The National Treasury has proposed tough laws to curtail corruption in State procurement.
Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich Thursday outlined new measures meant to change how procurement officials in the national and county governments conduct business.
The changes are contained in the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act (PPAD) set for introduction in Parliament, which Treasury believes will help seal loopholes for graft.
Key among them is the establishment of an agency within Government that will facilitate and manage procurement of standard goods to leverage on economies of scale and save on costs.
Treasury has also proposed the establishment of an e-procurement platform to improve efficiency and transparency of the process as well as facilitate settlement of executed contracts within 60 days.
Kenyan manufacturers have also been handed a lifeline, with Treasury proposing stricter enforcement of local procurement.
“Provisions will also be made for firms that supply manufactured articles... or supplies wholly produced or mined in Kenya to enjoy various margins of preference in procurement evaluation,” said Rotich in his speech.
“Margin of preference will also be extended to local contractors or suppliers where Kenyans are shareholders and offering goods manufactured, assembled, mined or grown in Kenya.”
Despite sustained evidence that the country has the capacity to grow a thriving manufacturing industry, the Government has failed to properly implement its own maxim of ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in his first term directed Government procurement officers to purchase locally-made products to strengthen manufacturing capacity in the country’s ICT sector.
This directive has, however, been largely ignored and Treasury now says procurement officers will be required to defend tenders awarded to foreign companies that can be executed by local producers.