- We, therefore, find it just and fair to nullify the letters of Notification of Intention to Award the subject tender dated 28th April 2023 issued to all unsuccessful tenderers and to also nullify and set aside the award of the subject tender to Gadgetmend International. Given our findings herein we also deem it just and fit to order the NHIF accounting officer to direct the Evaluation Committee to conduct a re-evaluation of all tenders in the subject tender taking into consideration the findings of this Board and the provisions of the Tender Document, the Act and the Constitution- Public Procurement Administrative Review Board
By The Weekly Vision
Top managers at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and a section of procurement officers were recently caught flat-footed after the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board cancelled a tender they had irregularly awarded to a vendor after money allegedly exchanged hands. In the spotlight are the officers who are believed to have played a key role in the award of the flawed tender. According to sources, Dr Samson Kuhora who is the acting Chief Executive Officer and acting Head of Supply Chain Management, Dr Wasike Walubengo is said to have compromised the whole procurement process for their benefit.
The tender for Refurbishment Works of NHIF Building, Integrated Security Systems (Tender No. NHIF/022/2022-2023) was awarded to Gadgetmend International Ltd, but in a ruling dated 14th June 2023, the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board cited several anomalies, corrupt practices and favours extended to the alleged successful tenderer while intentionally and knowingly locking out other prospective firms.
National Health Insurance Fund, the Procuring Entity and the 2nd Respondent herein invited sealed tenders from interested and qualified tenderers in response to Tender No. NHIF/022/2022-2023. The NHIF had placed advertisements in the local dailies on 6th March 2023 with the tender’s submission deadline scheduled for 21st March 2023 at 10.00 a.m.
A total of five 5 tenders were submitted in response to the subject tender, namely Nyikaland International Technologies Group Ltd, Top Choice Surveillance Limited, Total Security Surveillance Limited, Gadgetmend International Limited and Amiran Communications.
At the end of the evaluation at the first stage, 3 tenders were determined non-responsive including the Top Choice Surveillance Limited tender while 2 tenders including Gadgetmend International tender were determined responsive. The 2 tenders that were determined responsive proceeded to evaluation at the Technical Capacity Evaluation stage. At the end of the evaluation at this stage, Gadgetmend International tender was determined to have the lowest evaluated tender price of Kshs. 39,599,643.80.
The Evaluation Committee recommended the award of the subject tender Gadgetmend International as the lowest responsive evaluated tenderer. In a Professional Opinion dated 26th April 2023 the Ag. Head Supply Chain Management, Dr. Wasike Walubengo, reviewed how the subject procurement process was undertaken including the evaluation of tenders and concurred with the recommendations of the Evaluation Committee.
Thereafter, Dr Samson Kuhora, Ag. Chief Executive Officer, NHIF approved the Professional Opinion on 26th April 2023. Tenderers were notified of the outcome of the evaluation of the subject tender via letters of Notification of Intention to Award dated 28th April 2023. However on 25th May 2023, Top Choice Surveillance Limited, filed a Request for Review No.30 of 2023 dated 24th May 2023 together with a Supporting Affidavit sworn on 24th May 2023 by Benson Gakere, the Chief Executive Officer.
The company demanded that the decision of the Procuring Entity to award the Tender to the Interested Party be annulled and set aside. The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board noted that Top Choice Surveillance Limited was not evaluated under provisions of Section 80(2) of the Act read with Article 227(1) of the Constitution and the Tender Document.
Preliminary Evaluation of Section III – Evaluation and Qualification Criteria at page 29 of the Tender Document and was unlawfully awarded the subject tender. We have also established that the letter of Notification of Award dated 28th April 2023 issued to the Applicant failed to meet the threshold required in Section 87(3) of the Act read with Regulation 82(3) of Regulations 2020.
We, therefore, find it just and fair to nullify the letters of Notification of Intention to Award the subject tender dated 28th April 2023 issued to all unsuccessful tenderers and to also nullify and set aside the award of the subject tender to Gadgetmend International. Given our findings herein we also deem it just and fit to order the NHIF accounting officer to direct the Evaluation Committee to conduct a re-evaluation of all tenders in the subject tender taking into consideration the findings of this Board and the provisions of the Tender Document, the Act and the Constitution.
The final orders read “The letter of notification of Award to Gadgetmend International Ltd with respect to tender for Refurbishment Works of NHIF Building – Integrated Security System (Tender No. NHIF/022/2022-2023) is hereby nullified and set aside.”