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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Procurement controversies -- Kenya

IIEC in crisis despite credit for referendum
The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) is walking a tight rope, with rivalry between commissioners and the secretariat threatening its credibility days after it won praise for successfully conducting the just-ended referendum and three by-elections.

Investigations by the Standard On Sunday indicate that boardroom wars over control of multi-million shilling procurement deals and jostling by the commissioners to keep their jobs in the looming merger of national commissions have worsened relations between senior staff and commissioners.

Besides procurement wars, senior commission staff are complaining that the commissioners are taking up their jobs and hogging credit for the institution’s successes.

A section of staff interviewed spoke of tension and rivalry between a clique of three commissioners and senior managers over tendering procedures and an alleged plot by some influential politicians to infiltrate and weaken the commission’s secretariat, ahead of the 2012 General Election.

"It is true there is a problem because a clique of commissioners with business and political interests are intimidating us," said a commission official, who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the Press.

The Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) had to intervene three months ago to protect senior managers at the commission as the procurement wars raged.

In a reply dated May 24, a Mrs J W Njoroge on behalf of PPOA Acting Director General Maurice Juma, directed that only the commission’s procurement unit be allowed to handle the procurement processes.

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