Corporate News

State readvertises the tender for supply of school laptops

Share Bookmark Print Rating
Pupils at Kimisagara Primary School in Nyarugenge District use laptops in the classroom. Fresh tenders for Class One laptops have been invited after the initial bid failed to secure a supplier.  PHOTO/FILE

Pupils at Kimisagara Primary School in Nyarugenge District use laptops in the classroom. Fresh tenders for Class One laptops have been invited after the initial bid failed to secure a supplier. PHOTO/FILE 

By OKUTTAH MARK

Posted  Tuesday, October 29   2013 at  22:04

In Summary

  • Publication of the tender comes two weeks after the state terminated the previous process saying its pricing was above the budget.
  • Computer market experts have said that the main defect with the procurement process may not be overpricing but unrealistic budgeting by the government.
  • Ministry of Education insiders, however, told the Business Daily that the major change in the new process is that the laptops, printers and projects will be procured over a period of two fiscal years to fit the budget. 

The government has invited fresh tenders for the supply of free primary school laptops as it races against time to procure the gadgets at a price it can afford.

Publication of the tender comes two weeks after the state terminated the previous process saying its pricing was above the budget.

Education secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said the lowest bidder had quoted Sh32 billion against a budget of Sh12 billion, leaving the government with a budget deficit of Sh20 billion.

It remains to be seen whether the State will be second time lucky to procure the laptops at the budgeted price.

Computer market experts have said that the main defect with the procurement process may not be overpricing but unrealistic budgeting by the government.

At Sh12 billion for the supply of 1.38 million computers, the government had priced each laptop at Sh9,200 a price computer dealers say will be hard to find given the ministry’s specifications.

Firms tendering for the job must deposit bid bonds of Sh7.5 million for printers, Sh10 million for projectors and Sh50 million for laptops.

“Bids must be delivered to the head of supply chain management services at the Ministry of Education on November 14 and shall be opened in the presence of the bidders or their representatives who choose to attend on November 14 at Harambee Avenue,” reads part of the international tender notice.

We could not establish whether the ministry has retained the earlier specifications for the laptops or downgraded the number to be supplied from the initial figure of 1.38 million.

Ministry of Education insiders, however, told the Business Daily that the major change in the new process is that the laptops, printers and projects will be procured over a period of two fiscal years to fit the budget. 

Under the new plan, teachers will get laptops with higher specs compared to the children’s.

The government has maintained that it will deliver the laptops in the first term of 2013 and the timeframe for the new tendering pointed to the commitment.  Prof Kaimenyi had previously cited higher specifications as one of the possible reasons that drove the prices up.

But he also acknowledged that collusion among the vendors, high insurance, transport and storage costs may have bloated the prices.

1 | 2 Next Page »