The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board has cancelled the school laptop tender that had been awarded to India's Olive Technologies, putting to a halt the first phase of the project that would have cost Kshs 24.6 billion.
The Board chair Josephine Monga're on Tuesday March 11 ruled that Olive - which was awarded the tender to supply 40,000 laptops in February - lacks the financial capability to implement the project and also quoted Kshs 1.4 billion above the stipulated threshold.
Ms Mong'are said that Olive quoted Kshs 24.6 billion instead of Kshs 23.2 billion, noting that the additional Kshs 1.4 billion was to be used for services which were meant to be offered free.
"Considering and taking into account all the circumstances of this case and the public interest involved in the matter, the award of tender for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning ICT integration in devices and solutions for primary schools in Kenya Lot 1, to Olive Telecommunications PVT be and is hereby annulled," Monga're said during the ruling.
The procurement review board further noted that Olive did not meet the required annual turnover of Kshs 8 billion for the last three years preceding the awarding of the tender.
The board disclosed the firm's financial results as being Kshs 6.9 million in 2010; Kshs 14.2 million in 2011 and Kshs 767 million in 2012.
The board added that Olive did not meet requirements of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), which was also against the tender awarding requirements.
Following the board's ruling, the laptop tender is to be reviewed within 45 days from the Best and Final Offer involving China's Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation and US-based HP.
Following the award of the tender to Olive on February 7, Haier and HP filed applications seeking to block the tender from proceeding.
The first batch of the laptops was to be delivered to the respective institutions at the end of March.
In mid February, the Parliamentary Committee on Education - led by Jacob Macharia and Michael Kisoi - asked the Government to stop the tender, and called for the investigation of Ministry of Education officials behind the award of the tender.