Kenya

CS: Health ministry rushed buying of MES equipment

CS: Health ministry rushed buying of MES equipment
  • Mr Yatani absolved the National Treasury from blame, saying the ministry pulled out before the Treasury conduct a feasibility study on the project.

Details Wednesday emerged how Ministry of Health officials rushed the procurement of the Sh38 billion medical equipment leased to counties.

Acting National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani told the Senate ad hoc committee probing the Managed Equipment Services (MES) project that the ministry changed the initial plan to procure the equipment through public-private partnership (PPP) and instead went for the open tendering.

He added that tendering took a shorter time, but that the ministry’s move was unprocedural.

“They indicated on June 22, 2015, that they had an alternative. The communication from their end terminated the relationship with the Treasury as far as the project was concerned,” he said.

Mr Yatani absolved the National Treasury from blame, saying the ministry pulled out before the Treasury conduct a feasibility study on the project

“The reason for going for PPP was to ensure that the Treasury checked for compliance but after the letter, we did not bother to find out why the ministry was not keen on going that route,” Mr Yatani said.

The PPP manual requires a feasibility study, which is approved by a PPP committee before evaluation and financial risk assessment, after which the procurement is approved.

“It seems some people avoided the PPP plan to avert accountability. Furthermore, there was no agreement between the counties and the ministry,” Dulo said.

But the committee chaired by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dulo told Mr Yatni that, as the custodian of public money, he should have ensured that the money released for the equipment was spent prudently.