House team wants DOD food tenders audited amid bribery claims
A parliamentary committee has directed Auditor-general Edward Ouko to conduct a special audit on the procurement of meat and other foodstuffs at the Department of Defence and military barracks following claims that it is riddled with bribery.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the audit carried out for tenders given between 2014 to 2017 after a supplier, Mr Golicha Omar, complained that he was asked for a Sh2 million bribe.
“I was told to pay the bribe, but when I refused, I was told there was no business,” Mr Omar told the watchdog committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.
Mr Omar of Salgaa butchery, noted that he had supplied meat to Moi Barracks from 1996 to 2009 and despite being the lowest bidder at Sh280 per kilo, Eldoret Standard butchery got the award at Sh320 per kilo.
“Since the matters raised are weighty, we have directed the Auditor-general to undertake a special audit to enable the committee deal with the matter appropriately,” Mr Wandayi said.
According to the standing orders, Mr Ouko has 60 days within which to conclude the investigations and present the report to the House for consideration.
Senior officers at the DOD have been accused of abusing restricted tendering process to fleece the government of billions of shillings in the supply of the commodities.
DOD officials have been acussed of using market survey as a benchmark to knockout the lowest bidders under the pretext that their bids are too low while at the same time occasioning the government to spend huge amounts for goods that would have otherwise been cheap.
Mr Fazal Butt, the director of Jack Right (1982) Ltd has also filed a complaint with the House committee claiming that he was locked out of the 2015 tender despite quoting a price lower than the entity that won the award for the supply of 20,100 kilogrammes of meat at the base.
The probe comes on the heels of government's fight against corruption within public service.