Kenyan security firm KK sues US government over Sh5b deal

KK Security Guards parade during the 10th anniversary for the victims of a terror attack. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Nairobi-based security firm KK (Kenya Kazi) has sued the United States government over a multi-billion Nairobi embassy security contract.

KK and its Canadian parent firm GardaWorld through a joint venture of Aegis-KK/Garda World Federal Africa (GWFA), consisting of “Aegis Defense Services, Garda World Federal Services” and “Kenya Kazi Ltd have sued the Biden administration for allegedly locking it out of the Sh5.1 billion lucrative contract.

They are protesting what they term unfair evaluation that saw the US State Department award a contract to a joint venture comprising rival Kenyan company G4S Kenya.

They are requesting the US Court of Federal Claims to annul the G4S deal and declare that the US government’s evaluation of offers in response to the request for proposals was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise contrary to applicable law and regulation.”

They further want the US government to issue an order requiring the State Department to reevaluate offers in accordance with the initial tender terms, and “perform a new lowest-price, technically acceptable determination after such reevaluations.”

“Issue a permanent injunction to enjoin the performance of the contract awarded to G4S; and award GWFA and further relief as the court may deem just and proper, including, without limitation, bid and proposal costs,” says the Kenyan firm and its Canadian backer.

It alleges that G4S won the contract despite fronting low wages in the $32.3 million (Sh5.1 billion deal). 

“G4S’s proposed price demonstrates that it proposed inadequately low and unrealistic wages for LGF (Local Guard Force) personnel in its compensation plan, and, in particular, wages less than those set forth in the ToU, in direct violation of the RFP’s requirement that the ToU “set the baseline for all bidders,” says KK in the court papers.

“As demonstrated by G4S’s low price, the agency acted arbitrarily, capriciously, and otherwise not in accordance with the law when it failed to reasonably consider whether G4S’s compensation plan was “reasonable and realistic for the work being performed” or would “impair (G4S’s) ability to attract and retain competent employees” as it was required to do under the RFP’s evaluation criteria.”

According to KK, had the US State Department acted reasonably and evaluated G4S’s proposal for the correct prices, it would have rejected G4S’s proposal as non-compliant with the compensation plan requirements and selected its proposal for award. 

“As such, GWFA has been prejudiced by the agency’s arbitrary and capricious actions,” it says.

 The US Court has certified the matter as urgent for hearing.

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