Daily Nation Sept 22nd, 2015

Higher learning institutions face stiff competition in laptop project

By LILIAN OCHIENG

The government has thrown the race for the schools laptop project bid open despite earlier indications that it would favour higher learning institutions.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Strathmore will now battle with over 20 other bidders for the Sh17 billion Jubilee government flagship project.

“There is no bias in the tendering process, no predetermined bidder, this is a process purely guided by the requirements of the procurement act,” said ICT Authority Director Corporate Affairs Felix Ongaga.

Mr Ongaga spoke yesterday at a public event where the proposals for the project were announced as bidders watched.

The higher learning institutions together with other contestants will be vetted according to; their legal formation, research and development capacity, technical knowhow, financial capability.

The bidders must also have completed three similar assignments in the last five years individually or as part of a consortium.

A total of 26 organisations expressed interests in the tender: Lead Firm, Nobeah Technologies, Ewis Information Systems, e-Kitabu, Dell, Techno Brain, Easun Services, Softech and Smoothtel/Data Solutions Ltd (consortium consisting of technical university of Kenya) are among them.

Others include: Moi University, University of Nairobi, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technologies, Meru University of Science and Technology, JKUAT, Strathmore Research and Consultancy Centre, Multimedia University and Kenyatta University.

Bidders are looking to supply devices for teachers, learners, special needs as well as servers, routers and projectors.

Shortlisted firms will be announced publicly in 30 days. The government will then issue them with proposals to submit their technical and financial bids.

The procurement process is expected to take at least 3 months with the winner expected to start delivery in January, 2016.

The government looks to have the first batch of laptops available for Class One pupils by January 2016. Bids for the project was announced 14 days ago.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has however earlier on insinuated that higher learning institutions will be awarded the tenders.

“We have broadened the ecosystem and will partner with higher learning institutions such as JKUAT, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University and Strathmore to ensure sustainability of the project,” Dr Matiang’i said in June.

Original Article: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/School-laptops-bid-wide-open/-/996/2881286/-/pvab9yz/-/index.html

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