Makueni has become the first County to embrace and implement open contracting in Kenya.
The County Government of Makueni has now launched an open contracting web portal that is expected to create fairer competition and a level playing field for business, especially smaller firms.
The move is also expected to ensure the County administration gets the best quality of goods delivered, as well as the best services for residents.
There are a lot of expectations regarding the system’s ability to prevent fraud and corruption in procurement in the County governments.
Speaking during the launch of the portal, Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana lauded the move as a great step to delivering transparency in business.
The Governor said that the portal will enable locals and interested parties to follow through the procurement process, see who was awarded the tenders, provide feedback on the tender and sign up to receive alerts on specific tenders.
The Portal developed by Hivos East Africa in partnership with Development Gateway was launched during the International Anti-corruption day celebrations held at Unoa grounds in Wote.
Also present during the event was ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta.
CS Mucheru lauded Makueni County for the launch of the open contracting saying that is the route that should be taken to curb corruption in County and National Government tenders.
It is now official. Makueni has fully gone into open contracting. Our #opencontracting data portal is now LIVE vide: https://t.co/VAhWCRtT0e@governorkibwana @hivosroea @KenyaGovernors @MoICTKenya @mknassembly @MbiluDouglas pic.twitter.com/2idxdKlsod
— Makueni County Government (@OfficialMakueni) December 9, 2019
“The president launched tenders.go.ke and this open contracting is what he wanted both the Counties and National Government to do. You can check who owns the company, who awarded the tenders and to whom they were awarded. Governor, we are willing to partner with your open contracting so as to set an example for the whole country.” Mucheru said.
The ICT CS further revealed that they are in the process of digitizing the entire Government noting that the first step was through the Huduma number.
It’s official. Makueni County becomes Kenya’s first sub-national government to have an #opencontracting data portal. See how ➡️ 133 procurement contracts and 326 projects worth 699 million are now live https://t.co/l0G6G2KJUB #AntiCorruptionDay2019 pic.twitter.com/c1TPC9Dhmj
— Hivos East Africa (@hivosroea) December 9, 2019
“If we want to fight corruption, the technology aspect is a component. Please enforce it especially in services. We want Universal Health Care in Makueni to be e-health, agriculture to be e-agriculture, CEC Finance to give us e-tax so that we minimize handling of cash.” Mucheru added.
Governor Kibwana said that Kenya needs to focus more on fighting corruption adding that the resources lost in corruption can fund all 47 counties for 2 years.
“A report by the EACC says that every year we lose 608 billion to corruption which is 7.8 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). There is also other money lost to wastage. This means that when we intensify the war on corruption, we will have extra resources. 608 billion is like 2 years of money that goes to all the counties.” Kibwana said.
EACC Chairman Eliud Wabukala revealed that 4.5 billion had been recovered in the last financial year alone and 51 out of the 74 cases presented in court had been determined and action taken on those involved.
“Just for the last financial year, we have recovered correctly acquired assets worth approximately 4.5 billion. In the same financial year, 74 cases went to court and we have secured 51 convictions. Public funds estimated at 14.4 billion have been prevented from being lost.” Wabukala outlined their successes.