The state procurement tribunal has thrown out a request to annul Sh393 million tenders issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to eight companies for cleaning and garbage collection services.
Some 47 companies owned by women, youth, and persons with disabilities competed for the job—a two-year contract of cleaning KRA's eight regional offices and residential houses.
The offices include Times Tower, Nairobi Region, Southern Region, Central Region, North and South Rift Regions, Northern Region, and Western Region.
At stake in a dispute lodged by one of the losing bidders at the tribunal was the award of the first lot of the tender, which involved cleaning of Times Tower.
The contract was worth Sh62.4 million and was issued to Kamtix Cleaners Company Limited.
One of the losing bidders, Petals Hygiene and Sanitation Services Limited, was dissatisfied with awards of both the general tender of Sh393 million and the first lot of the tender (for Times Tower worth Sh62.4 million).
It wanted the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) to either annul and set aside the tenders or direct KRA to award it the contract of cleaning Times Tower. In its bid, Petals had quoted Sh69.6 million regarding Times Tower.
The firm alleged that KRA had caused illegal reevaluation and award of the tender in March 2022, yet it had already issued the bidders with letters of notification of awards in February.
But the board dismissed the allegation and ruled that there was no cogent reason to warrant the cancellation of the tender. It found that KRA had complied with the procurement law.
The taxman explained that the subject tender for Times Tower had initially been issued to Zumzum Ltd, for Sh45.6 million, but the firm rejected it, prompting KRA to proceed to the next lowest bidder in the category, Kamtix Cleaners. However, at the time, Kamtix had already been awarded tenders for two other lots—North Rift at Sh14 million and Northern Region at Sh27 million.
After being picked for the first lot, Kamtix lost the other two lots, which were awarded to Cleanmark and Nadiah Investments. The tribunal ruled that Zumzum having rejected the award, KRA correctly proceeded to the next lowest evaluated tenderer.
"The board notes that Section 136(1) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act allows a procuring entity to proceed in the process with the next lowest evaluated tenderer where the tenderer submitting the successful tender refuses to enter into a contract," ruled the board, chaired by lawyer Faith Waigwa.
It stated that Petal's tender price for Times Tower was not the second one as it had quoted Sh69 million while Kamtix had quoted Sh62 million. It further noted that the second notification letter on award of the tender sent to the bidders on March 22, 2022 was issued within the tender validity period.
"KRA has demonstrated that the award of the subject tender as communicated by the notification letters of March 22, 2022, was the most advantageous to the procuring entity as required by the tender document."
The board added that although KRA failed to disclose to Pentals reasons for its bid being unsuccessful, the company came to learn it was not the lowest evaluated bidder during the hearing of the request for review.
Tender documents indicate that the contract entails provision of office cleaning and waste removal, provision of sanitary services, draper/upholstery and carpet cleaning and shampooing. It also entails external and Internal window dry and wet cleaning, as well as garbage collection and disposal.