DEBARRED

Blacklisted status in Kenya haunts vehicle inspectors in TZ tender

The two firms missed out on a deal in the country over forgery claims.

In Summary

•The alleged forgery in Kenya is likely to haunt them due to Tanzania’s strict adherence to the international rule.

•According to TZ’s public procurement laws, a company barred from doing business in other jurisdictions cannot participate or do business with the government of Tanzania.

Imported used cars parked at a yard in Mombasa/
Imported used cars parked at a yard in Mombasa/
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Two firms that missed a vehicle inspection deal in Kenya, due to their debarred status, are among four companies that have submitted bids for a similar tender in Tanzania.

According to the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Wilna International, Auto Terminal Japan Limited, Quality Inspection Services Japan and EAA Company Limited are the only firms that beat April 4 application deadline.

While the tendering process is still on course, a negative listing of EAA Company Limited and Auto Terminal Japan Limited over alleged forgery in Kenya is likely to haunt them due to Tanzania’s strict adherence to international rules.

According to Tanzania’s public procurement laws, a company barred from doing business in other jurisdictions cannot participate or do business with the government of Tanzania.

“A tenderer who has been blacklisted or barred from taking part in public procurement by a foreign country, international organisation or other foreign institutions shall automatically be blacklisted from participating in public procurements in the Republic of Tanzania,” the law states in part.

It adds that in case of fraud or corruption, such companies are barred from doing business with the government of Tanzania for 10 years and five years for any other case.

Last year, the Kenya Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) debarred EAA Automobiles Services for three years for allegedly forging documents when applying for vehicle inspection tenders at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

The decision to debar EAA was arrived at after various investigative agencies including the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in conjunction with Interpol, the National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee and the Auditor General separately concluded that the firm was involved in falsification of its bid documents.

It is alleged that the company used forged papers to bid for a motor vehicle and spare parts inspection tender floated by the Kenya Bureau of Standards in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

In February, a Nairobi court dismissed a suit filed by an embattled regional inspection challenging its blacklisting from public procurement in Kenya.

It is alleged that it used an unregistered lawyer to lodge the case.

Early this year, Kebs was on spot for allowing the firm and other three with similar status to bid for the vehicle inspection tender.

Last month, the standards agency told the Star that it has already awarded the tender to an unspecified company, adding that the tender rules bars it from commenting about unsuccessful bidders.

The Star had sought to know why Kebs pre-qualified firms with questionable merit.

Efforts to get a substantive comment from EAA hit a snug, with those we found online saying they are not permitted to talk on behalf of the company.

"Kindly leave us your number and questions. We will forward them to relevant people," a male call receiver said on Friday.

We wanted to know the company’s position on debarment in Kenya and its likely effect on the application in Tanzania.

The firm is currently conducting vehicle inspections for Uganda after it won the contract by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

A similar fate awaits Auto Terminal Japan Limited which is fighting similar allegations in court.

Last week, the Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS) said all credentials held by debarred companies need to be scrapped pending investigation and conclusion of the alleged offense.

The Tanzanian government is revising its car inspection rule, with President Samia Suluhu's administration favouring inspection at the points of origin instead of carrying out the exercise at Dar Port.

"In Tanzania, we do not manufacture cars, they are all manufactured where we order them, why don't we have an agency to inspect cars where they come from instead of bringing them here because even if you inspect them here, you are not the manufacturer," local papers quoted Suluhu.

WATCH: The biggest news in African Business
https://admin-dot-the-star-218910.appspot.com/edit/widgets/html/dialog/#