By Hussein Ahmed
A report by the Auditor-General has unearthed anomalies in the tendering process for a construction project and supply of relief food in Wajir County.
The report put the county on the spot over the construction of the Wajir County Government headquarters as well as the awarding of a Sh69 million tender for supply of relief food to a local hardware firm knocking out 25 food suppliers who also placed their bids.
It was not clear how the Sh. 136 million tender was awarded to a company that quoted Sh 10 million more than the lowest bidder.
The report says that examination of the bill of quantities and other related records revealed that the lowest bidder was evaluated and quoted Sh135,699,339.60 but the county awarded the tender to the second lowest bidder, who quoted Sh.136 million.
“A bidder (specialized in hardware business) based in Wajir was the second lowest bidder and was awarded the contract to supply the food items at a cost of Ksh.69,189,600. However, the firm had no experience in supply of food items as it had not scored in the evaluation report,” the report stated.
The reports points out that invoices had no date and the delivery notes were not signed meaning the county government did not acknowledge receipt.
Another anomaly unearthed by the auditor includes retention of staff beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60 as well as the suspicious payment of salaries to two employees who shared the same account number (1) 1030193473997 in the month of February.
The county’s watchdog of public resources, the County Assembly was not spared either as the the audit report showed some 20 MCAs gobbled Shs 23.7M in suspicious mileage claims.
“In some cases distance traveled entered in the work tickets supporting the claim does not tally with the actual distance in kilometer to the furthest settlement in the ward as shown in the chart of distances by the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Public works,” said the report
The assembly was also accused of recruitment irregularities in hiring of staff as it hired 227 staff yet the county advertised for 21.