REGULATIONS

New procurement rules may prove unworkable

In Summary

• New procurement rules gazetted this month aim to provide more contracts from government to citizens

• Officials who do not follow the rules face a 10-year jail term

Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani before the Senate Finance committee on November 26, 2019, over pending bills.
Acting Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani before the Senate Finance committee on November 26, 2019, over pending bills.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani has gazetted new Public Procurement regulations (see P6).

To secure jobs for Kenyans, the rules give preference to citizens offering goods and services.

For instance, contractors on mega projects must ensure that 50 percent of jobs are reserved for Kenyans.

 

However Safaricom will no longer be able to supply government because it is not a 'citizen firm' since it is largely foreign-owned.

No foreign company will be allowed to provide air travel, hospitality or security services. That will make it illegal to have an official event at Kempinski or to hire a business jet to Dubai.

Youth, women and PWDs will get 30 percent of all procurement. But will that deliver value for money?

The rules state that no variation in any contract will be allowed for 12 months but that is not feasible. New items always crop up during construction.

Officials that do not follow the rules will face a 10-year jail term.

Officials can apply to Treasury for exemptions but these well-intentioned but excessively strict rules may eventually prove counter-productive. It would have been better to have enshrined them as policies rather than as binding regulations.

Quote of the day: "No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws."

 

Robert Baden-Powell 
The Nyeri resident founded the Scout Movement on July 29, 1907