NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 4 – ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Friday talked tough on tender losers who drag the government through lengthy litigation, as he announced that the government has for the third time commenced the process of securing suppliers for the primary school laptop project.
Matiang’i said the government would no longer tolerate the “abuse” of court redress that wound up delaying the implementation of government projects – the laptop project being a case in point.
“A lot of time has been wasted by people who are described as ‘tenderpreneurs’, briefcase carriers who are hovering around wasting everyone’s time because of interests other than ensuring government work goes forward. So what we will do is have them barred from doing business in our country. They can go and run rackets elsewhere and waste other people’s time,” he threatened.
In a bid to ensure the laptop project is third time lucky, Matiang’i said the ICT Ministry and that of Education were consulting closely with the Attorney General’s office to guard against procurement related suits.
“Today we have officially released the Expression Of Interest (EOI) for various devices for the programme. Our asks in the EOI are teachers’ learning devices, learners’ digital devices and projectors and routers,” he announced.
An EOI is sought to shortlist potential suppliers from whom bids are then sought.
Matiang’i said the government was looking for suppliers who would create local assembly lines for the end user devices; thus creating the added benefits of employment for the citizenry and skills development.
The High Court in September of 2014 directed that the Ministry of Education should conduct a fresh tendering exercise after a bid loser moved to court challenging its award to a competitor.
It was the second time the Ministry of Education had undertaken the exercise after the initial bids went way over budget and the decision was made to cut out middlemen.
In its manifesto, the Jubilee Government pledged to provide all class one pupils in public schools with a laptop within a hundred days of taking office.