Communications Authority staff fined Sh3.5m for tender fraud

The Communications Authority Centre in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The case involved a tender for renovation of an exhibition stand at the Nairobi ASK showground.

Seven former senior employees of the national ICT regulator have been fined a total of Sh3.5 million for procurement irregularities.

The former workers at the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) were convicted by the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court following a finding that there were irregularities in the evaluation of a tender for renovation of an exhibition stand at the Nairobi Agriculture Society of Kenya showground.

Senior Principal Magistrate Kagure Nyutu said the anomalies, which led to loss of Sh1.9 million, would have been avoided had the officers been keen to avert possible corruption.

The officers include the former head of the procurement department at the CA, Ms Joyce Nyanamba, and tender committee members Stanley Kibe, Leo Boruett, Vincent Ngundi, Peris Nkonge, John Omo and Mutua Mutusi.

They were each fined Sh500,000 or 12 months in jail after being found guilty of wilful failure to comply with laws relating to procurement. 

They improperly cancelled the tender for the renovation of the exhibition stand and subsequently awarded it to another firm through direct procurement, contrary to procedures. 

The offence was committed between September 17 and 22, 2014. Their two co-accused, Ms Jane Rotich and Mr Philip Kiplagat were acquitted for lack of evidence.

The magistrate said the prosecution proved graft charges against all the suspects.

They were represented by a team of lawyers led by former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chairman Eric Mutua, who asked the court to be lenient, because the accused were not beneficiaries in the tender.

Evidence produced in court indicated that the CA got five prequalified contractors to quote prices for the renovation of the stand. 

The court heard the tender committee noted that the tender sum for the lowest evaluated bid of Sh4,474,000 was unreasonably high, considering that the authority had undertaken similar work the previous year.

The committee recommended cancellation of the tender and procurement of the service from the authority’s advertising agency. 

The authority had defended its decision, saying that by awarding the tender to the advertising agency, the authority made a saving of Sh2,546,428 compared to the initial lowest evaluated bid.

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