It was big blow to the Interior ministry on Friday after a move by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) stopped the government from signing a multi-billion-shilling vehicle leasing tender.
CMC Motors, which lost out on the deal, moved to PPARB seeking a cancellation of the tender. Under Section 168 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act of 2015, no contract can proceed when an appeal on the same is pending.
The appeal, which was certified as urgent, will be heard on October 23 before High Court Judge John Mativo.
The application by CMC requested the review board to declare the tender for the leasing of motor vehicles from local assemblies as prepared and issued by respondent illegal, null and void.
“That an order be issued declaring all the actions undertaken, including but not limited to advertising, inviting, receiving, evaluating bids awarding and/or signing of contracts arising from tender No. MICNG/SDI/004/2019-2020 for leasing of motor vehicles phase from assemblers is null and void and the same be cancelled,” the application read in part.
CMC, through lawyer Migos Ogamba, says the procuring entity flouted procurement regulations on seven grounds.
They argue that the entity breached sections 60(1), (2) and (3) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.
“The procuring entity prepared specific requirements relating to items under procurement that did not allow fair and open competition among those who may wish to participate in the procurement proceedings,” the CMC application further stated. In the suit, CMC also faults the Interior ministry for contravening Section 60(4) of the PPAD, 2015 in that the technical requirements referred to a particular producer or service provider and/or specific country of origin.
“The procuring entity’s technical requirements only invite bidders who are local assemblers to participate in procurement process,” the application added. Ogamba told the review board that the ministry breached Sections 53(10) of PPAD, 2015 on the model of rendering.
“The procuring entity’s procurement plan for the leasing of motor vehicles throughout the different phases has been through open tender and it is only now that the procuring entity has used a restricted method of tendering,” he said.
Among other grounds that the CMC sought cancellation of the contract is that the Interior ministry contravened constitutional principles of governance and national values, equality and freedom from discrimination and fair administrative action.
“Principles demand that a procurement process be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective,” argued CMC. The High Court on October 1, 2019, in judicial review of 284 of 2019, granted orders of prohibition to stop the interested party from advertising, inviting, accepting and evaluating bids or awarding the contracts. The orders have since been extended to October 23.
On Wednesday, Endebes MP Robert Pukose sought a statement from the Ministry and asked the Finance and Planning Committee of the National Assembly to investigate interference with tenders for the leasing of motor vehicles by local assemblers within 21 days.
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