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Kenyan Embassy in Japan caught up in controversial tender

By Kiundu Waweru | January 24th 2015

The Kenyan Embassy in Japan has been caught up in a controversial multi-billion shillings International tender involving Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

The Embassy’s name has been dragged in the raging battle for pre-shipment inspection of motor vehicles contract which KEBS awarded to Quality Inspection Japan (QISJ).

Specifically, the Embassy is accused of canvassing. Without a request from the procuring entity, Kenyan Ambassador in Japan S K Maina allegedly wrote to KEBS managing director recommending that a certain company be positively recommended for this lucrative tender. The letter, would be part of the documents submitted by this company to KEBS for evaluation.

Amb Maina’s letter dated November 14, 2014, a copy of which we obtained titled “Recommendation for the Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre (Jevic)” reads in part, “In the past one week, the company has informed the mission that they intend to bid for another contract for pre-shipment inspection services to Kenya in the next few weeks and have therefore requested our endorsement and support. ..., we note that this mission has never received any complaint whatsoever of wrong doing by Jevic and we would therefore not hesitate to strongly recommend that they be positively considered for this tender.”

Section 38 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act prohibits provision of unsolicited information by an entity that may influence the outcome of a tendering process. “No person who submitted a tender, proposal or quotation shall make any unsolicited communications to the procuring entity or any person involved in the procurement proceedings that might reasonably be construed as an attempt to influence the evaluation,” reads a  section of the Act.

Despite this recommendation, the company lost the bid. East African Automobile Services (EAAS) Co Ltd which had submitted their bid for the same contract equally lost. The certificate of accreditation by Japan Accreditation Board was a mandatory requirement but this company’s certificate had been suspended.

A letter from Japan Accreditation Board to Kenya Accreditation Service dated January 16th, reads in part: “ Accreditation of EAAS was first suspended on November 27, 2014 because of non-conformity against ISO/IEC 17020 4.1.6 and A.1 a) in annex A. A conclusion that the inspection body would give up corrective actions for the non-conformity, the accreditation of EAAS was withdrawn on January 14, 2015. Therefore, any Inspection certificates issued after the suspension date are regarded as out of space accreditation,” said Makoto Kubo, Executive director Japan Accreditation Board.

KEBS did not respond to our inquiries. The Foreign Affairs ministry had promised to issue a comment on the matter but by the time of going to press the same had not been issued.

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