Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Govt Sh24b laptop project enters crucial stage

The Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Jacob Kaimenyi, addresses stakeholders in Education sector at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on December 23, 2013 during the Presentation of the Kenya National Examinations Council Draft Rules to them. Jacob Kaimenyi said on December 23, 2013 that the laptop project will be rolled out next year as planned. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi (above) told Nation that the process of awarding tenders had reached a “critical stage” and that due diligence was being conducted to ensure a credible supplier is awarded the tender. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL 

By ISAAC ONGIRI
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By SAMWEL BORN MAINA
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The government’s Sh24 billion laptop project has now entered a crucial stage after the government dispatched a team of eight experts to conduct due diligence on the top listed company last Friday.

The move came amidst pressure on the Ministry of Education to deliver the Jubilee Government’s most lucrative educational campaign promise.

On Tuesday, the team completed its first phase of tour at Olive’s manufacturing plant in China and are expected in India later Friday to visit the headquarters of the Olive Holdings.

Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi told Nation that the process of awarding tenders had reached a “critical stage” and that due diligence was being conducted to ensure a credible supplier is awarded the tender.

“The key purpose of due diligence exercise is to deal with any critical issues that might hinder the success of the project and its credibility,” Prof Kaimenyi explained.

Deadlines for the delivery of the costly project has been postponed twice in the past to give room for a credible tendering process after the government failed to get a good offer in the first tender floated last August.

On Tuesday, all the top three listed companies were emphatic they would deliver within the government timelines if awarded the tender whose huge value has attracted a vicious competition among vendors.

The due diligence team arrived in China on Saturday to assess the capability of the leading bidder Olive Telecoms and will later tour more of their facilities in India before submitting a guiding report on how to proceed with the process.

The 1.2 million learner’s laptop together with 20,000 high grade tutor laptops tender will be awarded to one company while the tender for 20,000 projectors and a similar number of printers would go to a different company.

“We do not want to engage in a situation where we are discussing the tendering process but we can confirm that we will deliver within the schedules offered by the ministry,” said Mr Arun Khanna the lead Director and Olive Telkom.

The General Manager of Haier Mr Liu Wei whose Chinese company was listed third they would deliver on schedule if they were awarded the tender.

“We are ready to start shipment of the commodity 25 days from the contract date for the Kenyan case. This is something we have done in many countries before,” said Mr Liu Wei Haier General Manager for overseas division.

In an email to the Nation, Mr Wei said his company is planning to put in place a major assembly in Kenya to deal with the East and Central African market.

UTILITY
HOW TOP COMPANIES NEGOTIATED THE LAPTOP TENDER

1-Olive Telcoms

Bid Price-Sh22 billion

Price Per Laptop-Sh18,011

Negotiated Delivery Plans-To deliver the Laptops to the Sub County Headquarters.

2-Hewlett Packard

Bid Price-Sh23 billion

Price Per Laptop-Sh18,841
Negotiated Delivery Plan-To deliver Laptops to the Sub County Headquarters

3-Haire

Bid Price-Sh24 billion

Price Per Laptop-Sh19,256

Negotiated Delivery Plan-To deliver Laptops to the County Headquarters.

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