Former Head of the Public Service Francis Muthaura on Tuesday told the anti-corruption court that the Anglo Leasing contracts received the necessary State and Cabinet approvals.
Mr Muthaura said the Minister for Finance was lawfully empowered to exempt security items from procurement regulations, given the sensitivity involved.
“Matters security are not always in public domain and I didn’t know about the contract details until audit queries were raised,” Mr Muthaura.
Mr Muthaura was testifying in a suit where former senior government officials and businessmen are facing charges related to the multi-billion shilling security tenders that the government has termed irregular.
The former public service boss said the contracts, which had the backing of the Attorney-General, were stopped after former anti-graft czar John Githongo advised that some of them were ghost projects.
Mr Githongo, who was the anti-corruption adviser in former President Mwai Kibaki’s office, alleged that some of the Anglo Leasing firms were “dubious”.
Mr Muthaura said Mr Githongo’s claim was not conclusive and required more investigations leading to an in-depth audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
He told the court that the PwC brief was to establish whether the contracts were overpriced and not status of delivered goods.
Mr Muthaura said some of the Anglo Leasing firms had met part of their obligations under the supply contract when investigations started.
The project of one of the Anglo Leasing firms, Infortalent Ltd, had not started and the money paid to the company in advance was returned to the Treasury, the court was told. Attorney General Githu Muigai, and Solicitor General Muthoni Kimani are expected to testify when hearing resumes on Wednesday.