In a bid to lift the lid on the secretive tendering industry, the Nation Media Group (NMG) has inked a partnership deal that will see it increase coverage on public procurement.
On Monday, NMG signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya) and Hivos East Africa that will enable them establish an online open contracting portal.
The portal will support media story linkages, data backed storytelling, access to information for research and support the shelf life of procurement-related stories after first publication.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU at the Nation Centre, NMG Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu said the partnership will play a major watchdog role.
“This partnership will entrench the Group’s mission of positively transforming society by promoting transparency and accountability in public resource management,” said Mr Mathiu.
He noted that the platform will enable the public interrogate government decisions on public procurement.
Hivos East Africa’s Regional Director, Mendi Njonjo said the partnership will support citizen engagement in demanding for transparency and accountability in public procurement.
Ms Njonjo said this will enable the public to access information on critical goods and services that they need and those within their rights.
“One of our major goals as an institution that advocates for the adoption of open contracting is to see that citizens are well informed about the use of public funds in procurement and that citizens receive the critical goods and services they need in a timely and efficient way,” she said.
IEA Kenya CEO Kwame Owino said public expenditure management remains a challenge in Kenya and that the portal will provide better understanding of the matter.
“Through scrutiny and disclosure, we expect that the deliberate infractions of procurement law will be evident and [we will] expose to Kenyans that we must demand for all public officers to be better stewards of the public treasure,” said Mr Owino.