Sh3 million and Sh12.8 million respectively were not among those registered within the regulations of the Public Procurements Act/FILE
Edward Ouko stated that two firms which were awarded contracts of Sh3 million and Sh12.8 million respectively were not among those registered within the regulations of the Public Procurements Act/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12 – Embu Governor Martin Wambora and his deputy Dorothy Nditi should ultimately be held accountable for flouting of tender procedures according to the Auditor General, who appeared before the Senate committee investigating their impeachment.

Edward Ouko stated that two firms which were awarded contracts of Sh3 million and Sh12.8 million respectively were not among those registered within the regulations of the Public Procurements Act.

He also indicated that there was favouritism in awarding tenders and lack of proper technical evaluation, although Wambora has denied the allegations.

“In the context of procurement of goods, works and services, two contracts for the construction of conference hall and the partitioning of an office at the Embu Town Hall and the refurbishment of the probation office block at a cost of Sh3 million and Sh12.8 million respectively were awarded to two contractors by the Embu County Tender Committee. We noticed some irregularities,” he stated.

Ouko further pointed out that the firm awarded contracts for the construction of the conference hall and partitioning of the Embu Town Hall was not among those registered by the Ministry of Public Works as evidenced by the letter of the Public Works which is cited in the report.

“The firms awarded the contracts for the constructions were not registered by the Ministry. Conditions set out under Section 73 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 on restricted tendering were not met hence no evidence was produced to us to support the restricted tendering,” he outlined.

He explained that there were also unwarranted disqualifications of interested bidders whereby two of them were disqualified for not being tax compliant although this particular qualification was not communicated to the prospective bidders.

“We sensed that there was favouritism in consideration during the evaluation process where different criteria were used. For instance under the tender for the constriction of conference room and the partitioning the offices of Embu hall for Sh3 million, the condition for responsiveness used included submission of tax compliance certificate whereas in the others, it was not there,” he said.

“The firms awarded the contracts for the constructions were not registered by the Ministry. Conditions set out under Section 73 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005 on restricted tendering were not met hence no evidence was produced to us to support the restricted tendering,” he outlined.

“Under the tender of the refurbishment of Embu Probation office and re-roofing of the town hall and improvement of existing areas at a cost of Sh22 million, tax compliance was not considered but instead, only deviation from the engineers’ estimate of 10 percent was the only condition. So there were inconstancies in the tendering process.”

He further observed that there was a sub contractor who did works of electrical installation valued at Sh2.4 million yet the contractor was not registered.

According to the Auditor General, the Governor was ultimately responsible for all the decisions made in running the county government affairs.

“28th (of February 2013) was a Thursday, 1st was a Friday and the election was on the 4th so we had the weekend. So technically from the 4th we had now the new Constitution in place and so the accountability from the transitional aspect was on the Governor and the County,” he stated.

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