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Inside Interior ministry Sh12.6b police cars leasing tender dispute

By Jacob Ng'etich | October 6th 2019

Justice John Mativo stopped the ministry from re-advertising the tender until he gives directions on October 8.

The Interior ministry is caught up in a Sh12.6 billion tender row for the procurement of motor vehicle leasing scheme.

The row has put sensitive security service in a dicey situation after Phase 2 of the project lapsed on Friday.

Under the programme which started in 2013, the National Police Service, through the Interior ministry, leased 530 Ford Ranger Single Cabin and Double Cabin Pick Ups for use by the regular police, Administration Police, the County Government Administrators and Directorate of Criminal Investigations in the Motor Vehicle Phase II.

NPS awarded CMC further 75 vehicles three years later on the lease programme.

This brought the total number of managed vehicles to 605 that would serve for four years with a room for an extension or renewal.

The Interior ministry is now caught up in fights after it terminated the award of the tender to CMC weeks to the lapse of Phase II.

For four days the service has been operating the leased vehicles without any deal after the current process got entangled legally.

The ministry re-advertised the tender in what CMC, in its submission to the Public Procurement Review Board (PPRB), says was ‘suspect’.

In August, the ministry went to the board and successfully challenged the award of the tender to CMC, which had emerged top in the procurement process that involved 0 firms in the bid.

In its challenge, the Interior ministry said CMC provided an expensive price as compared to their peers in the market.

It also added that under the Big Four agenda they wanted to have a company that involved local assembly.

PPRB, while ruling in favour of the Interior ministry, said, "the user needs changed greatly and there is need to change the specifications of the motor vehicles to effectively deal with emerging security needs."

It recommended that “the tender document for leasing of motor vehicles Phase 5 as advertised did not factor the local motor vehicle assembly and manufacturing".

The board also noted that the government is implementing the Big Four Agenda and therefore, the Government Vehicle Leasing Programme should be anchored on it.

But CMC moved to court seeking to overturn the board's decision.

In its arguments through lawyer Amigos Ogamba, CMC said the board failed to call to its attention that Lot 7 for heavy duty, utility passenger vehicle, and 4×4s, among others was not in motor vehicle leasing programme Phase II but was introduced in the new phase.

As such there was obviously going to be a difference in total leasing price.

It also wanted the board to interrogate why the ministry conducted a market survey on two service providers who participated in the subject tender, but failed during the technical evaluation.

CMC further argued that the PPRB ruling on the Big Four was not part of the tender requirement and was then a flimsy reason for the tender to be cancelled.

It submitted that the reason given that the subject tender was terminated because the prices quoted were above market prices was not supported by evidence.

Early this week, Justice John Mativo stopped the ministry from re-advertising the tender until he gives directions on October 8.

The judge also suspended the decision and orders issued by the board delivered last month, for 14 days.

He said the evaluation committee should not accept, evaluate or award the said tender.

In the scheme of the intrigues, CMC are also challenging the use of Deputy Director of Supply chain Management service Stephen Wamae to act on behalf of the Principal Secretary in the judicial process, claiming the executive powers were not transferable.

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