Treasury postpones roll out of e-procurement in counties

Governors given 90 days to set up new method of purchasing goods.

Tuesday January 12 2016

Treasury CS Henry Rotich (centre), PS Kamau Thugge (left) and Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo (right) during a press conference addressing queries on the Eurobond at Treasury on December 4, 2015.  PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

Treasury CS Henry Rotich (centre), PS Kamau Thugge (left) and Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo (right) during a press conference addressing queries on the Eurobond at Treasury on December 4, 2015. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ISAAC ONGIRI
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The National Treasury has postponed the rollout of the e-procurement system in all the 47 counties until after March 2016.

In a circular by Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, which is also copied to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the ministry has given county governments a 90-day window to allow for a proper set-up of the system expected to curb fraud in government procurement. After the setting up, the e-procurement will then be rolled out.

Procurement departments have therefore been allowed to continue using the “fraud prone” auto-creation method as development, strengthening and improving  the e-procurement system, largely opposed by governors, is done.

“The use of auto-creation has been allowed until March 2016 following which all county governments should fully use the e-procurement system end to end,” Mr Rotich ordered.

The CS said the government was keen to minimize pilferage and theft of public funds by putting in place a system that can allow an audit trail of government resources including those authorizing payments.

“The budget is linked to the procurement and the payment processes to ensure that all purchases made within a spending unit have requisite budget allocation and guaranteed resources for their payment. The procurement plans are also revised through the system in line with supplementary budget provisions,” said Mr Rotich.

Once in place procurement departments will be required to submit their tender documents through the system. As such, Treasury wants procurement and accounting officers trained before implementation can begin in April.

Last Saturday, county executive committee members from all the 47 counties met in Nairobi to discuss the challenges of e-procurement.

A document they prepared showed their concerns on Treasury’s attempt to enforce the regime which they claim will undermine local suppliers.

“E-Procurement has a module, the Supplier Portal, that contains a schedule of all national and county pre-qualified suppliers. County based suppliers are forced to compete on a national scale,” read the document.

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