Swedish firm Crane AB has accused Central Bank of Kenya of collusion and putting up a spirited defence to award the new currency tender to De La Rue, which it says will charge taxpayers Sh800 million more than the lowest bidder.
The multinational, which seeks to be awarded the Sh10 billion-a-year currency printing tender, says in papers filed in the High Court that the findings of the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) showed it was the successful bidder.
The award of the contract to De La Rue came after the government took a 40 per cent stake in the local subsidiary of the currency printer.
Crane AB asked the court to dismiss the application by CBK and De La Rue International seeking to reverse the decision by PPARB to terminate the award of the contract to De La Rue.
“It beggars belief why a procuring entity should actively seek to have De la Rue international be awarded a tender that will end up in a loss of over Sh800 million to the taxpayer,” says Crane AB, which claims to be the lowest bidder.
The PPARB has also asked the court to dismiss the application by CBK and De La Rue, arguing that it lacks merit.
The tenders watchdog had ruled that De La Rue did not qualify for the preference margin of 15 per cent applied, adding that the British printer was not the lowest evaluated bidder.
The board had further directed the CBK makes a fresh evaluation of the tenders submitted to it within a fortnight.