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Board clears Kemsa in Sh1b tender deal

BUSINESS
By Kamau Muthoni | July 14th 2020
PPARB Chairperson Faith Waigwa. [File, Standard]

A Turkish firm has lost its bid to stop Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) from proceeding with a Sh1 billion tender to install a racking system.

Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB), in its verdict in favour of Kemsa, ruled that Tunasco Insaat Anonim Sirketi was non-responsive after failing to meet the minimum score set by the medical supplies agency.

The lucrative deal had attracted 16 bidders but after mandatory evaluation requirements, six companies were dropped.  

Sirketi, alongside eight other companies, fell during the technical evaluation, leaving China Railway No10 Engineering Group as the successful bidder.

The Chinese company scored 83.80 per cent during technical evaluation and quoted its tender price as Sh959 million, including value-added tax (VAT). Kemsa had advertised for eligible bidders to float their bids on April 14, 2020.

Sirketi urged the PPARB, which is chaired by Faith Waigwa, to annul Kemsa’s decision to award the Chinese firm the tender. It claimed that Kemsa had stated that financial proposals would be opened separately but proceeded to open the same alongside technical proposals out of mischief.

The firm also claimed that the medical supplies agency erroneously indicated that the tender was under a global fund while in reality, it was to be paid by Kenyan taxpayers.

“In conclusion, the board should look at the entire tender process and if such tender is lacking in transparency and integrity in any way, the board should proceed to cancel the entire tender and order that the procurement process commences afresh,” Sirketi urged the board.

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Kemsa, however, said the Turkish firm had raised new issues which were not a part of the tendering process. It urged PPARB to dismiss the case and condemn the applicant to pay the cost of the case.

The board agreed with Kemsa, noting that Sirketi ought to have raised its contention on clarity and funding before the tender submission deadline of May 12, 2020.

“Accordingly, the board finds that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the issues raised by the applicant challenging the contents of the tender document addressed to the board secretary. In the instance case, the applicant’s allegations in the letter are time-barred,” the board ruled on July 9, 2020.

China Railway supported Kemsa’s plea that the case be dismissed, arguing that bidders ought to meet the requirements set in the tendering documents for them to be deemed as qualified for the financial bid.  

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