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Procurement probe uncovers massive corruption at EPZA



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An investigation by the public procurement regulator at the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has revealed massive corruption that saw several firms earn millions of shillings for doing nothing.

The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) found that there was massive corruption and failure to follow the law in the award of tenders in six out of nine tenders that were referred to it by the EPZA board.

The procurement agency was invited in November last year to look into Sh1.3 billion tender inflation at the EPZA and which led to suspension of three senior managers for 90 days.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) were also invited to investigate allegations of tender inflation, corruption and irregular sale and lease of land. EZPA has now until January 28 to respond to all queries raised by the regulator.

Among the tenders which have been flagged is the construction of water infrastructure tender No.3/2014-2015 and which the report says was not done as provided for in law.

“EPZA provided uncertified copies of its approved annual procurement plan 2014/2015 which indicated a provision of Sh112 million for development of water infrastructure activities,” reads a report signed by Capacity Building Manager Thomas Otieno, on behalf of Director-General Maurice Juma.

The investigation also reveals that no copy of the annual budget was availed for review and the authority did not meet the provision of the regulation 22(1) and (2) of the procurement and disposal regulations 2006 on procurement initiation as purchase requisition were not availed.

The EPZA also did not provide drawings and design of the water infrastructure for review and the appointment letters to the tender opening committee were not availed for review.

“The recommendation of award to M/s Hirola investments limited was not made in line with clause 35.1 on award criteria and clause 27.1 of instruction to tenderers specified in the bid document. There was no bidder who qualified at the mandatory evaluation stage to proceed for both technical and financial evaluation,” reads the investigation report.

Payment voucher No. PV109891 was paid twice on June 29, 2016 but with two different amounts of Sh59.4 million and Sh53.46 million.