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There has been intensified corruption throughout procurement in most public institutions be it in ministries, parastatals, city council, public schools etc. in Kenya. In some institutions the magnitude has been known to be more than what we would like to imagine. Many such graft issues come into the head line news only to be replaced the next day by something else, nothing was really done about it after the reporting.

 

To be a procurement professional in that era compromised a lot of morals, which is why it seems to be rather maligned today. Ministry top dogs would in those days have their side dish companies which they would then procure from. Talk about a conflict of interest in more ways than one.

 

Pricing, quality, quantity was open to manipulation and for a long time this seemed alright to the leaders of Kenya. Public institutions in those days did not give much thought to promoting market competition and most private sector companies knew that the only way they could get a few contracts thrown their way was to send a hefty bribe in a certain direction and voila! Additionally, there was no way that any supplier or contractor could do anything if their bids were evaluated unfairly, none dared speak about it.

 

This mpango was kando gave the procurement professionals much to speak off, but the most important was Kenya’s Public Procurement and Disposals Act 2005 and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority which enables suppliers to bring their complaints to be heard, and most importantly it is now illegal for a public officer to do business with his/her personal organisation irrespective of their ranking. Is the implementation of this legal framework going on? Mmh food for thought.

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