Competition watchdog to jointly evaluate Govt procurement

Competition watchdog to jointly evaluate Govt procurement
CAK Director General Wang'ombe Kariuki during the signing of an MoU with the PPRA

All government procurement will be subjected to competition and fair trade rules by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

This after the competition watchdog signed a memorandum of understanding with the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) in a move aimed at creating transparency in government tendering.

The move comes as cases bid rigging and collusion have become rampant with suppliers getting an unfair advantage over their competitors.

The procurement regulator even cites cases of suppliers, working in collusion, deliberately inflating bids with the intention of disqualification to the pre-arranged advantage of another supplier.

Competition Authority director general Wang’ombe Kariuki said the joint effort would make government procurement processes more transparent and competitive.

“Strict adherence to procurement rules will translate into savings from the procurement budget which the national and county governments can employ to support social utility projects,” Mr Kariuki said during the signing of the agreement.

The joint deal comes two weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed all ministries and state agencies to make public all awarded tenders.

Wastage of public resources remains a scourge to economic development with the government losing billions of shillings.

Procurement of goods and services accounts for approximately 40 percent of the government’s budget with the close scrutiny expected to safeguard public funds.

PPRA said the joint efforts with CAK will enhance oversight and efficiency of the authority in arriving at a competitive and fair procurement.

PPRA director general Maurice Juma said the Competition Authority’s involvement would help address future procurement irregularities.

“In my view, the long time taken to investigate and get information on the scandals gives room for interference by implicated parties,” Mr Juma said.

Mr Juma added that collusive tendering also stifles innovation.

This inter-agency initiative, which has the support of the National Treasury, will also eradicate duplication of activities by the two regulators when handling competition matters in public procurement.

The two regulators will in six months form a joint working committee which will operationalize the MoU.

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