A private security firm that has been providing security services at the judiciary has got a reprieve after High Court ordered status quo be maintained over the contested Sh198million contract.
Justice George Odunga issued orders in favour of Bedrock Security Services Limited to remain at the stations. Bedrock Security Services sued Judiciary Chief Registrar as the first respondent and Lavington Security as the second respondent.
“It is hereby ordered that the status quo as of today be and is hereby maintained.” The order issued on January 13, 2016 read in part.
Justice Odunga also directed the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) be served with the orders.
Bedrock Security had also petitioned the board two days after the contested award saying the Judiciary has unfairly locked out other bidders.
The complainant also wrote a protest letter to the Chief Justice David Maraga’s office and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko over glaring omissions in the process of awarding a multi-million tender for the provision of security services to the Judiciary in favour of a firm that did not indicate bidder’s price during evaluation process.
In a damning correspondence to Maraga backed by a sworn affidavit detailing blow by blow events preceding and after the award of the lucrative tender, at least five top Judiciary officers are implicated in alleged tendering scam.
It is unclear how members of the evaluation committee came up with the Sh198million figure despite Lavington Security having omitted the bid amount cost.
According to an award letter obtained by People Daily, Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi signed the notification of award of tender NO.JUD/028/2016-2017 in favour of Lavington Security Ltd at a cost of Sh198, 810,000.
The award letter was signed by Peter Mulwa, Registrar Magistrates Court on Amadi’s behalf on December 28, 2016 but the letter indicates December 23, 2016.
However, through an affidavit drawn by Njuguna and partners Advocates, managing director of Bedrock Security Services Ltd protested citing procedural flaws and professional misconduct in the whole process.
“I am convinced that the entire evaluation was a sham that ought to be ordered to commence afresh and an inquiry opened in the possible malpractice by members of the evaluation committee.” says the affidavit.
According to a judiciary tender opening report dated December 2, 2016, Laving Security ranked number 13 in the list of bidders did not indicate bid amount but reflected a bid bond amount of Sh300, 000 and a bid bond validity period of 213 days.
However, according to the dossier presented to Maraga, two judicial officers who doubles as members of evaluation committee are reportedly said to have picked missing documents of total bid cost of the awarded firm at “a hotel along Integrity Centre.” The petition to CJ shows.
“You are now required to give a formal unconditional written acceptance of this offer. You are also required to confirm the total tender sum as your tender document had not given the total figure,” the letter signed by Mulwa, reference number DSCM/JUD/028/2016-2017 reads in part.
A total of 15 security firms expressed interest but nine firms, including the Lavington Security did not indicate the bid amount as required by law.
The letter of regret to Bedrock had the postal address omitted. In a letter dated December 30, 2016 the PPARB wrote to the Judiciary and informed them that they were in receipt of the appeal, and that no contract should be signed between the two.
“Under Section 168 of the Public Procurement and Asset, Disposal Act 2015, no contract shall be signed between procuring entity and the tenderer awarded the contract unless the Appeal has been finalized,” read the letter signed by the Board secretary H K Kirungu.
“We have as required by law formally filed an appeal pending determination Application number 111 of 2016 with the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board on December 2016 in which a stay was issued,” they said.
Despite the order by the PPARB, a Judiciary Principal Administration officer Erick Kamande issued an undated memo instructing the head of stations to oversee a transition to another bidder who did not have a bid price.
“Following the award of tender for the judiciary security services to M/S Lavington Security Services, I am pleased to inform you that it is the sole hired security company which will render security services for the entire judiciary which includes premises and all court stations countrywide starting January 1, 2017,” says the memo.
Yesterday, when contacted, both Mulwa and Kamande was not available for comment.
In a separate correspondence, the Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA), an association of indigenous security firms in the country has also written to the CJ, PPOA, and the National Treasury over the matter.
In the past, judiciary has been plagued by an intricate web of corruption cartels which the new Chief Justice will have to reign on to restore eroded confidence in the institution.