NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday said it would publish names of firms awarded tenders for supply of goods and services in last year’s General Election and directors of the respective companies.
Speaking during a monthly Kenya Editors Guild Press Club Luncheon, Commissioner Abdi Guliye said the exercise will be conducted in retrospect, in line with an Executive Order issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 13.
Guliye explained that the Commission had resolved to publish details of tenders awarded in the run-up to last year’s elections despite the fact that the Executive Order was to be implemented prospectively from July 1.
“The reason why we haven’t published anything in our website is because we haven’t procured anything as yet. We’ve nonetheless directed the Acting Chief Executive Officer to proceed and compile the names,” the commissioner in charge of operations said.
“We had a plenary resolution to have beneficiaries of these tenders disclosed,” he added.
Tenders awarded for the delivery of election materials have been at the centre of chaos at the poll agency with questions raised over the same leading to the axing of Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba by Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on Friday last week.
In a brief statement, Chebukati said Chiloba had been found culpable of charges arising from an internal audit concluded in August which audit reviewed 31 contracts signed by the electoral body in the period leading to the August 2017 elections.
According to Chebukati, Chiloba failed to appear before the IEBC’s Disciplinary Committee thus violating human resource and administration policies.
A preliminary audit published in April had found Chiloba at fault for awarding tenders in total disregard of procurement laws and guidelines set by the IEBC plenary.
“The assignment (audit) has established, in some cases, non-adherence to procurement laws, rules, regulations, laid down procedures and guidelines as well as plenary resolution in procuring services, products, and goods,” the preliminary audit seen by Capital FM News showed.
Tenders that were found to have been awarded in violation of laid down procedures included the procurement of election technology both for the August 8, 2017 General Election and the subsequent October 26 repeat presidential election.
It was on the basis of the preliminary audit that a majority of the commissioners voted to send Chiloba on three-months compulsory leave on April 6, the decision triggering a walkout by three commissioners.
Announcing their resignations on April 16, Vice-Chairperson Consolata Nkatha, Commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya citied disunity and mistrust by Chebukati.
“Under his leadership, the Commission’s boardroom has become a venue for peddling misinformation, grounds for brewing mistrust, and a space for scrambling for and chasing for individual glory and credit,” the three said at the time.
Chebukati, Guliye and Commissioner Boya Molu nevertheless stood their ground with a ruling by Justice Wilfrida Okwany in August affirming their position that IEBC was indeed properly constituted despite the exit of Nkatha, Kurgat, and Mwachanya.
Commissioner Roselyn Akombe was the first IEBC Commissioner to resign on October 18 last year, a week to the October 26 repeat presidential poll citing external interference and lack of independence.
Among tenders that have raised eyebrows is tender number IEBC/52/201-2017 in whose respect the preliminary audit released in April raised queries on the variation of the order for the provision of a database and security solution for Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) by Sh196,606,337, a service that was provided by Oracle Technology Systems (Kenya).
In tender IEBC/45/2016-2017 for the provision of strategic communication and integrated media campaign consultancy services, the audit pointed the failure to delink aspects of the tender that had been overtaken by events by May 18, 2017, when the commission plenary reviewed it.
In tender number IEBC/56/2016-2017, a deal for the supply and delivery as well as installation and commissioning of network for results transmission was found wanting after Airtel Kenya was found to have supplied 1,553 devices despite the telecommunications company having indicated it could only deliver 1,000 devices.
In tender number IEBC/104/2016-17 for the provision of Biometric Voter Registration server, infrastructure maintenance, security and monitoring, the audit noted that a number of deliveries were delayed in the $4,351,743.31 contract split into three phases.