Some companies registered abroad are now applying for tenders reserved for Kenyan youth and women, triggering a parliamentary inquiry.
MPs have now asked the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to publish the list of owners of firms, which received tenders worth Sh812.5 million reserved for youth, women and the disabled in the past eight years.
This after Nancy Macharia, the TSC chief executive, told MPs that there exist unscrupulous businessmen who register their relatives or persons with disability (PWDs) to participate in the tender process.
Dr Macharia told the National Assembly’s committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity that some international entities have taken advantage of Kenyans by registering firms under special groups in order to access procurement opportunities.
She told the committee chaired by Mandera West MP Adan Haji that most of the global firms have not complied with section 157 (11) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act (PPDA), which provides that youth, women and PWD must be the mandatory signatories of the bank accounts of such firms registered under their names.
Dr Macharia recommended that relevant government agencies conduct a national audit of all firms registered under the Access to Government Procurement (AGPO) group to determine the true beneficiaries of the funds.
The Public Procurement and Disposal Act requires all public entities to reserve 30 percent of their annual procurement budget for youth, women and persons living with disabilities.
The law mandates each public entity to submit reports to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) every six months.
The House team directed the teachers’ employer to unmask directors of companies that bagged the deals that were reserved for firms owned by young persons.
“Alongside these companies, the TSC should provide us with the directors behind these companies. We can’t say that we have given tenders to the youth but the owners are not young people,” said Oku Kaunya, a member of the committee.
The TSC awarded a total of 307 contracts to youth, women and persons living with disabilities with the commission having awarded one tender in the current financial year.
The lawmakers, who questioned Dr Macharia on ethnic composition and award of tenders reserved for youth, women and persons with disabilities, said they suspect that the real owners of the companies may not be young people.
Documents submitted by Dr Macharia show that the TSC awarded 307 contracts under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).
The commission awarded jobs worth Sh139.4 million in 2015, Sh168.9 million in 2016/17, Sh69.5 million in 2018, Sh107.1million in 2019, Sh78.8 million in 2020, Sh89.6 million in 2021, Sh77 million in 2022 and Sh81.4 million in the current financial year.