The National Youth Service ignored a raft of recommendations made by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in 2015 to tighten up procurement, which could have prevented further theft.
Following the flagging of the first Sh791 million scandal, the EACC did an audit that exposed tendering flaws, including jobs going to the highest bidders, preferred suppliers getting multiple contracts, conflict of interest among NYS personnel and administrative failures.
The commission then tabled recommendations for implementation by the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Planning, the NYS Director-General, and sub-county commissioners, the first line of approval for tenders. The measures were aimed at plugging the gaps in procurement and aligning the processes to the Public Procurement and Disposals Act.
These were largely ignored, either out of complicity or negligence, leading to the loss of the Sh9 billion, unearthed exclusively by the Nation.
Among the practices flagged by the EACC in 2015 are the awarding of tenders to the highest bidder, in clear contravention of the Public Procurement and Disposals Act (PPDA), which states that successful tenders must be those that have the lowest evaluated price.
In addition, the NYS sub-county tender committees were faulted for awarding multiple contracts to suppliers at the NYS field units based on the prices recommended by the evaluation committees, which do not reflect the prices quoted by the suppliers.
The EACC also noted that the NYS had a “tendency to invite the same suppliers to quote for the supply of various items, despite a large number of prequalified suppliers in different categories”, leading to a situation where only three firms out of 317 prequalified suppliers were invited to bid between 2013 and 2014.
Further inconsistencies were noted with the awarding of contracts to companies owned by the same people, reflecting a lack of due diligence, which made the system vulnerable to rigging and conflict of interest.
“M/s Nicy Company Ltd was awarded a contract to supply 10,000 berets @ 399 each, amounting to Sh3,990,000 while M/s Liberty Professional Services Ltd was awarded a contract to supply 8,000 wool-ribbed jerseys @ Sh1,700 each, amounting to Sh13,600,000. A review of documents showed that the two companies shared a postal address, plot number, manufacturer’s authorisation and directors,” said the report.
In addition, the NYS managers were faulted for paying for substandard goods and for goods not fully delivered.