AG to approve tenders in a bid to end financial bleeding

Keynan said the team had noticed a trend where contracts were deliberately flawed from the start.

Monday March 7 2016

Attorney-General Githu Muigai (left) speaks with Solicitor-General Njee Muturi at the Supreme Court on April 30, 2015. Mr Muturi on March 3, 2016 accused some ministries and parastatals of cancelling deals without following the procedure provided in the contract itself. FILE  PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Attorney-General Githu Muigai (left) speaks with Solicitor-General Njee Muturi at the Supreme Court on April 30, 2015. Mr Muturi on March 3, 2016 accused some ministries and parastatals of cancelling deals without following the procedure provided in the contract itself. FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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All contracts worth more than Sh5 billion will have to be approved by the Attorney-General.

Solicitor-General Njee Muturi told a meeting of accounting officers in the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary and the heads of independent bodies that the State Law Office will also be involved when contracts are cancelled.

He said the measures are in response to concerns by the Public Investments Committee that many parastatals blindly cancel contracts, leaving the government with a huge legal burden.

Participants at the meeting took Mr Muturi to task over the large number of court cases the government has been losing.

“The recent law that was passed mandated that any contract above Sh5 billion must get the consent of the AG. We are using that as the entry point because most of the deals that are cancelled are the big ones,” said Mr Muturi at the Thursday meeting in Nairobi.

A circular had been issued to that effect, he said, adding: “Our office recently issued a circular … that all contracts from now on — the way they are entered into, procurement and the cancellation — must seek the advisory in that manner.”

He accused some ministries and parastatals of cancelling deals without following the procedure provided in the contract itself, adding that the State Law Office gets involved when it is too late.

PIC Chairman Adan Keynan said the team had noticed a trend where contracts were deliberately flawed from the start, exposing the government to huge compensation demands.

Mr Keynan said cases of this nature pointed at the influence of crooked businessmen known as ‘tenderpreneurs’.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko asked criminal investigators to team up with parliamentary committees in gathering evidence that could speed up prosecution.

“I prosecute once I have received a properly investigated file. In the absence of that file, I cannot make a decision as a prosecutor,” said Mr Tobiko.

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