National Transport Services Authority (NTSA) managers are on the spot with questions being asked how the top management and board have been running the regulator.
According to insiders who sought to reveal all to KahawaTungu, the regulator has been on the roll with corruption, nepotism and incompetence bedeviling it and risking the security of the country.
While NTSA procured the Transport Integrated Management System (TIMS) system from Chinese government that connected Huawei and local ICT vendor Copy Cat, the regulator doesn’t own the system and the suppliers have taken advantage to heftily charge for simple upgrades and tweaks needed to make the platform better. The system has been continually manipulated by crooked elements within NTSA who found it to be a great avenue to conduct all manner of illegal businesses.
Questions have been asked why NTSA never took time to fully take ownership of the system or have a cheaper and more effective one developed and deployed from local vendors.
Coupled with the above, NTSA procured a driving license printing system which cost it over one billion shillings but is so archaic that since it was procured almost two years ago, it has only managed to print 100,000 new driving licenses.
NTSA has variously claimed that it is slow in issuing the new generation driving license but the truth of the matter is that the printer doesn’t match the required task despite the high cost of acquisition. Together with the printer, NTSA also bought 5 million blank driving license cards which it will apparently use on the print. They are currently rotting in the warehouses of the regulator.
According to our sources, the biggest scam at NTSA also comes in the form of the office of Internal Auditor, who has been sent on compulsory leave.
The auditor is facing allegations of financial impropriety with regards to ‘approved’ out of station funds (per diem) totaling to millions of shillings.
The auditor Miriam Njoroge is also an independent board member of the water services regulatory board, appointed on November 1, 2015. Within this period, there is no evidence of taking leave to attend to the other external board matters.
While Miriam Njoroge should be the first line of defence on internal accountability matters, she spends most of her time on the field roaming around the country while collecting bribes from NTSA officers who are engaging in massive theft and corruption in the respective field offices.
Another issue threatening Kenya’s security system is the issuance of third licence plate that was supposed to have commenced years back. The plates were supposed to enhance security of vehicles by having an additional third license plate sticker containing a RFID chip, which would contain the details of the vehicle.
In line with this, NTSA advertised a tender for the supply of supply 1.1 million stickers over a duration of 3 years. These stickers were supposed to be capable of being read by the Authority’s terminals/ readers, and also be capable of being printed by the Authority’s existing printers.
The tender would later be awarded to a Germany company, Tonnjes Ltd after conducting a due diligence exercise.
However, during the implementation of the contract, it emerged that the stickers could not be printed by the authority’s printers or chip-read by the authority’s terminals.
At this point, the public procurement & disposal Act dictates that the tender should have been cancelled, as the sticker clearly did not meet the technical specifications. However this was not done, and instead a second contract for the supply of printers was given to the same company under direct procurement as the printers and readers supplied were generic and could be sourced from the open market.
Through the first contract, the firm has lost over Ksh 411 million to useless stickers and other millions in terms of paying for the software.
Due to poor planning and implementation, the Authority was unable to sell enough of the stickers to pay the firm, leading to a threat of litigation from the supplier, due to inability to make payment in full, as per contract.
This bore another risky verbal agreement between the firm and NTSA, to have them pay Ksh20 million every month until the payment was complete.
However, the agreement/proposal was not put in writing as required by the main contract, and therefore the Authority was legally exposed should the firm file a claim for interest due to delayed payments once the principal amount is settled.
Also, the now legally recognised license – digital license – has been on pilot for the last one year with only approximately 3,000 licenses of the 400,000 cards supplied, having being issued.
Sources from within intimate that there are serious deficiencies in the roll out of the digital license other than the much touted ‘lack of finances’ excuse.
“For example the printers procured are not industrial printers and can thereby only print approximately 100 cards a day,” says our source.
NTSA is also said to meet its obligations, evidenced from its inability to pay its creditors whose debts stand at approximately Ksh500 million.
The financial woes were deliberately kept away from the board, with figures being manipulated to give the impression that the Authority is financially sound, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
“The financial management of the Authority is seriously challenged and further burdened by various
unnecessary procurement,” adds our source.
Currently, NTSA has over 150 idle employees without specific duties after having been removed from conducting operations following a presidential directive.