In Summary
  • I was pleasantly surprised to find a working website that was hosting comprehensive details of past, present and pending government tenders, awarded contracts, details of the winning suppliers as well as the contract amounts.
  • Clearly, this must be the highest standard of transparency any government across the globe would be willing to ascribe to.
  • The public portal on government tenders is a great idea in as far as making the public sector more transparent and accountable to the people of Kenya – as it should always be.
  • It is however one thing to have a portal and quite another to ensure that the back-office process in terms of keeping the content updated regularly and in totality.

For some reason last week, I remembered the President saying that all public tenders and contracts shall be uploaded on a public portal as one other form of dealing with our long-time ailment called corruption.

So I searched for what I used to know as the Public Procurement Authority website. Google led me to their website that was also a dead end. This website has remained dead for the last week and I was ready to blast the government in this week’s article.

But I decided to give the President and his administration the benefit of doubt by searching – in general, rather than in particular - for any government tender related site.

It paid off.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a working website that was hosting comprehensive details of past, present and pending government tenders, awarded contracts, details of the winning suppliers as well as the contract amounts.

The portal even drills further and provides details about who else bid for a particular tender, who sat in the tender committee, who are the blacklisted suppliers amongst others.

Clearly, this must be the highest standard of transparency any government across the globe would be willing to ascribe to.

This government tender portal looked like the real deal - compared to the one the Jubilee party used during the 2017 campaigns to broadcast the 2013-2017 achievements.

WEAKNESS

The site has some useful details on tender details, amounts and winning suppliers. However, upon closer scrutiny, the good effort began to show some weakness.

First, for most of the tenders, members of the tender evaluation committees were missing. Secondly, the list of blacklisted suppliers remains empty – perhaps we have none so far but difficult to tell.

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