Three weeks after taking charge at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) following the Ksh.3.7 billion anti-mosquito nets scandal, the new KEMSA Board and Management have hit the road running.

After a daylong meeting at the company head office in Nairobi on Monday, the new board unveiled a new plan aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability at the medical institution which has been riddled with graft scandals since 2020.

The board announced the cancellation of the list of all pre-qualified suppliers and ordered a fresh process to ensure only companies that provide value for money are enlisted.

The Irungu Nyakera-led board also directed that all ongoing contracts that were procured through single sourcing be reviewed and those found not to be providing value for money be revoked and forwarded to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

“Immediately revoke the current list of pre-qualified suppliers and restart an objective process afresh to ensure that only companies that provide value for money are pre-qualified, immediately review all ongoing contracts that have been procured through single sourcing and monopoly action and are costly to the institution. Any contract that is found to not be providing value for money will be forwarded to the PPRA and the EACC for investigation,” said Nyakera.

Nyakera says the new management is keen on reviewing all direct procurement contracts to eradicate single sourcing, cartelization and monopoly with a view of ensuring that items procured are of standard and contracts awarded through a transparent procurement process.

“Introducing the lotting system in procurement that will set an upper financial limit beyond which no single bidder will win contracts. This will promote healthy competition by diffusing vested interest and racketeering and thereby ensure value for money for Mwananchi from our procurement processes,” added Nyakera.

With a bloated workforce of 734 employees, the Board recommended for a staff audit within two weeks with a view to downscaling the numbers.

“Our establishment is much smaller than the staff that we have so we do have a bloated workforce and while we want, we believe that each one of them is adding some value to the organisation we have to ensure that we bring down those numbers to the numbers that can be sustained at the organisation,” said Nyakera.

The Board also directed the management to freeze staff recruitment and scale down staff travel with a view of re-orienting the budget to prioritize KEMSA’s role in Universal Healthcare.

It further directed that all staff members be placed on performance contracts to enhance delivery.

The Board also plans to sell off current slow-moving stock which will enable the authority to get working capital, seek resources from the Ministry of Health and work with development partners to ensure effective functioning of the institution.

The Board has invited the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority to do an audit of the procurement processes and give proposals on how it can be improved to ensure efficiency and cost-savings.

“We are implementing stricter financial controls, regular audits and risk assessments, to detect and prevent any potential irregularities…,” said the board chair.

By Fredrick Odanga.