Saidi Mapesa, a former principal secretary in the national government, has been elected the governor of Shida County. Mr Saidi has lived in the capital city all through his working life but he has invested heavily in hotel, real-estate and transport businesses in the county. His new position as the governor of Shida County requires him to be available and to work at the county headquarters from Monday to Friday. The County Secretary, consequently, places an advert in the local dailies for the lease of a six bedroom bungalow to accommodate the governor and his family.
Zebra Limited is a publicly quoted company in which Mr Mapesa, his wife, sons, daughters and brothers owns majority shares. It specialises in real estate and property. The company submits a bid to lease a six bedroom bungalow accommodation. A range of other property owning companies also submit bids to the County Secretary. The bids have been opened and evaluated by the tender evaluation committee as required under the Public Procurement Law and Regulations. The bid from Zebra Limited has emerged as the most responsive in terms of specifications of the property and the rent chargeable.
i. Should the Head of Supply Chains Management recommend to the County Secretary award of contract for lease of the bungalow to Zebra Limited?
ii. If yes, why? If not, why not?
People might have clear views about what will happen in this situation. It might be more difficult for them to say what is wrong with what they think the outcome will be. What is there to object to about Zebra Ltd getting the contract?
We might make it more challenging for people to add some further possibilities.
i. The County Secretary makes the decision about awarding the contract without knowing that Zebra Ltd is a company largely owned by the new Governor. People might say that is not possible - but what if Zebra is an old company which has only very recently had the Governor take a majority share?
ii. The Governor says nothing to the Country Secretary - leaves everything in his hands - and tells him that he wants no involvement because he wants the decision to be made solely on the basis of the fit with the specifications and the price.
iii. The Governor may be a majority share-holder of Zebra Ltd, but he is not involved in its day to day operations and delagates all matters to the Director of the company. It is a large company and submitting tenders is the responsibility of a department that operates largely independently of the Director and the company's board.
What then, is the problem here?
How might we deal with that problem in setting guidelines for those in senior political office?