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Little to show for women, youth tender award plan

The agency’s report for 2015-2016 indicates that the government has generally failed in its promise to reserve tenders for the groups.

When the Jubilee administration came to office in 2013, they promised at least 30 per cent of government tenders for youth, women and the disabled.

A plan to give youth, women and the disabled 30 per cent of all government tenders has been all talk and little action, the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority has said.

“The 163 national government procuring entities reported to have reserved a total of Sh22.6 billion out of a cumulative total procurement budget of Sh104.2 billion. On the other hand, the county government entities reported to have reserved Sh6.2 billion out of a total cumulative budget of Sh28.9 billion.”

“Cumulatively, the two levels of government reported to have reserved a total of Sh28.8 billion representing 21.6 per cent of the total annual procurement budget of Sh133.1 billion,” the report says.

The idea was to raise the proportion of the three groups that have historically been sidelined, leading to a high unemployment rate among them.

According to the report, the national government’s performance in fulfilling the requirement was 21.7 per cent while that of county governments was slightly lower at 21.6.

HAD REGISTERED

The report states that in the period under review, the Treasury had registered 57,085 businesses owned by disadvantaged groups out of which 34,250 were youth owned, 20,413 for women and 2,422 owned by the disabled. It further says only 198 procuring entities submitted their reports to the agency as is required by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.

Under the Act, government procuring entities are required to report to the agency every six months demonstrating compliance with the legal provisions on implementation of the preferences and reservation scheme.

However, according to the report, some of the procuring entities did not. For instance, out of the 40 ministries and State departments, only 16 submitted their reports.

The State departments of Irrigation, Cooperatives and Housing, and Urban development said they were not in existence during the reporting period.

Some of the best performing State departments included that of Water at 78.6 per cent, the National Youth Service at 72 per cent, Transport and Physical Planning – both 54.6 per cent.

Among the poor performers were the departments of Livestock which did not report, Infrastructure, Huduma Youth Centre Secretariat, Public Service and Youth, Broadcasting and Telecommunication and that of Social Protection. Some of these departments either did not allocate the 30 per cent at all or allocated but did not did not award.

The Treasury, for example, reserved only Sh120 million out of its procurement budget of Sh8 billion or just 1.5 per cent but by June of 2016 had awarded only Sh62 million.

Similarly, the State department of Planning and Statistics reserved Sh355 million for the groups out of a procurement budget of Sh1.2 billion and by June of 2016 had awarded only Sh73 million.

Data from the Presidency was not available in the report, meaning that they may not have reported. The Attorney-General’s office was also not captured in the report.

‘SET ASIDE’

Aggregate government ministries and State departments tender reservations and awards, therefore, stood at Sh6.7 billion out of Sh30.2 billion.

“Out of the 15 ministries and State departments, 10 set aside at least 30 per cent of their procurement budget for the target groups while five set aside less than the minimum. The lowest percentage stood at 1.5 per cent set by the National Treasury which explained that it has major contracts, that is, leasing programme for the National Police Service motor vehicles, Ifmis (Integrated Financial Management Information System) contracts (under Oracle), procurement of fuel for the motor vehicles,” the report states.

The commissions and independent offices had reserved Sh701.5 million out of a procurement budget of Sh3.3 billion representing 21.4 per cent.

Among the commissions and independent offices the police, the Auditor-General, the Public Service Commission, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission had no data to show whether they reserved or awarded. In fact, only 11 reported.

According to the report, the National Gender and Equality Commission awarded the most tenders to the groups at 62.6 per cent followed by the Office of the Controller of Budget who awarded 42.2 per cent while the lowest of the 11 was the Teachers Service Commission at 12.2 per cent.

Their cases were similar to Kenya Institute of Special Education, Sony Sugar Ltd, National Government CDF Board, Tana Water, Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor Development Authority, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, among others.

‘TARGET GROUPS’

“A total of 102 State corporations reported to have awarded contracts to the target groups. The 102 State corporations reported to have reserved Sh13 billion representing 20.5 per cent of their cumulative annual procurement spends of Sh63.7 billion for the 2015/16 financial year,” it said.

Added the report: “After further review, we found that 76 State corporations reserved at least 30 per cent while 26 reserved less than 30 per cent of their procurement budgets. The Kenya Academy of Sports reserved the highest amount at 75 per cent of the total procurement spend while Kenya Airports Authority reserved the lowest at two per cent”.

The tender awards among public universities and colleges stood at about 28 per cent.

“A total of 24 universities and colleges submitted the Preference and Reservation reports using the prescribed template. Technical University did not provide information as required,” the report states.

Among the county governments, only 14 of the 47 reported on contracts awarded. Of the 14, 10 reserved Sh5.6 billion of Sh26.4 billion procurement spend. The 14 that reported were West Pokot, Kwale, Mombasa, Kericho, Nakuru, Kisumu, Makueni, and Narok. Others were Uasin Gishu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Trans Nzoia, Embu and Wajir.

West Pokot reserved seven per cent while Narok and Wajir had the highest at 29 and 29.1 per cent respectively.

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