, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 -The National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security has recommended that the House approves the Integrated Public Safety Communication and Surveillance System for the National Police Service awarded to Safaricom.
Committee Asman Kamama submitted recommendations to the House on Thursday following a probe which was meant to determine whether due process was followed in the procurement process as well as whether the telecommunication company has the capacity to handle the project.
The House team concluded that the procurement process for the Sh14.9 billion project “was above board and all necessary stakeholders were consulted.”
If the National Assembly approves the report then the Executive can go ahead with the signing of the contract to Safaricom.
Kamama’s committee has defended the use of direct procurement for the project, arguing that “it was necessitated by the urgency of the need to sort out the security challenges in the country.”
“The committee did not find any ulterior motive on the choice of Safaricom to implement the project, either noting that given the urgency and the precarious security situation in the country, Safaricom was the most appropriate entity to implement the project.” read the report recommendations in part.
During its probe, the 29-member House team received presentations from Cabinet Secretaries Joseph ole Lenku (Interior and Coordination of National Government), Fred Matiang’i (Information, Communication and Technology), the Inspector General of Police and the National Intelligence Service.
Lenku told the committee that the procurement was necessitated by the need to replace the current system which he largely contributed to the security challenges facing the country.
The Interior Cabinet Secretary and Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore had assured the House team that the network to be used in the system will be independent of Safaricom’s commercial network.
The committee however noted that the system would however share passive infrastructure such as Base System Masts with the commercial network.
The proposed project which will initially cover Nairobi and Mombasa Counties is valued at Sh14.9 billion over a five-year repayment period. The cost is to cater for the purchase of the equipment, its installation and networking to link it to the central command centre.
The report details the cost breakdown as Sh12.7 billion for building the system and Sh2.2 billion for maintenance support over the five-year period.
The technical committee said Safaricom was chosen due to its ability to provide the specification of the system in a timely manner and due to its wide network coverage in the country.
The Public Procurement Oversight Authority and Communication Authority of Kenya which also appeared before the committee okayed the procurement method used, saying the Lenku’s ministry had met the threshold for direct procurement as provided for by the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
The 29-member team has further recommended that “the project should be expanded to cover the rest of the country as soon as is practically possible.”