A company contracted to man Kenya’s weighbridges was overpaid by Sh435 million and recruited in a tender process where it was the only valid bidder, Auditor General Edward Ouko reveals.

Mr Ouko says Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) awarded five contracts to SGS Kenya for Sh369.8 million but the amount paid was Sh805 million, resulting in excess payment of Sh435.1 million.

“It was observed that three year contract period ended on December 31, 2015 and at the end of the contract period, the consultant had been paid in excess of the contract amounts in some items,” Mr Ouko said in a qualified audit opinion of KeNHA for the year to June 2017.

“In the foregoing, it was not possible to confirm whether the Authority obtained value for money in incurring the above expenditure,” Mr Ouko said.

The chief public auditor also cited the hiring of SGS Kenya, which was declared the only bidder who met the tendering terms.

KeNHA’s tender committee found only SGS Kenya to be responsive bidder out of the firms that returned bids.

“The reason for the rest being non-responsive were that they provided bid bonds valid for 120 days instead of 150 days,” Mr Ouko said.

Kenya privatised the management and operations of weighbridges on major trunk roads following a call by transporters over bribery. It allows trucks with 48 tonnes gross weight and 28 tonne axle load. Some unscrupulous transporters carried up to 60 tonnes and got away with it.

Kenya has at least six weighbridges between Mombasa and the Ugandan border.