Bids bonanza! Top firms eat big in parliament contracts

Caption here (Apophia Agiresaasi, GPJ Uganda)

By Prisca Wanyenya

The Parliamentary Commission has yet again awarded the contract to audit the Auditor General to Kisaka & Company Certified Public Accountants with works expected to cost Shs265,845,000.

In a bid notice announcing the best evaluated bidder, Kisaka & Company Certified Public Accountants was the only firm that participated in the procurement notice, partly attributed to the stringent requirements needed for any firm to audit the Auditor General, an office charged with auditing all government agencies.

In 2017, Parliament approved a motion giving powers to Kisaka auditors to audit the Auditor General, ending a twelve years long standoff, during which time the Auditor General hadn’t been audited.

For a firm to audit the auditor general, the Parliamentary Commission requires evidence for the firm to show it had earlier carried out works of such a magnitude.

Many of the top audit firms can’t also meet the requirement of auditing the auditor general because of the requirement in the bid notice, barring firms that had undertaken works with the auditor general not to be suitable to audit their former partners.

The Office of Auditor General has been known for hiring out other audit firms to undertake some special audits on its behalf.

In another procurement, the Parliamentary Commission set aside Shs17,479,340 to purchase carpets for the office of the leader of government business and the contract was awarded to Microna Holdings.

The same company was awarded a contract to carry out maintenance works at the same office at the cost of Shs106,388,800.

Similarly, Nina Interiors won a contract to supply office furniture to the Communications and Public Affairs Office (CPA) at a cost of Shs31,400,000.

The firm beat out stiff competition from Pinnacle Concepts whose powers of attorney were considered void, while a bid by Metric Furniture Ltd had no furniture displayed in the showroom when a site inspection was done

Prime Impex 200 Ltd was also edged out of this bid, after a site visit established that the furniture displayed in their showroom was below the requirement.

SPEAKERS ART WORKS TO COST SHS194M

The Parliamentary Commission has awarded the contract for the design, supply and delivery of sculptures for speakers of Parliament to Mwesigwa Stephen Luyombya and the works will cost Shs194.4M.

The details are contained in the bid notice at Parliament and Mwesigwa beat; Forward Arts Designers Ltd, NFL Systems Ltd, Prof. George Kyeyune, Odama Jacob who all failed at the technical analysis stage of the procurement.

The development comes at the time Deputy Speaker Anita Among last week lashed out at the Ministry of Finance for taking away Shs24.567Bn from its 2021/2022 budget, an action Among described as disrespect to Parliament and an attempt to turn the legislature into beggars.

However, the Ministry of Finance defended the budget cuts to Parliament, saying the decision was taken with Cabinet in order to align the priorities of the government by taking away money set in the budget for travels abroad.

In another procurement, the Parliamentary Commission also awarded a contract for the supply of television sets to Nyombiz Limited at Shs19,163,200, beating Appliance World Limited and Aspire Capital Ventures Limited whose bids failed to clearly spell out the specifications of the items required by Parliament.

Nyombiz Limited also won a contract to supply office furniture worth Shs27,840,000.

The Parliamentary Commission also awarded Capital Shoppers the contract to supply end of year gift vouchers worth Shs119.9M, edging out Global Center Limited t/a Costoco Supermarket whose bill was rejected at the technical analysis stage.

In another contract, Parliament is slated to repair one of its vehicles UG0192H at a cost of 5,282,860 and this contract was awarded to G.J Auto Garage, after beating Summer Auto Services Limited and SSM Auto Garage whose bids failed at the financial stage.

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