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The Procurement Process

Mr Karangi is head of ICT in one of the public bodies in charge of infrastructure within the tourism sector. The body, which is called the Tourism and Environmental Authority (TEA), is generally in charge of implementing the national government’s strategic initiative to expand and exploit the potential of northern Kenya’s tourism, which is highly undeveloped. As a new authority, TEA has a lot of funding and political will. Karangi is a highly component, technical person. He has both a Masters in Technology and an MBA. He previously worked in the private sector and so had negotiated a very good salary for his role. He also has a wife and seven children.

Not too long into his tenure as head of ICT, there is a plan to procure an integrated wildlife tracking system to build the potential of northern Kenya’s national parks. The procurement is worth KSH 2bln and Karangi is in charge of the process, for which there is a highly detailed set of guidelines. Having started this process, he then gets a message from one of his superiors stating that there is a foreign company who are planning to submit a competitive bid that he should look out for. Karangi is told that this company is competent and technically sound, but also happen to have contacts within TEA’s Board. He takes note of this, but continues the procurement process as normal.

The next message that he receives several weeks later has a more direct message: that it is important that this company win the bid. At this moment he realises that someone is trying to override his job to conduct the procurement process. Karangi pushes back saying that his conscience does not allow him to do this. However, he then receives a personal visit from one of the board members of TEA who state explicitly that the board members ‘did not come here to get 25K in four sets of sitting allowances each year, but came to fill our stomachs’. The individuals who fill the boards are political rewardees and so closely connected to the ruling party. He is told – you either accept this deal, or you have to leave. He subsequently hears rumours that there are some trumped-up charges being planned against him to make his potential future exit look legitimate, in the case that he refuses to resign.

What should Mr Karangi do?

How would the principles help him?