NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has emphasised the need for county governments to get rid of bottlenecks in their operations to enhance efficiency in service delivery.
Speaking at the devolution conference in Kwale, Mutua underscored the need to simplify procurement processes, while emphasising scrutiny to avoid losses.
He gave the example of what he has done in Machakos and stated that simplicity and focus on assisting Kenyans is the best way of cutting down costs.
“Cabinet Secretary (Henry) Rotich actually gazetted new rules and regulations. From the time you advertise to the time you award a tender, it is only 35 days. And if the companies are pre-qualified, it is only 14 days and that is what we do in Machakos. We just follow the regulations the way they are,” he enumerated.
“Costs in Kenya are very high because our procurement system keeps things at what you call the lowest bidder. What I would advocate and push for is for us to have a system where you have a reserve price like what we have in Machakos,” he stated.
He explained that when county authorities set a reserve price, it stipulated their budget and how much they are going to tender for.
He indicated that if anyone is above the budget line, then they are not going to be considered.
“When we set our budget for ambulances, out of the 69 locations, we decided that we needed an ambulance in every location. So we decided that we may need more than one in Machakos so we said let’s get seventy ambulances. The budget was put at Sh140 million so that means you only have an ambulance for Sh2 million,” he revealed.
“So we said let us do an open tender. We did an open tender and today we have fully equipped ambulances in Machakos for Sh1.7 million,” he stated.
He stated that a similar process can be followed with procedures within the National Government.
“There is this big debate why the National Government was not (represented) here. I want to give you a technique that we employ in Machakos,” he stated.
“We keep it very simple. I want to propose to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government and also to all Governors and Members of the County Assembly, a very simple system that we use. We say these are your things, these are our things and these are the fundamentals,” he said while making reference to Ken wa Maria’s popular song.
He further stressed the need for leaders to avoid wrangles and focus on serving Kenyans.
“A lot of these problems we are seeing in the counties happening where we are not able to push things completely and there are all these wrangling that are raising costs and are not doing us any good at all,” he stated.
“If we can put aside the political wrangling and concentrate more on development for a while, I think we are going to achieve much and we are going to go very far quickly.”
He emphasised the need for leaders to break the cycle of political wrangling and poor performance and focus on helping Kenyans.