De La Rue currency printing job cancelled

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Procurement watchdog (PPARB) has coverturned the currency printing tender issued earlier to De La Rue Limited which was based on the quest to get a new look currency for Kenya

The review board indicated that Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) flouted the public tendering procedures and has directed the banking regulator to review bids issued by other currency printers.

The CBK had last year indicated that the new currency would be out in circulation by mid 2018.

At the heart of the decision to overturn the tender is the fact that De La Rue is set to implement a 15 percent preference margin on the printing job, which is ordinarily left for local companies.

In doing so the PPARB argues that the CBK wrongfully applied the law in awarding the tender.

“De La Rue International Ltd was unlawfully awarded tender for printing and supply of new currency and that the application of 15 percent preference margin in its favor was unlawful,” the review board said.

Kenya has over the past eight years delayed in issuing a newly designed currency as the constitution prohibits the use of portraits or images of individuals.

Last week the CBK had defended the award for the tender arguing that part of the printing job would be done at De La Rue’s Kenyan facility which is 40 percent owned by the government.

With the tender overturned, the banking regulator will now focus on the other bids for the currency printing job.

Other companies shortlisted for the tender were Swedish firm Crane AB, Giesecke & Devrient from Germany as well as Oberthur Fiduciaire of France

Crane AB accused the CBK of lack of transparency in the tendering process adding that taxpayers could money as the tender was not awarded to the lowest bidder.