, NAIROBI Kenya, Feb 17 – The Cabinet Secretary for Education Jacob Kaimenyi on Monday said the Sh24.6 billion laptop tender awarded to Olive Telecommunications of India will not be halted even after Parliament’s Committee on Education said the winning firm was not an Original Equipment Manufacturer as was specified in the tender rules.
Kaimenyi said all legal requirements were followed while reaching the decision to award the tender.
“We have not received any formal communication from the parliamentary committee on the laptop process,” he said.
“Why should we cancel a process that I have told you we went as per the book as advised by PPOA (Public Oversight Procurement Act) and as per the requirement of the disposal act 2005?”
He was speaking when he launched a taskforce of secondary school fees at his office in Jogoo house.
On February 15, the Education, Science and Technology Committee of the National Assembly said; “We have raised several issues with the ministry and instead of the ministry first answering the questions we had, they have just been going on with the process like nothing has been happening.”
“That is why we are saying our issues that have been raised must be answered before anything is done,” said the committee chairperson Sabina Chege.
MPs Jacob Macharia (Molo) and Michael Munyao (Mbooni) said the company was questioning the choice of the company and the capacity to supply the laptops.
“As members of this committee, what we are saying in simple terms is that if this process has anything to do with the slightest element of corruption, then we must stop this process and save the Kenyan taxpayers their hard earned cash,” Macharia said.
Munyao added: “There is no two way about it and if the ministry should dare make any further steps contrary to the expectations of this committee, which is to halt the process, then we shall execute our powers within the Parliamentary and House Committee to deal with them properly.”
The House team has been probing the tender which was awarded last Monday and has the option of recommending halting of the project and the naming of the Ministry of Education officials who handled the matter.
If they receive the support of the House, the Executive will have three months to comply in regards with the implementation of the project.
The ministry officials could find themselves facing a censure motion.
Two firms Haier and HP which lost the tender have appealed to the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board, a matter likely to take up to a month to conclude.
The laptop project is one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s key pledges which he has vowed to fulfill to Kenyans.