The Kenya Seed Company issued a direct tender for the provision of goods similar to what had been cancelled by a regulatory body, and then re-advertised the same tender weeks after the Nation began asking questions.
The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPRB) on February 15 cancelled a Sh325 million tender for the provision of maize seed treatment chemicals awarded to Syngenta East Africa and ordered a re-tendering.
However, days later, Kenya Seed Company wrote to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority notifying them that they wanted to issue a direct tender for the chemicals.
âAttached is a direct procurement report for the supply and delivery of maize treatment insecticide,â said the notification by Kenya seed received by the Direct Procurement Regulatory Authority on March 7.
However, when the Nation found out, Kenya seed took the reporter round in circles before issuing an advertisement in the dailies calling for companies to apply for the supply of maize seed treatment chemicals.
FRAUDULENTLY AWARDED TENDER
âLet us talk tomorrow,â Kenya Seed managing director, Azariah Soi, said on March 2. Since then, he has not been responding to text messages or calls but the company resurfaced with an advertisement for a new tender.
The advertisement was published in the Daily Nation of March 21. What raises eyebrows is that the new advertisement had a different tender reference number than the one that was cancelled by PPRB.
Ideally, when companies re-issue a tender that has been cancelled, the advertisement is supposed to bear the same reference number as the one cancelled and they are supposed to indicate that it is a re-tender as per procurement laws.
The tender advertisement made on March 21 bore reference number KSC/T/ISMT/15/2018/2019. The one awarded to Syngenta East Africa but was cancelled by PPRB had the reference number KCS/T/STC/12/2018/2019. Both were for the supply of maize seed treatment chemicals.
The direct tender notification to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority was also for maize seed treatment chemicals, a similarity Kenya seed is unwilling to talk about.
The company has also declined to disclose who they gave the direct tender to. This is notwithstanding the fact that the notification for direct procurement was issued just three weeks after PPRB cancelled a tender for a similar product.
While cancelling the tender on February 15, PPRB averred that Kenya Seed fraudulently awarded Syngenta East Africa the contract despite the company not being a manufacturer of the chemicals that were needed.
âThe board observes that the tender document itself emphasised in all the provisions that it is only manufacturers who were eligible bidders of the subject tender,â said PPRB in their ruling.
âFrom all the comparisons, the board finds that Syngenta Limited was an agent authorised to act on behalf of Syngenta Corp Protection AG and was therefore not a manufacturer within the meaning of the tender document as has been established by the board,â ruled the board.
On November 7 last year, Kenya Seed advertised a tender for the supply and delivery of seed treatment chemicals on a framework contract. A total of six companies had placed bids by November 21.