The government awarded special groups tenders worth Sh 26 billion in the last financial year.
The Technical Services-Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) acting General Manager Henock Kirungu said that ministries, departments and the semi-autonomous government awarded the tenders to the youth, women and persons with disabilities in 2020/2021 Financial Year.
This was an increase from Sh 22.81 billion awarded in the 2019/2020 Financial Year.
Kirungu said that the improvement was largely due to the gradual resumption of public projects and steady reopening of the economy following a yearlong disruption by the disease.
“The Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) initiative youth, women and persons with disabilities had been awarded tenders worth Sh 30.13 billion in 2018/2019 financial year which sharply dropped by Sh 8 billion the following financial year after the government reduced procurements due to Covid-19,” Kirugu said.
He was addressing students and delegates at Kabarak University’s Main Campus in Rongai Sub-County Nakuru County during the institution’s 11th International Research Conference.
Kirungu added that out of the 25,278 contracts worth 26.47 billion, 13,078 valued at Shs13.81 billion were allocated to women, 10,411 (Sh 10.65 billion) went to the youth while 1,789 (Sh 2 billion) benefited persons with disabilities.
“As PPRA, we are putting on notice national and county governments’ officials who have been flouting procurement laws which were amended in 2013 to allow 30 per cent of all government contracts to be given to three special interest groups, the youth, women and the disabled,” he said.
In the 2020/2021 Financial Year, out of 25,278 tenders awarded under AGPO, women won 50 per cent of them while youth and persons with disabilities were awarded 44 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.
The PPRA official said if the procurement laws were strictly observed they would promote economic, social and political development.
Also present during the conference themed, ‘Digital Economy in Africa and Innovative Opportunities for the Youth amidst Emerging Economic Challenges’ were Kabarak University Chancellor, who is also Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Vice-Chancellor Henry Kiplagat and Dean School of Business and Economics Patrick Kibati.
Kirungu urged women and the youth to fight for their share of the national cake.
“We want to see them registering companies so that they can benefit,” he said.
He indicated that the establishment of AGPO secretariat by the Treasury, exemption of special interest groups’ tenderers from the provision of securities, automated and easy access to the registration of eligible suppliers at all Huduma Centers were some of the measures instituted by the government to enhance participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities.
“The law now allows Local Purchase Order (LPO) financing where financial institutions can advance credit facilities to special interest groups on the strength of LPOs. Both levels of government have been facilitating and registering special interest groups to enable them to apply for tenders,” observed the PPRA official.