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Kenya Set To Resort To Online To Fight Graft


coastweek.com

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Wednesday he will set up a website in an effort to fight corruption which has retarded development in the East African Nation.

Kenyatta, who officially launched the 30 percent affirmative action of government procurement for women, youth and persons with disability in Nairobi, said the website will enable the public to report government officials who engage in graft, so that appropriate action would be taken against them.

The president warned public officials that his government will not tolerate graft, saying the days of corrupt officials in service are numbered and called for joint efforts to wipe out the vice.

“We have reached a point where if you want to keep your government job, you must be satisfied with the salary you are paid. If you think it is not enough, you are free to quit and look for other forms of employment,” he warned.

The warning came as the authorities took war against graft a notch higher in the most credible attempt so far to showcase Kenyatta’s acumen as a reform-minded African leader serving his first term in office.

The president also warned the Public Procurement Directorate to seal all loopholes that would allow corruption to compromise the procurement process, saying no laxity on their part will be tolerated.

He said he would closely monitor the allocation of the 30 percent government procurement to see exactly how many women, youths and persons with disability benefit.

 “For far too long we have characterized our women as people who are dependent. I want them to be people who we can depend on. Our youth were viewed as people who lacked vision and direction, I want to make them the engine that drives Kenya,” he said.

The president said if the 30 percent procurement allocation to the youth, women and persons with disability was replicated in all 47 counties and in the private sector, poverty would significantly reduce in the country.

Kenya: Minutes reveal how IEBC bought pollbooks


Standard Digital

By Moses Michira and Paul Wafula

March 26, 2013

NAIROBI, KENYAThe electoral commission, which conducted the March 4 General Election, bought voter identification gadgets without testing their technical capability.

Face Technology, the South African firm that supplied the equipment also known as poll books, won the tender before a technical evaluation was conducted among the five prequalified bidders.

A review of the tendering procedure by the public procurement regulator found out the tender to supply poll books was awarded to the South African firm, which participated in the Anglo Leasing scandal, on September 29 last year, three weeks before the technical evaluation among the shortlisted bidders.

This major procurement breach ensured firms that were to later demonstrate their capabilities for the task, like America’s Avante and France’s Safran Morpho were left out.

The public procurement regulator, however, found out IEBC had actually made its decision to award the tender to Face Technology more than three weeks before the October 22 demonstration of technical capabilities.

Minutes from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC and presented by Avante to the regulator indicated that the tender was actually awarded on September 29.

“…bidder number 3 M/S Face Technology be considered for the award of the contract at a total cost of Sh1.397724925 ($16651139.13),” reads part of the official information from IEBC’s September 29 meeting.

The regulator says since a decision had been made, the exercise of proof of concept was meaningless becauseFace Technology, whose devise had failed, had been shockingly declared the winner. The revelation now provides the critical answers to the billion-dollar question, what exactly went wrong in the voter identification during the last General Election conducted by IEBC?

The public procurement regulator fell short of cancelling IEBC’s tender, only allowing it to proceed in the greater public interest considering the time left, on its December 3, last year, terse ruling. IEBC’s defence was that Face Technology had the lowest quote at Sh1.39 billion disregarding its inability to produce the required equipment, compared to Safran Morpho’s Sh1.6 billion and Avante’s Sh2.1 billion.

Questionable tendering

IEBC’s motivation in awarding the tender to Face Technology was questioned by the regulator who established an uneven playing ground in the procurement process. Face Technology had presented a prototype that never worked at the tendering stage, but the IEBC inexplicably offered the firm another chance to demonstrate its technical capability.

A meeting between IEBC and the three prequalified bidders held on October 10, last year indicated Safran Morpho declined to parade its prototype, while Face Technology’s equipment fell short of the requirements in the tender document.

“(Avante’s prototype) can satisfactorily meet the specifications provided in the tender document for voter identification device,” further reads the report. “( Face Technology) did not demonstrate a prototype that met the proof of concept requirements as stipulated in the tender document.”

IEBC invited Face Technology and Safran Morpho in a subsequent demonstration, leaving out Avante, which had demonstrated its technical capacity, in a meeting held on October 22. Minutes of the meeting show Face Technology presented a different device from that submitted during the close of the tender, a major procurement breach, which the IEBC turned a blind eye to.

During the evaluation,Face Technologyprovided a prototype device, which lacked a spare power back-up of 12 hours that was marked as critical. It also did not have an original battery attached to the laptops that would last for 12 hours.

The device it supplied at this stage did not meet the requirement that its start-up and recovery time would last less than 30 seconds. This means the prototype ofFace Technology was taking longer to start than required. None of the companies that qualified for the second round of evaluation also provided gadgets that had unique identification numbers assigned by the manufacturers. Lack of this detail exposes the gadgets to difficulties in tracing the user and location in case they are used to hack into the system. The Board accuses the IEBC of being cosy with Face Technologyand finding small excuses with the other companies to disqualify them.

“It (IEBC) appears to have adopted in the processing of this tender, a scheme of nit-picking, when it came to the tenders of the bidders it did not favour, and one of cosiness when it came with the successful bidder (Face Technologies),” a report, critical of the process, reads in part.

The revelations come at a time when it emerged the electronic voting and transmission system could have been attacked at least twice before it finally crashed at 8pm on Election Day.

Kenya President vetoes huge bonuses for parliament


AP via Huffington Post

TOM ODULA

October 10th, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s president vetoed a move by the country’s parliament to award legislators bonuses of up to $110,000 at the end of their term next year.

The move is unconstitutional and untenable in the country’s prevailing economic circumstances, President Mwai Kibaki said late Tuesday.

Kibaki noted recent increases of salaries for teachers and doctors, and said Kenya requires massive resources to implement a new constitution and meet other competing demands in the economy.

The legislators last week quietly awarded themselves the bonuses, sparking public outrage.

On Tuesday, at least 100 people, including a popular Kenyan musician, protested outside parliament shouting “thieves” and urging the president not to approve the pay bill.

Kenya’s 222 legislators currently make about $120,000 a year each. The minimum wage in Nairobi, the capital, is about $1,500 a year.

Kenyan parliamentarians are fast earning a reputation for trying to give themselves expensive perks. Last year parliament attempted to raise their annual pay to $175,000 but the idea was met with such fierce public resistance that they shelved the plan. Earlier this year parliament inaugurated a new 350-seat chamber, where each of the seats cost about $3,000.

Human rights and anti-corruption activists say the motion to increase the parliament’s bonus to $110,000 – a vote that passed Thursday night with only about 30 legislators present – violates the country’s 2010 constitution, which does not allow parliament to set its own pay.

Over 200,000 high school and primary school teachers held a strike last month over pay. The government bowed to the demands after three weeks of arguing there was no more money to raise the salaries.

Doctors called off their strike last week after walking out for 18 days to protest the poor state of public hospitals where some of the doctors have had to use their lights from their mobile phones in emergency situations to conduct procedures.

NASA Solicitation: Expansion of the SEVIR System in East Africa


Synopsis – Feb 21, 2012

General Information

Solicitation Number: NNM12424492R
Posted Date: Feb 21, 2012
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Feb 21, 2012
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Mar 07, 2012
Current Response Date: Mar 07, 2012
Classification Code: F — Natural resources and conservation services
NAICS Code: 541370

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812

Description

NASA/MSFC has a requirement for ongoing work and implementation of the (United States Agency for International Development) USAID SERVIR FY12-13 Work Plan. Additionally, this procurement is in response to a request from the USAID to perform Land Use Land Use Change Forest (LULUCF) mapping which will be a major input to the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories in six South African Development Community countries.

NASA/MSFC intends to purchase the items from the Regional Center for the Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya. Competition is impractical for the following reasons:

1. RCMRD assumed the role of the host institution of SERVIR-Africa in 2008 and began establishing the framework for management and utilization of SERVIR-related environmental information. Since that time, as the implementing arm of SERVIR-Africa, RCMRD has made significant progress in strengthening regional and national capacity to better take advantage of SERVIR, and in improving the technical infrastructure to manage environmental data and information generated through the SERVIR system Funding was provided to NASA from USAID under a Participating Agency Program Agreement (PAPA). USAID approved RCMRD for hosting and operating the SERVIR-Africa system, and supports continuation of RCMRD’s engagement.

2. This procurement is a follow-on for continuation of activities implemented under the existing RCMRD contract which has been the implementing arm of SERVIR-Africa.

3. USAID has already made a significant investment in the infrastructure at RCMRD with the installation of USAID funded equipment (hardware and software) to build capacity to satisfy the technical requirements.

4. USAID in concert with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat and collaborating partners has specifically requested that RCMRD, under the auspices of SERVIR-Africa, be an implementer in the development of Sustainable National GHG Inventory Management Systems in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region, a major undertaking to address challenges in development of quality and sustainable national GHG Inventory Management System in the ESA region.

5. SERVIR is a high-visibility project at NASA/MSFC, NASA/HQ and USAID. It is also a model implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems–a multinational effort to build an earth observation system. This level of visibility further supports the need to continue engaging an institution such as RCMRD that is well recognized in the geospatial community.

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.

Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. central time on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

NASA Clause 1852.215-84, Ombudsman, is applicable. The installation Ombudsman is:

Robin N. Henderson NASA/MSFC Building 4200, Room 918A Telephone: 256-544-1919 FAX: 256-544-7920 E-Mail: robin.n.henderson@nasa.gov

Point of Contact

Name: Iris Walter
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: 256-961-7054
Fax: 256-961-7148
Email: Iris.R.Walter@nasa.gov

Name: Melinda E. Dodson
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 256-961-7454
Fax: 256-961-7524
Email: Melinda.E.Dodson@nasa.gov

MMD in UNHCR seal scam


The Post Online

By Kombe Chimpinde

February 21, 2012

ZAMBIAN security wings have commenced investigations into a scam where the MMD allegedly used the UNHCR seal to swindle a South African company of over US$24 million.

Sources disclosed that suspected MMD officials had forged a UN seal and signature of an official of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) sub-head continental Office in Nairobi, Kenya charged with procurement and supply for Southern and Central African states to lure a South African Company to procure on the party’s behalf T-shirts and blankets between March and June, 2011.

The company trading as Abel Joseph General Traders situated on Leicester Road, Anerly Bedford Gardens, 2007 South Africa, was contracted by Dr Naidoo Lyden, in his capacity as an official of the UNHCR to procure the goods, sources revealed.

An agent of the company and signatory to the agreement only identified as Ahmed, whom police have summoned to help with investigations, is said to have reported the matter late last year to complain of the disappearance of the unscrupulous persons he entered into the deal with involving US$24 million and who had received part of the consignment.

The sources said Dr Naidoo and two named officers had since been placed on the wanted list in connection with the matter and are likely to be charged.

According to a Heads of Agreement document entered into bearing a UNHCR seal and the signature of an official, Abel Joseph General Traders was ostensibly lured into signing a deal to procure 10,000 T-shirts and blankets.

The agreement obtained from sources claims that the said blankets and plain T-shirts were meant for Southern and Central Africa.

Sources disclosed that the deal that was brokered by an agent only identified as Ahmed, representing the company and Dr Naidoo, acting as signatory of UN on behalf of the MMD under the guise of UNHCR which was portrayed to be a humanitarian operation by the organisation into Southern and Central Africa.

The contract indicated that it was to last a period of five years with a suspensive condition and that the UN was satisfied with the quality, service and delivery of the agent/broker.

The parties also agreed that the pricing be re-negotiated year by year to accommodate fluctuations and price escalations.

“The parties have agreed that Abel Joseph General Traders and or its agents, suppliers, associates and partners shall supply the United Nations, Central African Region, High Commission of Refugees the T-shirts and blankets as described in Clause 1.8 in this agreement,” the agreement outlined in part.

“The agent shall deliver from time to time, the respective consignment to the respective port of entry or region of distribution of schedule of delivery marked in Annexure 1, during the term of the contract. The agent /broker shall not supply any other United Nations branch outside the stipulated region of the Southern and Central African Countries.”

According to sources, the company was to get its first payment 30 days after supply of a minimum of 1000 blankets and 50, 000 T-shirts through an international bank.

It is not clear, however, whether the MMD had received the whole total amount of the blankets and T-shirts stipulated in the agreement.

Sources further revealed that part of the consignment held in the company’s name was stuck at Kazungula border because it was not cleared.

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