Members of the public have been invited to give their views on the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that seeks to cushion contractors and suppliers from having their payments delayed by the government.
Addressing the press in Thika town, Thika MP Patrick Wainaina who sponsored the Bill in Parliament said the public have the opportunity to give their input on any amendment to enrich the bill that is at the public participation stage.
The bill, that has already gone through the first reading requires all national and county governments’ tenders to be accompanied by bank guarantees, so that if the government fails to settle payments within the 90 days period, a contractor will walk into the bank and collect their pay, leaving the government to square it out with the bank.
If passed, it would be a relief to many contractors whose properties end up being auctioned after going for years without payment, after having done business with the government.
“This is the time to give your input as once it goes to second reading, there is nothing you can do to it. Why I’m doing this is because a lot of people have been auctioned for doing business with the government. You find young people getting together to get government jobs and after completing, they never get paid. Families are getting broken and a lot of people are losing property and investment due to failure by the government to pay for their contracts,” said Wainaina.
The Bill also provides that the prices for contracts should be within 15 per cent range of engineer’s estimate to prevent cases of over-quoting and underquoting.
“It would deter companies from quoting an unrealistically high price for a contract whose cost is low, or companies that quote unrealistic low prices just to win a tender then start asking for additional funding,” he said.