Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has obtained a temporary order to stop a firm from supplying and commissioning equipment to the authority worth Sh 540 million.
Mombasa high court resident judge Erick Ogola granted the order to allow KPA to move the court to quash the entire decision and order of the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) made early this year to Rhombus Construction Company Limited for the supply and commissioning of 12 new Reach Stackers.
He said the leave granted to the state corporation against the firm shall only operate as a stay of the entire decision and orders issued by the PPARB.
“The stay order against the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board on the entire decision and order issued for supply of the equipment will remain in force pending the hearing and determination of substantive KPA application for judicial review orders,” he pointed out.
The high court judge through chamber summons has certified the matter as urgent adding that this was in line with the express provisions of a section of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act.
Justice Ogola ordered that the envisaged motion be filed within 7 days upon perusal of the KPA application dated January 19 brought under a section of the law reforms Act.
KPA, through its corporate legal counsel Addraya Dena, said the application is extremely urgent and warranting urgent attention of the court arguing that the firm had last month requested for a review before the PPARB.
She said in her application the authority is aggrieved by the decision taken by the PPARB delivered in favor of the disputed firm.
“The state corporation now challenges the PPARB’s decision in favor of the said firm by way of a judicial review filed at the court,” she pointed out.
The KPA counsel through her application challenged the PPARB decision pointing out that the state corporation did not issue a notification of the tender award to the firm because the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority [PPRA] informed them they have received complaints that the controversial firm had allegedly submitted forged documents for the procurement process.
Dena added the procedure was meant to ensure the firm met mandatory requirements of the disputed tender.
“To make matters worse the forgery allegation was forwarded to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI] for investigation,” she pointed out.
The KPA counsel said the forgery issue was of great concern to the PPRA which said this was a governance issue in the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 which empower the state corporation to terminate or cancel a tender at any time prior to its notification of award.
Dena said the firm had instead filed a request for review at the PPARB last year challenging the cancelation of the tendering process by the authority arguing the firm met the criteria for being awarded the tender.
She said in the application in his supporting affidavit KPA procurement and supplies manager Cosmas Makori said that acting KPA managing director Rashid Salim approved the professional opinion and recommendations sent to him for cancelation of the tender due to inadequate budgetary provisions for the controversial tender.
“Last year all applicants for the tender were informed through a notification letter that the procurement process had been canceled due to inadequate provisions on the subject matter,” she pointed out.