Home Nandi Kshs 500 Million saved following Roads Inspection in Nandi County over questionable procurement procedures

Kshs 500 Million saved following Roads Inspection in Nandi County over questionable procurement procedures

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Fresh details have emerged concerning concerted efforts aimed at swindling the Nandi County residents millions of shillings through questionable payments to dubious road contractors and suppliers putting into question integrity of the procurement procedure in the county.

An audit report done by the Chief Officer in charge of Roads Engineer Alex Buigut, County Roads Officers and Nandi County Contractors led by Chairman Julius Keter reveals that some officials of the County Executive in charge of the procurement department are colluding with rogue contractors to fleece the county.

It also emerged that most tenders, especially for supplies, had been awarded irregularly without following due procedure as per the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) guidelines.

“Most tenders regarding supplies to the county are never advertised for public bidding,”said a contractor who did not want to be mentioned.

In further shocking revelations, a senior procurement officer is alleged to have sexually harassed a woman contractor, by seeking sexual favors. In return, the woman was to be awarded a tender.

” I did not submit to his demands in 2013, and up to now, I have been frustrated in my applications to win a county tender,” she said amid sobs.

The stormy session at the Assembly cafeteria also revealed that some senior county officers each awarded themselves Kshs 21 million loan from public coffers, which contractors claim was supposed to be paid to them in the Financial Year 2014-2015.

Speaking on Friday at the Assembly Cafeteria after a consultative meeting between the contractors, some Members of County Assembly (MCAs) and the chief officer, Kapsimotwo Member of Coounty Assembly (MCA) Julius Ruto Kiptindinyo indicated that rogue contractors had been awarded award letters, agreements and certificates of completion with no work done on site.

From the road inspections audit, Kiptindinyo said that an initial amount of Kshs 900 million that had been reported to be owed to the contractors had now been drastically reduced to Kshs 400 million, saving Nandi residents a whooping Kshs 500million.

“An example of a rogue contractor is one who is claiming eight million shillings for Oll’essos Technical to Oll’essos Dispensary road, which is hardly 2Kms. The other one is the Kapsabet- Show ground road which is maintained by Kenya Urban Roads Authority ( KURA) yet a contractor is claiming Kshs 1.8 million,” said Kiptindinyo.

Kiptindinyo, who is the Nandi County Assembly Roads Committee Chairman, regretted that genuine contractors who had done work remain unpaid despite the fact that they deserved pay on work done.

“It is now evident that rogue contractors colluded with officials in the procurement department to steal from this county,”said Kiptindinyo.

The MCA further revealed that his department had now embarked on plans to blacklist companies who had conspired with some officials to award irregular tenders and payments for incomplete work.

” Let anyone carry his or her own cross, whether they are employees of the executive or not,”said Kiptindinyo.

Contractors Chairman Julius Kipruto called on the Roads Department to ensure publicity signs are put on every road to ensure the public know which contractors and authorities are carrying out road works.

He said rogue contractors had taken advantage of the non existence of publicity signs and thus demanding payments for work not done by them.

“We want the officials of the road departments to liaise with one another to avoid duplicity in road works. We need Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) and KURA to ensure they put their publicity signs on the roads they have done as soon as possible,”said Keter.

 Keter also supported the MCAs sentiments, adding that one of the roads in question include Soba River-Primary Muhoroni road which he said the contractor is claiming Kshs 3.5 million despite having never appeared on the site.

“We want the county assembly to up their oversight role to ensure no monies are lost and I also call on the members of the public to be vigilant and ensure those given contracts deliver quality services to the residents,”said Keter.

Early this week, hundreds of contractors stormed the county government offices in Kapsabet, demanding to be addressed by Governor Cleophas Lagat on the progress by the county on efforts being done to pay contractors for Financial Years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

Lagat had promised that their payments would be processed starting Wednesday this week, but an agreement reached   between the Assembly and the Executive reveals that they will have to wait up to January 2015.

“Only genuine contractors will be paid as from mid January, 2016,” said Kiptindinyo.

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