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Economy

KICC boss on the spot over Sh1.4bn deals

A view of the KICC building from Harambee House. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG
A view of the KICC building from Harambee House. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG 

The management of Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is on the spot for offering irregular contracts worth Sh1.4 billion — some to fake companies — during the World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference held in December 2015.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko singled out the KICC chief executive officer for personally awarding 15 out of 17 tenders through single sourcing.

Mr Ouko said awards to 15 different companies were done on diverse dates between July 13, 2015 and September 30, 2015 for Sh1,432,333,345.

CEO Fred Simiyu was suspended on November 27, 2015, shortly before the WTO ministerial conference in mid-December.

Nana Gecaga, a niece of President Uhuru Kenyatta, was appointed acting CEO in April 2016 before her confirmation to the post in December last year.

Direct involvement

Mr Ouko also accused the KICC board of direct involvement in the revision of tenders, especially the supply and installation of computerised conference management systems.

Mr Ouko said that out of 17 projects implemented during the WTO period, only five went through tender bids, but through restricted tendering.

“Of these five, only two were considered by the tender committee. Available information indicates that the awards for 15 tenders were done singularly by the chief executive officer through single sourcing while making reference to non-existent bids for tenders by fictitious companies in total disregard of the tender committee,” the auditor said in a qualified audit opinion tabled in Parliament.

“In view of the foregoing, the corporation was clearly in breach of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005, and Regulations 2006, and may not have received value for money from WTO projects through the flawed procurement process.”

High-level meeting

Kenya hosted the high-level meeting in Nairobi between December 15 and 19, 2015.

The forum led to the adoption of six ministerial decisions on agriculture, cotton and issues related to least-developed countries (LDCs). Cabinet secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Amina Mohamed chaired the conference.

The audit further revealed that six of the 15 tenders were cancelled due to delay in release of funds, exposing KICC to legal suits.

“In some instances, award letters were terminated but the signed contracts were not terminated hence exposing the corporation to litigations and resultant costs. Only five of the 15 companies had signed contracts which amounted to Sh894,976,341,” Mr Ouko said.

He said that a local company had signed a contract worth Sh64.9 million even though it had not been issued with an award letter for the tender.

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