PS defends Irrigation department on tender irregularity claims
Mercy Mwai @wanngumarci
Water and Sanitation Principal Secretary (PS) Joseph Irungu yesterday admitted that the State Department of Irrigation, did not demand for quotations and user requests during the procurement of goods and services worth millions of shillings.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Opiyo Wandayi, Irungu, however, explained that the accounting officer approved the procurement to proceed as provided for in law.
“On issues of procurement, it is true some of the quotations lacked user requisitions.
However, all procurements were approved by the accounting officer,” he said.
Irungu was responding to queries raised by the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu on the Irrigation department in respect to the 2018/2019 Financial Year.
The queries included unsupported procurement of goods worth Sh6.6 million, that were procured through request for quotations by the department, yet the management did not avail for audit, the original quotation forms, approved budget for the purchase of the items and evaluation reports.
The other query was on the irregular award of contract for conference facility, which was awarded to the highest bidder at a cost of Sh1.4 million yet the lowest bidder was Sh787,500 without any justifiable reason.
In addition, the other query touched on the irregular procurement of air tickets, where a firm was paid Sh772,360 for air tickets for officers who had travelled to Zambia to attend a conference.
According to Gathungu, although the tickets were procured through request for quotation method, the quotations from the firms were not stamped to authenticate their validity.
GAthungu queried why the management did not explain why the said contract was awarded to the second lowest bidder with a quote of Sh722,360, instead of the lowest bidder who had quoted Sh620,920.
“In addition, a firm was paid Sh1,132,930 during the year under review for air tickets for officers who travelled to Istanbul Turkey to attend Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum,” said Gathungu.