- Secretary-general Liberat Mfumukeko said the bloc’s procurement committee will either hire or co-opt experts to review all its high-profile contracts.
Nairobi. The East African Community (EAC) has said all its contracts of at least $100,000 will henceforth be reviewed by experts as frequent violation of procurement rules threaten relations with key financiers.
Secretary-general Liberat Mfumukeko said the bloc’s procurement committee will either hire or co-opt experts to review all its high-profile contracts.
He made the pledge after the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) adopted a report that accuses him of influencing the extension of a contract with the Kenya-headquartered Liberty Assurance.
The report shows that Mr Mfumukeko overruled the tender committee and verbally instructed secretariat officials to award Liberty Assurance the contract to provide personal accident and group life cover to the bloc’s 342 staff and legislators.
The committee had awarded Britam Life Assurance Company the tender after it passed technical evaluation with the lowest bid of Sh48 million ( $480,008) against Liberty’s offer of Sh74.6 million.
“I could not endorse the report of the procurement committee to give the contract to Britam, but it was necessary to have consultations with executives in the station to come up with a way forward,” Mr Mfumukeko is quoted as having told the EALA committee.
He is reported to have added, “We had to be covered and so decided to extend the contract to M/S Liberty until such time as the final decision is made”.
A number of external financiers have criticised the EAC for poor implementation of its procurement rules. Last year, the bloc passed the EU’s fiduciary risk assessment rules but failed on the procurement and internal control parameters.