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Central Bank of Kenya must clean up its procurement systems

By Editorials | Jul 29th 2013 | 2 min read

Kenya: The shenanigans at the Central Bank of Kenya would be entertaining if they were in a movie and so didn’t pose such a grave danger to the country’s financial system; a group of individuals who consider themselves procurement laws and the CBK governor

 Reports over the weekend intimated that elements in the bank attempted, not once but twice, to defraud the financial regulator of Sh320 million through a tender for buying, installing and commissioning an integrated security management (ISM)system that includes physical systems, access control, key management, biometric, fire control and tracking systems, among others.

They not only repeatedly lied to the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board but also introduced illegal technicalities and dismissed recommendations of the tender evaluation committee at least twice.

Unruly horse

This led the board to observe that the “procurement entity (CBK) and specifically the tendering committee is behaving like an unruly horse and it has to be tamed and calmed.’’

It is sad that the contract awarded to Horsebridge, a British technology company that reportedly refused to cave in to demands by some people involved in the tendering to inflate the project cost from Sh1.2 billion to 1.4 billion — the figure CBK had budgeted for the system — has yet to be given the contract to sign.

Paradoxically, and perhaps, not by accident, while the mandarins at CBK are busy fiddling, crooks have reportedly taken advantage of the outdated system at the bank to walk away with millions of shillings. Thanks to some hawk-eyed CBK employees who saved the bank, and by extension the public, even more billions of shillings.

It is incumbent on CBK, therefore, to move with speed and ensure that the institution doesn’t suffer any further losses by not only letting go the perpetrators, but also cooperating fully with the relevant law enforcement authorities — including the Ethics and Corruption Commission — to bring everyone involved in the saga to book.

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