CA faults tenders watchdog over home, street numbers bids

Economy

CA faults tenders watchdog over home, street numbers bids

ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru (right), Communications Authority director- general Francis Wangusi (left) and CA chairman Ngene Gituku after the inauguration of four members to the board of the CA at the authority’s headquarters in Nairobi on July 26, 2019. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has hit out at the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB), for nullifying a multimillion- shilling consultancy tender for the fresh numbering of Kenyan streets, buildings and homes.

CA outgoing director-general Francis Wangusi on Friday said it had already appealed the directive and was awaiting r determination from the Court.

“We appealed to the High Court and we are waiting for a determination. We do not believe PPRA was right to direct us to award the tender to an entity that does not have the capacity to handle the task. It was a big intrusion into the jurisdiction of CA,” he said on Friday.

“The best that PPARB could have done was to tell us to re-advertise but not direct us to award it to a given company.”

The communications regulator awarded Branded Solution Services Limited the contract on January 28 for Sh80.2 million ahead of its rival IMAP International Limited, which along with its partner, Addressing Homes Limited LLC, bid for Sh43.5 million. The PPARB, however, ruled on February 26 that CA breached procurement laws by awarding a firm that had a similar contract with the authority, giving it an edge as an insider.

Consequently, the watchdog ordered CA to award the tender to IMAP International Limited and Addressing Homes.

The CA needed a consultant to review the draft National Addressing System (NAS), which will pave the way for the fresh numbering of addressees and ease door-to-door delivery of letters as well as goods from online retailers.

“The procuring entity’s decision in the letter dated January 31, 2019 for provision of consultancy services to undertake implementation of National Addressing System (NAS), to Branded Solutions Services Limited is hereby quashed and set aside,” ruled the lawyer Faith Waigwa led agency.

“The procuring entity is hereby directed to award the subject tender to IMAP International Limited and Addressing Homes Limited LLC forthwith and to proceed with the procurement to its logical conclusion.”

The award was contested by IMAP International and another firm, Sigmund Peak International Limited.

In 2016, Universal Postal Union, which was offering technical assistance to CA, said in a preliminary report that the authority would require $28 million (Sh2.8 billion) to implement the project.

The NAS project, which was mooted in 2008, will see all streets, roads, highways, residential and commercial residences digitally marked and indexed to facilitate easy identification and location of premises.

The system will help courier firms like Postal Corporation of Kenya and online retailers to easily deliver goods with the assistance of digitised maps.

It will also remove the hurdle of locating buyers for the many retailers who have turned to social media to sell.

Absence of detailed street and building addresses has left many online businesses unable to get clear and precise locations of customers, opting to concentrate operations on major towns.

Cab hailing service firms such as Uber and Bolt will also benefit.

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