Marsabit County government irregularly awarded tenders worth Sh45 million for supply of Covid-19 items to two firms, a new report has revealed.
The tenders were awarded to Nyamayo Investment and Commodoare International Limited through restricted tendering.
Restricted tendering limits the request for tenders to a select number of suppliers, contractors or service providers.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her report on utilization of Covid-19 funds, shows the county could have procured the items at higher prices as the officers failed to conduct market surveys to ascertain prices.
At the time of tendering, the county had in its disposal Sh127.04 million to spend on Covid-19 mitigation measures.
The money included Sh28.81 million grant from the national government, Sh7.80 million grant from Danida, Sh30.42 million from the national government for health workers allowances and Sh60 million as county’s own source.
According to the report, the county procurement and accounting officers violated procurement laws in awarding the tenders to Nyamayo Investment and Commodoare International Limited.
Nyamayo Investment was awarded tenders worth Sh20.20 million for supply of Covid-19 related mitigation items.
Commodoare International Limited was handpicked to supply ventilator, infusion pump, syringe pump, ICU bed and endotrachea at a contract sum of Sh24.49 million.
“The special audit noted that the county government of Marsabit procured items worth Sh45 million using restricted procurement methods contrary to Section 102 of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015,” the report reads.
Gathungu in her report, further revealed that goods worth Sh15.49 million had not been delivered at the time of audit, triggering concerns the items never reached the county.
She also fingered the county accounting and procurement officers for procuring items worth Sh57.90 million without conducting a market survey, a scenario that could have exposed them to higher prices than market rates.
“The special audit reviewed quotations raised to the county government of Marsabit and noted that the accounting officer placed tenders without evidence of head of procurement conducting a market survey for items worth Sh57.09 million.
The items include surgical gloves, disposable gowns, shoe covers, surgical face masks, N95 face masks, sterile gloves, strapping, sanitizer and biohazard bags and liners worth Sh2.92 million procured from Marman and Sons Enterprises Company Limited.
Other items are defibrillator machine supplied by Milky Way Company at Sh6.99 million and other Covid-19 related mitigation items procured from Nyamayo Investment as well as ventilator from Commodoare International Limited.
The audit reveals that accounts clerk Yusuf Goto Abdullahi initiated and requisitioned the items worth Sh57.90 million contrary to Section 9(a) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations, 2016, which demands that the user department initiates the procurement process.
“It was further noted that Yusuf Goto Abdullahi, still participated in the opening of tenders, receiving and acceptance of the above listed tenders,” the report reads.
The auditor also faulted the county for failing to value donations it received from various partners to aid in the fight against the virus.
“It was noted that at the time of the audit, the donations had not been valued to be included in supplementary estimates for financial year 2020-21 contrary to the provision 74 (4) of the PFM County Regulations 2015.”