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New board makes sweeping changes in procurement at KEMSA

The new changes are to be effected in two weeks to allow for effectiveness in the organization

KEMSA Board Chairperson Irungu Nyakera

In response to the controversies surrounding the procurement processes at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA), the organization has taken decisive action.

On Monday, June 5, KEMSA announced the revocation of the list of all pre-qualified suppliers. Irungu Nyakera, the Board Chair of KEMSA, stated in a press briefing that the procurement process would start afresh to ensure the selection of firms that meet the necessary standards.

Additionally, Nyakera emphasized that the board would conduct a thorough review of all ongoing contracts to validate that they were awarded through a fair process. These steps are aimed at promoting effectiveness and accountability within the supply chain management system of KEMSA.

The revocation of the current list of prequalified suppliers intends to prioritize value for money. Nyakera stressed the importance of an objective process to ensure that only companies providing optimal value are pre-qualified.

Furthermore, the board will scrutinize ongoing contracts that were procured through single sourcing and monopoly action, which have proven to be costly for the institution. Any contracts deemed not to provide value for money will be forwarded to the Public Procurement Authority and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for further investigation.

Nyakera also ordered an audit of all staff within two weeks. The purpose of this review is to identify and retain personnel who contribute value to the Authority. As part of this process, the hiring of new staff in KEMSA has been put on hold until the human capital assessment is completed.

These measures come in the wake of the cancellation of a Ksh3.7 billion mosquito nets tender by The Global Fund, an international financing and partnership organization.

The foreign agency discovered irregularities in the procurement process, citing improper bids by three companies that had been qualified by KEMSA.

The tender committee was criticized for favoring certain bidders, leading to the cancellation of the tender.

The KEMSA procurement scandal also prompted President William Ruto to terminate the appointment of Health PS Josephine Mburu and dissolve the entire KEMSA board.

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