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State gets nod to automate Ifmis after case thrown out

By Dominic Omondi | April 20th 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) launches IFMIS electronic Procurement (E-Procurement) at the KICC, August 13, 2014. [Courtesy]

The National Treasury can now award the tender for the automation of the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis).

This is after the case to stop the award of the Sh647 million ICT deal flopped in what the High Court Judge Jairus Ngaah described as an “abuse of the court process.”

In a dramatic turn of events, the court heard that ADK Technologies did not file the case to block the award as indicated in the court papers. The case to dispute the tender was filed by its partner, Transnational Technologies Limited, on behalf of ADK.

But the two part ways after they lost the tender to automate Ifmis. ADK and Transnational Technologies Limited had formed a consortium to bid for the tender but lost to Kingsway Business Systems Ltd.

“It has turned out that ADK Technologies Ltd neither filed this application nor authorised Samuel Haile Nigussie to plead or swear an affidavit on its behalf. Had the court been aware of this act, leave to file the substantive motion would not have been granted,” said Judge Ngaah in his ruling on April 9, 2020.

Mr Nigussie is a representative of Transnational Technologies, said Ngaah, noting the furthest he could go is to plead as a representative of that company as the two firms are still distinct legally.

“But the company is not even the applicant. The applicant is ADK Technologies whose director has denied ever filing this suit or authorised Nigussie to file the suit in its name or plead or swear affidavits on its behalf,” said the judge.

“In the ultimate, I agree with the third interested party and the ADK Technologies Ltd that this suit is bad in law and it is an abuse of the process of the court.”

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This paves the way for Treasury to implement e-procurement, one of the means through which the government wants to reduce waste and corruption. Treasury officials had told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) they were developing an e-procurement system linked to Ifmis to strengthen public procurement.

“An agreed roadmap and strategy for e-procurement was approved in December 2020 and we aim to have a system developer identified by the end of April 2021,” said Treasury to IMF.

ADK had argued that the decision to reject its bid on grounds that its price was above the market rates was unfounded as there was no standard price given in the tender document nor the Public Procurement and Regulatory Authority’s website.

Kingsway Business Systems, Nigussie argued, also failed to comply with the instructions and faulted the evaluation process for the reasons that it violated the tender document and the law.

However, Kingsway through Asuza Changilwa, pointed to the court that ADK Technologies had distances itself from the case.

The court had earlier temporarily stopped the award of the Sh647 million financial system management tender following an application by one of the bidders.

ADK argued its rival did not meet the technical specification for the ICT deal, claiming the firm is specialised in insurance services and not ICT products.

Treasury had invited eligible bidders to bid for the provision of onsite support for Ifmis applications, enhancement of Ifmis e-Procurement and Infmis for Semi-Autonomous Government Agency through an advertisement published on June 16, 2020.

The five bidders were Sybyl Kenya Ltd, Kingsway Business Systems Ltd in Consortium with Kobby Technologies Ltd and M/s Inplenion Eastern Africa. Others were M/s Next Technologies, M/s Ubora Systems and Solutions in consortium with ADK Technologies.  

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