Taxpayers have to feel the pinch as more than 63 billion shillings has been channeled towards illegal tenders by the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health has been signed agreements with several companies including local and foreign companies to improve its Managed Equipment service (MES), but a good number of these agreements have been in favor of the companies.
In his revelation when he appeared before the Senate committee yesterday, Attorney General Paul Kihara said his office was not aware of the malpractices at the Ministry of Health, but he had started to smell something fishy when he was looking into some of the contracts.
AG Kihara said he was startled when he evaluated a contract between the ministry of health and an IT company and found out that the Government was at risk of losing millions in case the contract went haywire.
“There is a serious problem there (at the Ministry of Health). Unfortunately, at the end of the day, we are the ones who will carry the skunk if the contractor moves to court demanding compensation for the terminated contract, yet this would have been avoided if we were allowed in the contract negotiations,” argued the AG’s office.
The office of the Attorney General which is supposed to be involved in the negotiations of contracts between Government agencies and contractors including giving legal advice was completely left out when the Ministry of Health was handling its issues.
“The office of the Attorney General became aware of the existence of this contract after the National Treasury wrote to us on December 14, 2017, yet by then they had already signed on October 2. Treasury was seeking legal clearance to issue a Government Letter of Support in respect of the contract. That is how we got to know of the contract.”
In a contract between the Ministry of health and SevenSeas, Seven Seas was supposed to offer Information Communication Technology Services to all 98 government hospitals under the management Equipment and service plan for five years.
The AG’s office later learned that the terms of the agreement between the Ministry of health and Seven seas was leaning towards one side, where the Government would be skewed in case something went wrong and the contract was to be terminated.
The contractor was supposed to get a compensation of more than 80 percent in case the contract was canceled. And that is why the Government now owes Seven Seas 4.9 billion shillings.
Cabinet Secretary of the Health Ministry, Sicily Kariuki did not appear before the committee when she was asked to and has been warned that summons will be issued against her in case she misses the next session.