Companies

Dubai firm pens car inspection contract

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Kebs MD Bernard Njiraini who on September 15, 2020 said some masks from China and the Netherlands are of poor quality.

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Summary

  • The contracts to expand the number of suppliers offering pre-inspection and pre-verification of motor vehicles at their countries of origin before importation to Kenya have been rooted in controversy and litigation over the past one year.
  • In December, Public Procurement Administrative Review Board ordered Kebs to sign a contract with PVQS within a month after the firm asked for a review of timelines following delays occasioned by court cases.
  • Kebs Managing Director Bernard Njiraini said the contract has since been signed subject to certain pre-conditions which he did not elaborate.

Dubai-based Premier Verification Quality Services (PVQS) has finally been added to the list of motor vehicle inspectors contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), ending a long-drawn tussle between the two parties.

The contracts to expand the number of suppliers offering pre-inspection and pre-verification of motor vehicles at their countries of origin before importation to Kenya have been rooted in controversy and litigation over the past one year.

In December, Public Procurement Administrative Review Board ordered Kebs to sign a contract with PVQS within a month after the firm asked for a review of timelines following delays occasioned by court cases.

Kebs Managing Director Bernard Njiraini said the contract has since been signed subject to certain pre-conditions which he did not elaborate.

“We signed the contract and the commencement date is subject to certain pre-conditions,” Mr Njiraini said.

A lengthy court battle to stop the tender process was launched by Tuv Austria Turk and Niavana Agencies Limited who lost their cases at the tender board and a subsequent Judicial review.

The High Court in a judgement delivered on August 5, 2020, dismissed the case and the tender was awarded to PVQS.

The company then asked for a review of dates from the tender board which was granted last month.

“The Accounting Officer of the Procuring Entity is hereby directed to sign a contract with the Applicant … in accordance with section 135 of the Act, within fourteen (14) days from the date of this decision,” PPRB ruled.

Kebs currently has a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standard Services (PVOC) contract with Quality Inspection Services Japan that runs up to April this year.

In December 2019 Kebs advertised for enlargement of PVOC to bring in additional service providers to mitigate risk of relying on one service provider.

Three companies submitted bids including Auto Terminal Japan Limited and EAA Company Limited that had previously been flagged for misrepresenting facts in technical proposals, falsifying documents and lacking physical and technical capacity by a special audit of the Auditor General.

Kebs pre-qualified the two companies despite reservations raised resulting in a parliamentary inquiry into the tender.

Parliamentary Public Investments Committee (PIC) asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the circumstances under which Kebs entered into a contract with the blacklisted firms.

The house recommended that Mr Njiraini be held liable for litigation that may arise due to the irregularities that saw Kebs award the tender to two blacklisted Japanese companies.

However, Mr Njiraini rushed to court with a petition and has obtained an order suspending any implementation of the PIC recommendations made in the PIC report, in so far as they seek to hold him personally liable under the civil or criminal law of Kenya.