Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Caught Up In Tender Row

By The Weekly Vision Team

The Kenya Airports Authority tender committee has been caught in a tender row leading to the cancellation of a tender by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board, which cited irregularities in the entire process.

KAA had invited tenders for the provision of Meet and Assist services at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Tender No. KAA/ART/KBD/0049/2023-2024). Meet and Assist services at airports include personal assistance to and from the gates, assistance from the respective departure unit or drop-off point, assisting passengers from or connecting private charter planes, assistance with airport formalities, monitoring of flights, pre-boarding assistance, group or family check-in, and assistance with baggage handling, among others.

The KAA used a symbolized tender system where seven bidders sent their bids. They were Corporate Aviation Ltd., Willis Protocol Ltd., Tradewinds Aviation Services Ltd., TAV Africa Operations Ltd., Stac International Ltd., Mantra Booking Services Ltd., and Joint Billion Kenya Ltd.

 The Evaluation Committee of KAA took an evaluation of the seven tenders received. On December 11, 2023, Tradewinds Aviation Services applied for review through the firm’s general manager, Henry Lasoi, even though the tender process was still underway. He claimed that the KAA had contravened the mandatory provisions of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Regulations 2020 and that the entire process should be declared null and void.

 In an affidavit, Tradewinds claimed that it was not notified that the dates for closing and tender opening had been changed, that it had been extended to November 2, 2023, and that the tender needed to be nullified. However, KAA claimed in response that by failing to inform Tradewinds of the change of dates, it should not warrant termination of the ongoing tender process.

KAA, however, agreed that, due to a technical error, they failed to bring the changes to the attention of Tradewinds. In a ruling dated January 3, 2024, the board ordered, “The procurement procedures in tender No.KAA/ART/KBD/0049/2023-2024 for the provision of meet and assist services at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are hereby cancelled and nullified.

The boards went on to order the KAA to commence fresh procurement proceedings concerning the said tender.