UN Denies Any Wrongdoing in Kenya’s Internet Deal

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

United Nations officials in Nairobi have denied that a Sh800m contract for Internet services in Gigiri is being improperly awarded.

UN Information Director Nasser Ega-Musa has now advised, "A contract has yet to be awarded and... at all stages this procurement action will have complied with UN Regulations and Rules and as a result the successful vendor will have submitted a timely bid that was subsequently subjected to a rigorous and comparative technical and financial evaluation."

Seven bids were recorded at the opening bid on February 2 by the UN Procurement office with five bidders in attendance. Access was not among them. "On 6 February, 2012 it was discovered that two additional bids had arrived at the UNON Security Gate prior to the bid closing time, but the individuals delivering them were not allowed in by the UNON Security Officers. The bids were subsequently presented at the Security Gate and forwarded to Procurement Services on 3 February, 2012," he explained.

Ega-Musa said the additional two bids were forwarded for evaluation which was completed on June 15. Seven companies tendered and were present when the bids were opened on February 2. They were KDN ( Altech), Frontier Optical Networks (FON), Emerging Markets Communication (EMC), Jamii Telecom, MTN Business, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya (Orange).

Access Kenya Group Communication Manager Kevin Keya has insisted that they submitted their bid properly on February 2, 2012. "Access Kenya Group tendered properly for the fiber internet link within the specified period and we are waiting for the communication from UN like the rest of the companies. What our team did not do is to go for the opening of the tender bids on February 2. However, they were submitted as per instructions. So far we have no official communication from UN that we have won the tender," stated Keya.

However their rivals are still unhappy about the participation of Access. "The tender details specified that bids had to be submitted to the Procurement Office by 2pm on February 2. The bids were then opened at 3pm. Seven companies managed to submit their bids in time. The fact is that Access was not compliant," said an official of one company. "The tender documents clearly state that 'delivery of tenders to any other UNON office other than stipulated will not constitute delivery'. Access should either be disqualified or the tender should be cancelled and re-advertised," said the official.