County Secretary’s office on the spot as Assembly adopts PAC report on procurement of Fuel from an UNPREQUALIFIED company

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In Summary:

  • PACs mandate/ToR
  • Webmar Scandal
  • Committee Observations
  • Committee Recommendations
  • PAC Committee members
  • DOWNLOAD; Full report (pdf)

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has hoisted high these constitutional provisions as the basis for holding each individual, Public Officers directly and personally liable for any loss of public funds under their watch. The Committee has and will continue to invoke these provisions in its recommendations to hold those responsible; personally accountable. This is also intended to serve as a deterrent measure.

COMMITTEE’S TERMS OF REFERENCE

Vide a resolution at its meeting held on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020 the committee resolved on its own motion (suo-moto) to investigate the irregular procurement of fuel in Bungoma County Executive. The  committee was to inquire into and report to the County Assembly on the following: –

  1. Establish whether there was compliance or lack of it on the part of the Office of the County Secretary, County Government of Bungoma with the provisions of Article 227 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 regarding the procurement of public goods and services in respect to the procurement of M/S Webmar Investments Limited (Webuye Total Service Station) for the supply and delivery of super petrol and diesel through card dispensed services.
  2. Ascertain whether the reasons or grounds advanced as justification that led to the award of the tender in question through direct sourcing indeed satisfied the conditions or constitutional requirements laid down under section 103 of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act,2015.
  3. Establish whether the procedure followed to award the said tender through single sourcing culminating into both parties to enter into a two-year contract running from 1 st February, 2020 to I St February, 2022 and the subsequent award of the tender by the said county department to M/S Webmar Investment Limited (Webuye Total Service Station) was procured through a flawed process under the meaning of sections 103 & 104 of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015.
  4. Ascertain whether public finance management and public procurement and Assets Disposal procedures were fully complied with in the course of execution of the said contract.
  5. Ascertain whether the accounting officer in the Office of the County Secretary conducted himself professionally in regard to the requirements of the public procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015 in the process of execution of the contract between the entity being the client/procuring entity and M/s Webmar Investment Limited the (Webuye entity being Total the service client/ station procuring as the entity tendered/ and M/S supplier)
  6. Establish the role(s) played by the county department of supply chain management services in respect to the subject matter.

Here are extracts from the Committee’s report on the investigations into the Irregular  Procurement for the supply and delivery of super petrol and diesel through card  dispensed services in the County Executive of Bungoma…

DOWNLOAD; REPORT BY PAC ON THE IRREGULAR PROCUREMENT OF SUPER PETROL AND DIESEL (1) (1)

COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

The Committee made the following observations;

  1. That the letter written by the Chief Officer, Office of the County Secretary addressed to the Head of Supply Chain Management dated 5th November 2019 to justify the use of direct mode of procurement did not meet the conditions provided for under Section 103 of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015.
  2. That Webmar Investments Limited was not pre-qualified as a supplier for super petrol and diesel in the County Government of Bungoma for the financial year 2019/2020.
  3. That a request letter from Webmar Investments Limited to the procuring entity seeking to be prequalified to supply fuel to the County Executive was specific to the financial year 2019/2020. However, the procuring entity signed a contract for two financial years running from 1st February 2020 to 1st February 2022 for a directly procured item and yet M/s Webmar Investments Limited is not the only known available supplier for the product.
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  4. That Webmar Investments Limited is not the only known supplier capable of offering card dispensed services and therefore settling on such a company through direct procurement was In violation of the conditions set out under I l Section 103 of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015 and Article 227 of the Constitution of Kenya on procurement of public goods and competitive sourcing respectively.
  5. That the Accounting Officer, Office of the County Secretary usurped the powers of other accounting officers by solely procuring fuel for various County Executive departments in total violation of Section 149 (2)(d)(e )(o) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.
  6. Despite the County having entered into a two-year contract agreement to use fuel cards from Total Kenya, it was observed that various County departments have continued to draw fuel from Shreeji and M’Big outlets to date.
  7. The card system has not captured all the County vehicles as per various category departments. The Office of the Governor for example only has a Generator listed for card consumption despite the department being among the highest consumers of fuel with a fleet of vehicles.

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

The committee recommends the following:

  1. That the contract entered into between the County Government of Bungoma and M/s Webmar Investments Limited (Webuye Total Service station) dated 29nd January 2020 was as a result of a flawed process. The committee hereby recommends the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority to Investigates the matter and take necessary action as per the provisions of Section 9 (2) of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015.
  2. That the committee hereby recommends that pursuant to the provisions of section 156 of the public finance management act, 2012, the CEC-M finance takes appropriate disciplinary action against Dr. Chrispinus Simiyu, the Accounting Officer, Office of the County Secretary for flouting the provisions of Article 227 of the Constitution and Section 103 of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, 2015 which spells out the procedure to be followed before engaging In direct procurement and a communication to that effect be shared With this County Assembly within 30 days from the date of adoption of this report.
  1. That the County Public Services Board institutes appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with Section 59 (1) (c) of the County Governments Act, 2012 to the Ag. Director, Supply Chain Management, Mr. Cheboss B. Juma for failure in his responsibility of advising the accounting officer as the technical person for an appropriate ch01ce of procurement method as per the laid down guidelines under the Public Procurement specifically section 103 of the Act. A compliance report to be forwarded to th1S County Assembly within 30 days from the date of adoption of this report.
  2. That the accounting officers designated to various County Government entities should always carry out due diligence on the mode of procurement and market survey in respect to companies offering services required by the county before engaging in the procurement of goods and services in the

Committee Membership

The Public Accounts Committee as currently constituted comprises of the following members:

  1. Hon. Tony Barasa                 Chairperson
  2. Joseph Magudah                  Vice-chairperson
  3. Eric Wapang’ana                  Member
  4. Hon. James Chesibok           Member
  5. Hon. Jerusa Aleu                  Member
  6. Hon. Isaiah Sudi                  Member
  7. Hon. Winnie Nyambok          Member
  8. Hon. Everlyne Mutiembu      Member
  9. Hon. Metrine Nangalama      Member
  10. Hon. Tindi Manasseh           Member
  11. Hon. Martin Pepela              Member

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