In a new advert, the Kenyan government is inviting companies and interested parties to re-apply to supply laptop computers and related accessories since the previous tender applicants had submitted tender bids that did not meet the government’s set budget and the Ministry of Education threw them out.
The government has set a budget of Ksh 12 million yet the lowest bid was Ksh 32 million. It says it can’t afford that. Practically though, the government’s budget is hard to reason with since Ksh 12 billion translates to around Ksh 9,200 per computer since the government estimates that it wants 1.38 million laptop computers supplied for the initial roll-out.
Such a price with all the margins considered and the reality on the ground plus insurance issues which I understand have to be factored in plus other requirements set by the Ministry of Education is something not many firms will happily jump in to. Most of the firms that had applied for the earlier advertised tender had bid between Ksh 23,000 and Ksh 28,000 which makes a lot of sense if the laptops are to be of any considerable quality.
To show how serious things are with the government’s insistence on the Ksh 9,200 per laptop pricing, only 20 of the 126 firms that picked up the tender documents actually returned them. Of those that bid, the lowest bid was three times the government’s budget with HP Commercial reportedly being that bidder. HP Commercial bid Ksh 28.7 billion (around Ksh 20, 639 per laptop).
Other big brand firms that had earlier expressed strong interest in supplying laptops for the class one free laptop program like Samsung and ZTE placed bids of Ksh 39.1 billion and Ksh 33 billion respectively. Others like Haier Technologies, Telkom Kenya, Symphony Technologies, Mastec EA and Shen Zhen Auto Digital also did bid. Chinese firm Huawei PTE submitted the highest bid, Ksh 60.5 billion.
According to the Business Daily, firms tendering for the job must deposit bid bonds of Ksh 7.5 million for printers, Ksh10 million for projectors and Ksh50 million for laptops.
Bids are for the supply of laptops, printers and projectors and should be delivered on November 14th according to the new advert. The same are expected to be procured over a period of two fiscal years to fit the budget.
The class one laptop project plan has changed significantly since April when the new government came into power with the current plan being to supply laptops to pupils in classes one over the first three years (class one to three in the end) of the program with computer laboratories being put up in the mean time so that they can take care of the upper classes and eventually all the pupils going forward.
It is also emerging that teachers will be getting laptops too though rightfully those laptops won’t have the same specs as those handed out to the class one kids, they will have higher specifications.
The re-advertisement of the laptop tender means that the earlier January supply deadline set by the Ministry is unlikely to be met with the second term of the primary school calendar in 2014 being the most practical time so far.
Story and Photo Source: Business Daily