Mau Summit highway construction faces court hurdles

by Wakili Liam
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The tender for the supervision of Mau Summit road has been challenged in court.

One of the bidders, has challenged the decision to award the tender for supervision for the SH160 billion highway project that runs from Nairobi to Mau Summit

The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board had on January 27 directed Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to complete the evaluation process within two weeks.

But now Dar-Yuksel-AMA — a consortium of Dar-Al Handasah in joint venture with YukselProje A.S. & Ama Consulting Engineers Ltd) — wants the High Court to quash the directive, arguing that the board did not have the powers to issue it.

The board made the directive following an application by Spanish firm Technica Y Proyectos, S.A (in consortium with Gibb Africa Ltd) which felt slighted when KenHA cancelled the process for a third time on December 14 over claims that it had exceeded the 21 days required by law.

KeNHA later directed the immediate re-convening of the evaluation team to select the expert as directed by the board.

“The Independent Expert will be a shared resource between the Authority and the financiers in terms of quality check, advising whether the designs are technically correct, and dealing with any emerging issues as well as stakeholder management,” Samwel Kumba, KeNHA deputy director corporate communication said.

In the latest petition, Dar Yuksel–AMA argues that the board failed to review the entire evaluation process to ensure that the tender conformed to the set criteria.

The consortium further says the board “misdirected” itself as to the meaning of evaluation and assumed powers it did not have.

Seven companies had bid for the tender and four of the firms proceeded to the technical evaluation. All the four, according to the proceedings, complied with the requirements of the tender when the financial evaluation was opened.

The committee members thereafter were unable to conclude the financial evaluation stage because of dissenting opinions, delaying the process which had to be completed within 21 days, leading to the cancellation.

But the Spanish firm through the law firm of Kihara & Wayne Advocates said it believes that it was unfairly denied the tender, having attained the highest combined score.

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