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Kebs ignored PPOA order, awarded tender to Japanese inspection firm

By Mark Kapchanga | April 2nd 2014

By Mark Kapchanga

Kenya: Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre Company Limited (Jevic), the firm behind the controversial importation of defective and overage motor vehicles, got the export pre-shipment inspection tender from the Kenya Bureau of Standards under contentious circumstances in 2011.

The firm was later found to have failed to meet the conditions set in the initial tendering process.

A board meeting on October 31, 2011 agreed that the tender be awarded to Quality Inspection Service of Japan (QISJ), but the Kebs management at the time defied the orders and subsequently cancelled the tender on November 1.

Two Japanese firms, Jevic and QISJ, had been competing for the lucrative tender, but the management backtracked on the tendering committee’s decision that had declared QISJ the winner.

Flawed process

A story by The Standard detailing the controversy revealed that Jevic actually came second in the evaluation after QISJ, but powerful forces pushed the Kebs team to fix the tender.

At the time, the appointment of Mr Joseph Koskey as Kebs Managing Director had been de-gazetted, and Ms Eva Oduor was the acting chief executive of the State-owned inspections body. It was believed at the time that Jevic was partly owned by a former Kebs official. The Public Procurement and Oversight Authority (PPOA) had said the tendering was flawed and needed to be repeated, but the ruling was ignored.

PPOA had expressed concern over the awarding of marks by the evaluation committee and noted that the process was riddled with personal and political interests right from the start.

Before he was sacked, Koskey had set up a third evaluation committee that ranked QISJ on top with a total score of 78.4375 with Jevic second at 77.9375. But Koskey never got the chance to act on the committee’s report because he was forced out by the acting Industrialisation Minister Amason Kingi in September 2011.

The Industrialisation Permanent Secretary at the time,  Dr Karanja Kibichio even warned Kebs against awarding the tender to Jevic: “It goes against any common reasoning why Jevic was not disqualified from this process… In relation to the unsolicited communication from one of the bidders (Jevic) to the Managing Director, procurement department, the Minister for Industrialisation and the Embassy of Kenya in Japan, our view is that if the bidder made such communication, then they were in contravention of section 38(1)(a) of the Act,” Njoroge said in his letter to Ms Oduor.

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