The Ombudsman’s office and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority are going after Machakos County government over claims of irregular tenders.
The two institutions also claim the County has not provided documentation for questionable procurement.
The PPOA has reported the Machakos County government to the Commission on Administration of Justice after its attempt to obtain documents relating to suspicious tenders failed.
“The commission is in receipt of a complaint from the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) which alleges; that vide its letter of 25 February 2014.The authority wrote to you inquiring into allegations of flouting tender rules in the award of tenders for the County Government,” read a letter written by the Ombudsman Mr Otiende Amolo.
The tenders in question include one on the installation of CCTV cameras in Machakos Town, purchase of 15 Subaru cars for the County Government, construction of governor’s residence, procurement of workshop service, construction of boreholes and issues related to both domestic and foreign travels by county government officials.
The letter addressed to Mr Francis Kiio Mwaka, the Machakos County Secretary states: “PPOA requested you to give a comprehensive and detailed account of how the procurement process was done and supply it with the following documents.”
The documents requested according to Amolo’s letter dated June 20 includes: procurement plan, advertisement notice, black bid documents, tender opening minutes, evaluation reports, tender committee minutes, notification letters to the successful and unsuccessful firms and contract agreements.
The Ombudsman further wrote: “Kindly further note that the allegations against the office of the Governor and the County Government of Machakos if proved amounts to abuse of power and would fall within the jurisdiction of the commission.”
The Machakos Governor is Dr Alfred Mutua and some of the questions raised about his government had also featured in the last special audit reports by the Auditor General’s office.
Mr Mutua told the Nation Friday that his office is yet to receive the Ombudsman’s letter and that they are still waiting for it.
“The Ombudsman’s office called me about the letter but to date I am yet to see it. But again me I don’t participate in tenders. What I know is that some of this people complaining are losers,”Dr Mutua said.
He further described the complaints as normal adding that his office will remain undistracted as the matters are dealt with by concerned agencies.
But in a response to an earlier letter written by PPOA Director General Mr JO Juma to the County Government regarding the procurement of cars, the county secretary had promised a response but is yet to honour it.
“This is to acknowledge receipt of the letter to advice that I will respond to the concerns raised in that letter shortly,” said Mr Mwaka in a letter dated February 25, 2014.
But on June 13 PPOA wrote to the ombudsman’s office accusing the Machakos government of failing to respond.
“We hereby inform you that we have not received any feedback from the procuring entity to date on the issues raised in our letter referred to above although the deadline provided for reply lapsed,” said a PPOA letter signed by Peter Ndungu.