Tana River Governor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana has barred county executive committee members and other senior officials from interfering with the award of tenders and contracts.
Major (rtd) Godhana told the officers that they were not allowed by law to award any contract of service or supply to any individual or corporate entity on behalf of the county government.
He raised concern that senior officers in his county, among them county executive committee members, chief officers and some directors were deliberately circumventing the law by directly negotiating tenders and contracts with third parties.
In a strongly worded statement issued in Hola Town on Monday, Dr. Godhana said the practice was against the provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act and officers found engaging in it would be severely punished.
“I have noted with concern that despite the fact that there exists clear and elaborate provisions of the law governing tender awards in public institutions, senior officials of this county have resorted to deliberate circumvention of the law and are instead negotiating directly with third parties in the award of tenders,” he said.
He reminded the officials that the legal underpinning concept of the tendering process was the enhancement of transparency and accountability as well as fostering competition and the promotion of prudent utilization of public resources in order to get value for money.
“I wish to remind the CEC members and chiefs of the oath of office administered on them in which they expressed the willingness and desire to adhere to the rule of law and to safeguard efficient administration of justice in the county,” he said.
He added, “ respective duties for CECMs and Chef Officers are spelt out clearly under the constitution of Kenya 2010 and the County Government Act 2012. Issuance of tenders on behalf of the county government is not one of them.”
He said arbitrary and illegal issuance of tender awards would only serve to expose the county government to procurement malpractices, a factor which if not checked would lead to unprecedented criminal prosecutions.
He directed that all procurement matters be handled by the Directorate of Procurement and the respective tender committees in accordance with the provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.
He said the procurement process must be done in a manner that promotes competition, transparency, accountability and proper utilisation of county asset.
“All procurement shall be done through competitive bidding, unless an alternative procurement method is justified pursuant to the provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2005 and other relevant laws and regulations,” he said.
The governor directed the Department of Finance not to service illegally awarded tender contracts.
By Emmanuel Masha