The Interior Ministry is on the spot for the award of tender during the 2017/2018 fiscal year.
An audit report showed that the Ministry did not follow the right process in the purchase of three helicopters in a Sh4.9billion tender that they awarded to a foreign firm.
According to the report, helicopters for Police Airwing were initially tendered at Sh4 billion, but the figure was later reviewed up to Sh4.9 billion.
Appearing before National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said that the disparity was due to errors during the tendering process.
According to Dr. Kibicho, the over Sh9 million extra spending was as a result of additional specifications that were not provided at first. He noted that the features were important for the safety of the helicopters.
“Even though the initials went up, taxpayers got value for money after extra features were added to the aircraft.” He said.
In addition to price variation, former Auditor-General Edward Ouko’s report indicated that only one bidder was invited and offered bid documents on March 29, 2017.
The bidder was supposed to buy three new helicopters, namely; AW 139 VIP, AW 139 LE, AW 139 KX.
“No proof was provided to show that technical input in the preparation of the tender documents. As a result, extra important standard avionics helicopter parts required to be issued to form the basis of tender preparations and subsequent negotiations were not added in the final tender credentials which is contrary to Section 104(a)of the public procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015,” Mr. Ouko said.
The report further reveals that only two helicopters of registration number 5Y-DIG and 5Y-PEU were certified by the manufacturer and insured according to the Civil Aviation Insurance Regulations.
The former Auditor-General was also able to get two vouchers that were on June 30, 2018, paid to another company for the supply of three new turbine engines for the aircrafts.
One Voucher numbered 196- Sh76million was additionally paid to the company for the difference in exchange rights.
Another tender exposed in the report was that which the National Police Service procured under classified general-purpose machine guns and AK-47 rifles from yet another foreign firm for Sh27 million.
The firm that was awarded the tender did not provide a certification of incorporation and a weaponry manufacture registration.
Mr. Ouko also established that the company did not issue responsive to the rate of fire, maximum effective range, and provision of accessories during the technical assessment stage.
“Failure to meet all the standards by the bidder should have led to automatic disqualification. The tender was offered to the bidder contrary to Section 80(1) and (2) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015.” Said Ouko.