The government has finally announced that it has awarded the procurement of 1.3 million laptops to Indian company Olive Telecommunications PVT Ltd at cost of Sh24.6bn. Education cabinet secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said that the first batch of 400 000 will be delivered and distributed to school before end of march. The Sh 24.6 billion will also cater for all the logistics as well as the distribution of the laptops to the various district headquarters.
The laptops, he said will be procured in a negotiated phased out delivery approach using the specially permitted procurement procedure known as the competitive negotiations approach. The procurement method, he said was settled on after the Public Procurement Oversight Authority gave its authorization on the said method as outlined in the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
By awarding the tender to the Indian company the government had saved Sh 8 billion as compared to the previous canceled bid which was Sh 32 billion mainly because of the application of the specially permitted procedure which allowed for competitive negotiations. He said: “ the results of the evaluation indicated that Olive telecommunications Pvt limited is the lowest and most advantageous bidder at a total price of Sh 24 687 360 497.
The ministry has therefore awarded a negotiated phased out delivery approach contract to Olive Telecommunications Pvt limited.” Addressing a news conference today Kaimenyi said that they settled on the Indian company as it was the lowest bidder after Heir Electrical Appliances Corporation Limited and Hewelet Packard Europe BV which had quoted a higher price.
The Education CS however denied claims that Olive Telecommunications Pvt limited has no capabilities to supply the laptops saying due diligence had proven that the company has both financial, legal and technical capacity to do so. He said: “ we had to do the due diligence because it is possible today that we see a company saying it has an office it it does not exist.”
According to him the tender committee settled on the said procurement method because the method allowed for negotiation between the government and supplier, flexibility in contract implementation, there is transparent and accountability as it is not prone to abuse as well as provides room for competitive negotiations . Accompanied by top officials in the ministry including Ps in charge of education Belio Kipsang and Colletta Suda in charge of State Department of Science, Kaimenyi said that after the second intentional competitive bidding issued on October 30 last year and which closed on November 21 last year only 16 bidders returned their bids.
While insisting of the governments commitment towards ensuring that they fulfill the Jubilee manifesto, Kaimenyi defended the governments move to cancel the initial tender which he said was too expensive. In the first international competitive bidding for the supply of laptops projectors and printer, the bidders had quoted the price of one laptop for between at Sh 23 000 and 28 000 totaling to Sh 32 billion against a budget of Sh 12 b. He added: “ this amount was therefore above the ministries budget creating a deficit of shs 20 billion.
Given this huge deficit the ministry had no other option but to terminate the tender in accordance with the provision of the Public procurement and Disposal Act. On the use of electricity, Kaimenyi said that 40 percent of the schools which are outside the national grid will use solar energy where they will be provided with a charging box that has a capacity to charge 10 to 24 laptops and which can operate for a period of eight hours. Kispang said that so far 11 00 schools are connected to electricity and expect the 4000 other schools to be connected by the end of June. – By MERCY MWAI