Education ministry on spot over irregular Sh6.5bn TVETs tender - BREAKING KENYA NEWS

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Education ministry on spot over irregular Sh6.5bn TVETs tender

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By OUMA WANZALA
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The Ministry of Education has been put on the spot over irregular purchase of Sh6.5 billion specialised learning materials and services for technical and vocational education training colleges.
In a report tabled before the National Assembly, Auditor-General Edward Ouko says bidders' original tender documents were not produced for audit review, therefore, the validity of the procurement process could not be ascertained for the year ending June 30, 2018.
“Further, tender evaluation was undertaken 34 days after the tender opening on April 19, 2018, and 41 days for ICT equipment, furniture and fittings respectively contrary to the provisions of section 80(6) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 which allows a maximum of 30 days after the opening of the tenders,” says Mr Ouko.
He adds that the appointment letters for the tender opening and evaluation committees were also not produced for an audit.
TENDER PLAN
Furthermore, Mr Ouko says the approved procurement plan for the year was not made available for audit review, therefore, it was not possible to confirm that the items were in the procurement plan for the state department of vocational and technical training.
Mr Ouko is also questioning the release of Sh3.5 billion to technical institutes.
The auditor noted that examination of records held by the state department revealed that the recurrent grants were to be disbursed based on criteria where new technical institutions were to receive Sh2 million per year, those with less than 500 students were to receive Sh12 million, those with between 501 to 999 students Sh20 million, those with between 1,000 to 2,000 students Sh24 million and those with over 2,000 students Sh28 million.
“Further, examination of records held by the state department revealed that some 59 institutions received a total of Sh1.4 billion instead of the entitled Sh782 million based on the criteria set resulting to excess of Sh636 million,” says Mr Ouko.
However, he says the basis for the allocation of the funds to the colleges, the purpose of the funds and status reports of the projects to be funded, if any, were also not produced for audit.
Mr Ouko is also concerned with failure by the government to complete construction of 70 new TVET colleges at Sh3.8 billion yet the contract period has already lapsed.
HELB CASH
Mr Ouko notes that the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has been unable to recover Sh404 million that it had banked with Chase Bank which was put under receivership in 2016.
He says Helb will only be able to recover the cash by August 2021, adding that since 2016, the board has only been able to recover Sh75 milllion.
Mr Ouko states that Helb had not accessed the cash after the bank was put under receivership and later taken over by State Bank of Mauritius.
Helb is also on the spot over its failure to recover loans advanced to students and which have been outstanding for more than 10 years.
“The statement of financial position as at 30 June 2018 reflects matured students loans balance of Sh26 billion which is net of matured loans balance of Sh27.6 billion and provision for bad and doubtful debts of Sh1.3 billion.  The balance of Sh26 billion, includes loans totalling Sh6.4 billions which have been outstanding over the stipulated period of 10years,” says Mr Ouko.

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