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[July 27, 2014]
Duale proposes changes in Safaricom security deal [Business Daily (Kenya)]
(Business Daily (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Telecoms operator Safaricom will have to sub-contract part of its Sh15 billion tender for installation of security surveillance system in Nairobi and Mombasa to local firms if Parliament approves amendments to the report that cleared it.
The changes require the telco to award 30 to 40 per cent of the contract sum to local contractors. Leader of Majority Aden Duale said that allocating a portion of the contract to local firms would ensure job creation, transfer of knowledge and skills and development of ICT cottage industries.
"We have seen people come from outside this country and take up jobs that would otherwise be done by professionals working in various local companies. This is against the procurement laws," he said at his office on Friday.
Safaricom is a Kenyan company but 40 per cent of its shares are held by UK firm Vodafone. The government, through the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, awarded the firm a Sh14.9 billion tender to install a surveillance, communication, command and control system for the National Police Service.
The tender includes the installation of CCTV cameras and radio communication equipment that will be linked to computers to analyse faces and other data that help police to identify and track down criminals. Out of the total cost of Sh14.9 billion, Sh12.7 billion is earmarked for system construction, while Sh2.2 billion will go into maintenance and support for a period of five years.
Mr Duale, however, plans to amend the report prepared by the Administration and National Security committee to cover all the 47 counties as opposed to Mombasa and Nairobi alone. To link the rest of the 47 counties, taxpayers will have to cough up a further Sh21 billion.
"We are suffering insecurity across the country, not just Nairobi and Mombasa alone. We want this project to have a bias for terrorist-prone counties of Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Eldoret, Kisumu, Machakos and Embu," he said.
The parliamentary Administration and National Security Committee chaired by Tiaty MP Asman Kamama cleared the deal for contract signing between the Interior ministry and Safaricom.
READ: Parliament clears Sh15bn Safaricom security deal The committee, which launched investigations into the procurement process of the tender, concluded in a report tabled in the House on Thursday that the proposed communication and surveillance system "would greatly help security agencies face up to the rising wave of security challenges in the country".
In its report, the committee ruled out any mischief in the choice of Safaricom, saying that East Africa's largest telecoms firm has the requisite financial capability and experience in the field of telecommunication networks and infrastructure building.
The MPs said that they did not find anything wrong with the ministry procuring the contract directly, adding security of citizens and the country "should never be compromised or negotiated". "The committee recommends that the House approves the tender award and a contract signed with Safaricom for the provision of a national surveillance, communication, and command and control system for the National Police Service," the report says.
The inquiry team launched investigation into the direct award of the tender to Safaricom and stopped the signing of the contract after a number of MPs raised concern over the deal awarded through direct procurement as opposed to competitive or restricted tendering.
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