Kenya’s competition watchdog and public procurement regulator are to work closer together tackling anti-competitive practices.
The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to increase collaboration on anti-competitive behaviour, with a particular focus on bid rigging and collusive tendering.
The organisations have agreed to increase information sharing when conducting inquiries and investigations, and hope to reduce any duplication of efforts.
Wang’ombe Kariuki, director general of CAK, said transparent public procurement was central to achieving president Uhuru Kenyatta’s “Big Four” agenda of ensuring the availability of universal health care, affordable housing and food security and to improve manufacturing, as well as Kenya’s Vision 2030 development plan.
He added that strict adherence to procurement rules would generate savings that could be used to support social projects.
The two organisations will form a joint working committee in the next six month and will start looking at all major tender documents held by government bodies for signs of collusive tendering.
Procurement of goods and services accounts for around 40% of the Kenyan government’s budget.
The MoU comes off the back of a string of corruption scandals, including the recent arrest of the head of the National Youth Service as part of an investigation into the alleged theft of 8bn Kenyan shillings ($78m) of public money.
Bid rigging is a form of anti-competitive behaviour where bidders cooperate to inflate the price of the winning bid. Bidders with no intention of winning the contract agree to put in high bids to allow the pre-decided winning bidder to inflate their bid. Usually the losing bidders will have beneficial arrangements in place with the winning bidder.
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