Firm in Sh38b MES contract accused of supplying faulty radiological equipment

Monday, September 14th, 2020 17:48 | By

A company that supplied radiological equipment under Lot 7 in the controversial Sh 38 billion Managed Equipment Services (MES) is on the spotlight for supplying flawed apparatus that have reported multiple faults.

General East Africa Services Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company was awarded the contract to supply Lot 7 (Radiological) equipment at a contract value of Sh 26 billion

This was equivalent to at least 52 percent of the total contract value of what was to become popularly known as the MES project.

The Senate adhoc committee which investigated the deal and termed it as a criminal enterprise shrouded in opaque procurement processes, has indicted GE saying the maintenance costs of the faulty equipment may be high and therefore results in increased costs of the contract relating to Lot 7.

Likewise, the Committee chaired by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo has established that equipment supplied under Lot 7 still remains non-functional due to both lack of the infrastructure necessary and specialists or subspecialist needed to ensure the optimal use of the equipment.

“In view of the foregoing, the committee has established that the cost of Lot 7 may not represent value for money,” report reads in part.

According to the MES Service Level Monitoring Final Quarterly Report (January, 2019) by PKF Kenya, out of all the MES equipment, radiology equipment under lot 7 of the Contract awarded to GE East Africa Services Limited, had logged the highest number of equipment breakdowns with a total of 550 faults reported in 2017, and 663 in 2018.

Of these, the most affected equipment were digital General X-Ray machines, ultrasound units, and mobile X-Ray units.

According to documentation received from the Ministry and presented before the committee during the grilling sessions, digital general X-Ray machines were installed but non-functional in sixteen (16) hospitals including Bondo, Chebiemit, Garbatulla, Garsen, Gucha, Kacheliba, Kapenguria, Kehancha, Keroka, Likoni, Makindu, Mwingi, Ndanai, Nyambene, Tharaka, and Endebess Hospitals.

Furthermore, during the committee’s site visit to Garbatulla Sub-District Hospital in Isiolo County, for instance, the General X-Ray machine was found only partially installed with parts of it lying on the floor of the radiology department in its original polythene packaging.

In addition, in the same facility, the Ultrasound machine and C-Arm and mobile X-Ray units were evidently not in use and still in their original packaging.

“No equipment supplied under the MES scheme is working in Garbatulla Sub-District Hospital. All Equipments are still in its original packaging boxes. This is a big problem, that six years later Isiolo residents are yet to benefit from these Equipments,” Dullo, who doubles as the Deputy Majority Leader told People Daily on Monday.

The report which is scheduled to be debated in the House this afternoon, has also recommended the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the circumstances through which an unqualified contractor, GE East Africa Services Limited, was awarded the Lot 7 contract to supply radiological equipment.

This is after the nine-member committee established that GE East Africa Services Limited, was not an Original Equipment Manufacturer and further, it did not possess a valid power of attorney at the time of executing of the contracts.

More significantly, the committee chaired by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo noted that the tender document issued by the Ministry of Health invited only original manufacturers of medical equipment to bid under the MES project.

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