Smart power meter supply tender runs into headwinds


Kenya Power and Lightning Company (KPLC) pre-paid meters pictured at a building within the city centre. FILE PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

A multibillion-shilling tender for the supply of smart meters has run into trouble after a complaint was filed at the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

Mr Benedict Kabugi Ndung'u accuses the power utility company of irregularly and unlawfully restricting the tender to local assemblers.

Read: Kenya Power to get smart meters from local firms

He said tender documents issued to bidders after the advertisement in February said eligibility criteria were only for local manufacturers.

Mr Kabugi said the criteria was allegedly opened up to include local meter assemblers and not manufacturers through six addenda, a fact which he says substantially changed the original tender document and the eligibility criteria.

“In addition, the awarded amounts surpassed the allocated budget and the excess amounts were never approved by the board of directors and neither was the procurement plan amended to accommodate the excess amounts which is a breach of Section 53(2 & 8) of the Act,” Mr Kabugi said.

Mr Kabugi said all procurement deals must be within approved budgets.

Read: Safaricom to earn Sh53bn from smart electricity meters

Kenya Power was embroiled in court battles with local firms last year over a Sh2 billion tender for the supply of single-phase, three-phase postpaid and prepaid meters.

It defended the decision to restrict the tender to global firms saying there has been a massive failure of locally assembled meters.

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