CBK, De La Rue fight procurement review board over Sh 10 billion currency printing deal

De La Rue currency and security printing factory along Thika road
Money printing firm De La Rue and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Thursday filed two separate cases against the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

Both are challenging the decision by the board to cancel a Sh10 billion tender to print new currency.

On Monday, the board nullified the tender, ruling that it violated the law by applying a 15 per cent margin preference meant for local firms in favour De La Rue International Ltd, which is registered in the UK.

But CBK, in its case, argues that the board ignored its evidence that the firm contesting the award was not pre-qualified to participate in the bid

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According to the regulator, Crane AB, a firm that had challenged the tender awarded to De La Rue, was knocked out of the tendering process as it did not meet the requirements.

Verdict unreasonable

“The respondent (PPARB), in rendering its judgment on January 8, 2018, acted illegally and irrationally by directing that the applicant re-evaluate the tender of all parties that puts in the tenders including the first interested party who was not pre- qualified and was not entitled to participate in the tender in question and or file request for review,” said CBK, through Lawyer Ochieng Oduor.

Four companies were pre-qualified to bid for the deal - Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient, USA US-headquartered Crane Currency, UK-based De la Rue International and France’s Oberthur Fiduciaire SAS.

De La Rue on the other hand termed the verdict by the review board as unreasonable.

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Through lawyer Fred Ngatia, the printing firm told the court that it clinched the deal based on a 98 per cent technical score, which was the highest.

The firm argues that it would print the legal tender in its Kenyan subsidiary and that it had given the lowest price.

The case will be heard on Monday.

CBKCentral Bank of KenyaDe La RueMoney printingPublic Procurement Administrative Review Board