The public procurement watchdog has written to Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) seeking more information on the Sh5.4 billion tender for the supply of meters, which was restricted to local manufacturers and assemblers.
In a letter to the power utility company, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) pointed out a number of issues for explanation, following a complaint by businessman Benedict Kabugi Ndung’u.
KPLC advertised the bid for the supply of meters on February 3, 2023, initially restricted to local manufacturers only for it to issue a series of six addendums opening up the contract to include local assemblers.
Four local assemblers and manufacturers were awarded the lucrative tender but Mr Ndung’u filed a complaint alleging irregularities.
“In view of the foregoing, you are required to make further responses to the observation made above and inform the authority of the status of the subject procurement/contracts and how you are going to address the issues noted,” Mr Patrick Wanjuki, the director general of PPRA said in the letter.
Kenya power had explained that there is a backlog of approximately 500,000 meters for new connections and replacements and the backlog is growing by the day.
The company said a lot of power which has been procured by KPLC from generators is not being utilised because of lack of meters.
It further maintains that the technical specifications in the tender were not changed as alleged and the condition placed is a standard eligibility to ensure the tenders are fair to all and not discriminatory as alleged.
In the letter dated July 14, the procurement watchdog noted that the procurement was planned under different items and that the figures for award indicated in the letters of notification of intention of award, were tender sums as read out at the bid opening and not the amounts at which the tenders have been awarded.