By The Weekly Vision
Top officers at the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education are under investigation for mismanaging public funds meant for various programs under their watch. Investigations reveal that Ksh. 189,072,000 was spent by the officer on the supply of 2,020 desktop computers to 196 Secondary Schools across the 47 Counties; however, several anomalies were noticed in the procurement process.
Records indicate that the computers were delivered on 20th June 2022, 20 days after the lapse of the contract and the liquidated damage was at the rate of 0.5% per week, which would translate to about Ksh. 2,836,080 and which was not charged as per the contract agreement. It has also been discovered that the signed contract related to SEQUIP Contract No. MOE/SEQUIP/NCB /04/2021-2022 as titled not the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education while the award and professional opinion relate to tender No. MOE/SDELBE/NCB/04/2021-2022 on supply of computers.
Investigations further reveal that the contract for the supply of the desktop computers did not specify what tests were to be carried out to confirm the functioning of the machines. The State Department is also being accused of another tender fraud for the construction of CBC classes countrywide. Records show that the State Department Management tendered for the construction of the CBC classrooms at a cost of Ksh. 709,398 for each classroom across the country.
It was, however, not clear how the amount was arrived at taking into consideration the terrain and topographical layout across the country making it impossible to have a standard rate. Further, the procurement and payments of the contractors were made outside the e-procurement system. This was contrary to Regulation 49(2) of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Regulations, 2020. In the circumstances, Management was in breach of the law in the procurement and award of the contract for the construction of the CBC classrooms.
Further, in the Disbursements of Day Secondary Schools Subsidies, an amount of Ksh. 6,281,741 was disbursed through the shared bank accounts where 6 schools operated one bank account for both operations and tuition funds with total payments of Ksh. 40,927,074. Further, it has also been discovered that 24,119 schools sharing TSC registration numbers received disbursements amounting to Ksh. 737,669,134. Disbursements of Free Primary Education Funds were made to Schools Without TSC Codes where 436 schools did not have TSC registration numbers/Codes. The schools received a total disbursement of Ksh. 14,664,414.