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Ministry cars sold below bid price, audit report reveals

Monday August 20 2018

A Nissan Patrol.

A Nissan Patrol. Auditor-General Edward Ouko has revealed that 17 top-of-the-range GK vehicles were disposed of for as little as Sh32,000. PHOTO | COURTESY 

DAVID MWERE
By DAVID MWERE
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Auditor-General Edward Ouko has revealed that 17 top-of-the-range GK vehicles in the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection were disposed of for as little as Sh32,000.

In his latest report, Mr Ouko says that the vehicles were grossly undervalued, with some being sold below the bid prices, and others attracting extraordinary bids but still being sold cheaply.

“The top-of-the-range vehicles were sold below the bid price,” Mr Ouko notes in the report to Majority Leader Aden Duale tabled before the National Assembly.

Mr Ouko notes that the details of the auction were also not produced for verification, which would have made it possible to identify the vehicles that were not paid for or not sold, the bids and the bidders present, among others.

Meanwhile, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, who chairs the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee said, “This was not an auction. It was a scheme crafted for individuals to allocate themselves government vehicles at a throwaway price. This must not be allowed to go on unchecked.”

CORRUPTION

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In addition, Mr Ouko detected corruption in the ministry, running into hundreds of millions of shillings.

They include the stalled Sh442.7 million National Employment Promotion Centre in Kabete, Kiambu County, and irregular payment of Sh5 million for manpower consultancy services.

The contract period for the centre was 78 weeks from May 15, 2015. 

“It was not clear how the auctioneer was procured and awarded due to various discrepancies in correspondences between the auctioneer and the head of procurement at the ministry. Proper procurement procedures were not followed in the identification and award of the auction services,” Mr Ouko says.

VW PASSAT

For instance, a VW Passat with no visible damage had a reserve price of Sh30,000 and attracted bid price of Sh100,000 but only Sh32,000 was received- and from a different bidder.

A Nissan Patrol car had a reserve price of Sh131, 000 and attracted a bid price of Sh1.3 million but only Sh250, 000 was receipted.

Then, a Nissan Patrol with a reserve price of Sh131,000 and attracted a bid price of Sh2.1 million but only Sh145, 000 was receipted.

Another Nissan Patrol car had a reserve price of Sh100, 000 and attracted Sh1.8 millions but only Sh130, 000 was receipted.

According to Mr Ouko, the winning bidders at the auction of April 12, 2015, were required to pay 25 per cent deposit at the fall of the hummer “but none paid since all the miscellaneous receipts are dated April 13, 2016.”