The Higher Education Loans Board procurement department has been exposed in a Ksh. 31m tender for procurement of Information Communication Technology (ICT). According to well-placed sources, the board engaged two suppliers to undertake the supply, delivery, installation, and configuration of the SAN system and the provision of computer equipment respectively at a contract sum of Ksh. 31,059,140.
The big deal here is that officers used the direct procurement method without any justification. Sources say the board used the method to either award the tenders to companies they had an interest in or to companies they benefited from.
It has also been noted that the board did not conduct a comprehensive market survey before awarding the tender. Further, the board procured 65 computers through restricted tendering at a contract sum of Ksh.10, 436,700. Interestingly, a review of the procurement records revealed that the professional opinion by the head of procurement was dated 5th February 2019 while the procurement proceedings were held on 2nd September 2019.
It is highly suspected that officers at the procurement department doctored the documents to favor certain companies against the procurement rules. The board further paid Ksh. 21,868,000 as staff bonuses. However, the Board’s Human Resources Policy does not recognize staff bonuses as part of employees’ compensation.