National treasury wants Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) to help it crack whip on individuals engaging in tender fraud in state departments, a vice that is turning to be the biggest economic crime in the country.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich has pointed out collusion by interested companies to fix selling prices and bribing of officials was rampant in government offices.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has personally admitted of the vice citing powerful cartels have been on the loose to help shadowy investors win government tenders.
He urged the competition Watchdog to initiate a pilot enforcement programme to look at possibilities of detecting bid rigging.
“I (Rotich) challenge the competition authority to start dealing with public procurement fraud,” said Rotich.
Consultancy group, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) global economic crime survey report 2014 shows that 36 percent of Kenyan chief executives CEOs had been asked to pay bribes to win tenders.
Key beneficiaries to government tenders, the report said were private sector players-opening up to possible collusion.
The report has also described as hard to detect fraud because it happens at the early stages of procurement-during vendor selection.
The competition watchdog has said it has engaged the Public procurement and oversight Authority (PPOA) to help identify the red flags in tender fraud.
“Going forward, we will then conduct screening to the findings to allow us set out high priority areas that need urgent focus,” said Wang’ombe.
Procurement fraud ranked second at 31 percent, after accounting fraud with 38 percent of respondents in the survey admitting to the crime.