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Economy

Regulator quashes CA’s streets, homes address tender

Communications Authority of Kenya
Communications Authority of Kenya offices in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The procurement regulator has nullified a multimillion- shilling consultancy tender awarded by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) for the fresh numbering of Kenyan streets, buildings and homes.

The communications regulator awarded Branded Solution Services Limited the contract on January 28 for Sh80.2 million ahead of its rival IMAP International Limited, which along with its partner, Addressing Homes Limited LLC, bid for Sh43.5 million.

The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB), however, ruled on February 26 that CA breached procurement laws by awarding a firm that had a similar contract with the authority, giving it an edge as an insider.

Consequently, the watchdog has ordered CA to award the tender to IMAP International Limited and Addressing Homes.

The CA needed a consultant to review the draft National Addressing System (NAS), which will pave the way for the fresh numbering of addressees and ease door-to-door delivery of letters as well as goods from online retailers.

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“The procuring entity’s decision in the letter dated 31 January 2019 for provision of consultancy services to undertake implementation of National Addressing System (NAS), to Branded Solutions Services Limited is hereby quashed and set aside,” said PPARB.

“The procuring entity is hereby directed to award the subject tender to IMAP International Limited and Addressing Homes Limited LLC forthwith and to proceed with the procurement to its logical conclusion.”

Technical assistance

The award was contested by IMAP International and another firm, Sigmund Peak International Limited.

In 2016, Universal Postal Union, which was offering technical assistance to CA, said in a preliminary report that the Authority would require $28 million (Sh2.8 billion) to implement the project.

The NAS project, which was mooted in 2008, will see all streets, roads, highways, residential and commercial residences digitally marked and indexed to facilitate easy identification and location of premises.

The system will help courier firms like Postal Corporation of Kenya and online retailers to easily deliver goods with the assistance of digitised maps.

It will also remove the hurdle of locating buyers for the many retailers who have turned to social media to sell. Absence of detailed street and building addresses has left many online businesses unable to get clear and precise locations of customers, opting to concentrate operations on major towns.

Cab hailing service firms such as Uber and Taxify will also benefit.

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