Saitoti copter ‘should not have made bid list’
Posted Monday, August 6 2012 at 23:30
- Witness tells probe committee that the machine fell below safety requirements
The helicopter that killed Internal Security minister George Saitoti, his deputy Orwa Ojode and four others should have been disqualified from the tender bid, a probe team heard on Monday.
The commission investigating the June 10 crash in Ngong heard that the aircraft fell below a minimal safety requirement.
Members of the technical evaluation team at one stage observed that it was not clear whether the take-off weight indicated on bid documents submitted by Eurocopter referred to the machine’s internal or external weight and agreed to get an average against the one submitted by the second bidder, Bell Helicopters.
This, said Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) director-general Morris Oduor Juma, who was giving evidence yesterday, was a glaring anomaly that required the evaluators to go back to the drawing board and “seek clarification from the bidders.”
Mr Juma told the commission that the Eurocopter “was not responsive” as it did not meet the minimal threshold regarding take-off weight details.
He said the team flouted the rules by adjusting “the substance of the tender” as the law barred both the procuring entity and bidder from interfering with details after deadlines for submission.
The PPOA boss said the committee misapplied a section of the law that required that purchases over Sh20 million go to open tender and a list of 10 bidders be subjected to scrutiny.
“According to the rules, it should be an open process that builds public confidence and value for money,” he said.
He said he was not aware why the police restricted themselves to two bidders. “There are no shortcuts, the law is very clear and must be adhered to by all procuring entities,” he said.
Mr Juma was the eighth witness to testify before the commission chaired by Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal.