Thursday, October 17, 2013

Government cancels laptop project tenders

Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi. PHOTO/FILE  Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi. PHOTO/FILE

By MARYANNE GICOBI
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The government has cancelled all tenders for the laptop project after bidders quoted more money than the budgeted amount.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday, Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof Jacob Kaimenyi said three firms that met the technical specification quoted astronomical figures, almost three times the budget.

“The lowest bidder quoted a price of Sh32 billion against an anticipated budget of Sh12 billion, creating a deficit of Sh20 billion,” said Mr Kaimenyi “We therefore found it prudent to terminate the tender, it does not give us the value for our money.”

The Cabinet Secretary said the tender bid ranged between Sh23,000 per laptop to Sh28,000. The government needs to procure 1.3 million laptops, 20,367 printers and the same number of projectors before the end of first quarter in 2014.

HP Commercial was the lowest bidder quoting Sh32 billion, with a unit price of Sh23,000 which is almost double what the government has budgeted for.

Chinese company Huawei PTE Ltd is the highest bidder quoting Sh60.5 billion.

Others are Samsung Electronics (Sh39.1 billion), Symphony Technologies (Sh38 billion), Haier Technologies (Sh34 billion), ZTE Corporation (Sh33 billion) and Telcom Kenya quoted Sh32 billion.

QUALITY

Mr Kaimenyi was however optimistic that the tendering row will be settled by the end of the year.

“We know the urgency of this matter but now we are faced with the actual reality as dictated by market factors.”

He said there was a probability that the bidders had collaborated to hike the prices

The ministry will decide whether to vary its budget to proceed with the project in the same capacity previously planned or trim quantities and scale down on quality.

A total of 126 firms bought the bid document after the government placed the advertisement it in the dailies, and only 20 returned the tender bids.

After the government evaluated those who returned, only three met the technical specifications.

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