Kenya: Tech Firm Denies It Was Favoured in Sh650m Ifmis Support Tender Award

A consortium that won a three-year Sh650 million Ifmis support tender has disputed claims that it was favoured by the National Treasury.

The group -- led by Kingsway Business Systems Ltd and includes Kobby Technologies Ltd and Inplenion Eastern Africa Ltd -- told MPs Wednesday that their bid won legitimately, despite claims by losing bidders that it was not qualified.

Kingsway Business Solutions Managing Director Seth Changilwa told the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee that the three companies had qualified for the job as specified in the tender documents.

"The consortium had and still has the necessary certifications, qualifications and expertise to deliver the services under the tender," Mr Changilwa, sitting with other consortium directors, told lawmakers, with Garissa Township MP Aden Duale demanding that he provide certified documents from Oracle, which hosts the Integrated Financial Management Information System or Ifmis.

Qualifications

But Transnational Computer Technologies (TCT), whose bid did not win, claims that the Kingsway-led consortium did not possess the required qualifications for the job.

A petition to the committee from Wond Wossen Mesfin, owner of TCT, claims the consortium did not meet the mandatory technical criteria specified in the tender documents.

These include a minimum of two Oracle partner specialisation or advanced specialisation for the requested products - Oracle EBS Financial, Oracle EBS Supply Chain, Oracle SOA, Oracle Hyperion, Oracle BI and Oracle Database and Options.

Mr Mesfin proceeded to accuse Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia of irregularly awarding the tender to the consortium.

But when Dr Muia appeared before the committee two weeks ago, he defended the awarding of the tender as above board.

ADK, in a consortium with TCT, had bid Sh898.95 million but opted out after the tender was awarded to the Kingsway-led group and is not part of the petition in Parliament.

Appeal dismissed

The ADK-led consortium had initially filed an appeal at the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board, but it was dismissed over concerns about jurisdiction.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission also cleared the procurement process, dismissing Mr Meslin's objections.

That prompted Mr Mesfin to sue in court, which dismissed the case at his own cost.

David Bunei, Oracle country director, who appeared before the committee earlier Wednesday confirmed that the Kingsway-led consortium had exceeded all the minimum qualifications for the tender.

"We went through the records and established that the documents attached to the tender document and their specialisation were genuine," Mr Bunei told lawmakers.

Mandatory requirements

Mr Changilwa tabled documents before the committee showing that the consortium met all the mandatory requirements.

"The members of the consortium each provided a minimum of two Oracle specialisations in fulfilment of technical mandatory requirements," the documents say.

Mr Mesfin also claimed that a search of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) had established that the Kingsway-led consortium did not possess the mandatory minimum qualifications for the tender.

But Mr Changilwa dismissed the claim. Although lawmakers had been told that the tender winners were non-existent on OPN, documents before them show the contrary.

At the time the tender closed and opened during the evaluation of bids, Mr Changilwa said, Oracle was moving its platform from the classic OPN to a modern OPN.

"The platform migration started in 2019 and continued up to December 2020. This is the reason why Oracle partner finder home search page did not yield the standard results," documents before the committee say.

This means that specialisations are not visible on the modern OPN platform, and interested parties cannot publicly view specialisations of any entity.

dmwere@ke.nationmedia.com

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