Kenya Threshold Program

  • Grant Total: $12,700,000
  • Signed: March 23, 2007
  • Completed: December 31, 2010

The Kenya Threshold Program targeted policy areas measured by MCC’s Control of Corruption selection indicator. When originally selected as eligible for a threshold program, Kenya did not meet MCC criteria in the Ruling Justly category. Recognizing the constraint that corruption places on private investment and good governance, the Government of Kenya proposed to work on reducing corruption and improving the efficiency of government institutions.

To achieve these objectives, Kenya’s threshold program was composed of three activities that focused on reforming the country’s public procurement systems, improving health service and delivery, and improving the monitoring capacity of Government of Kenya and civil society organizations.

Program Achievements

By reforming the public procurement system, Kenya’s Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) was able to increase its capacity and gain the basic tools to fulfill its mandate, contributing to the overall goal of increasing transparency in public procurement. Through the reform activity, there was a strengthening of the monitoring and enforcement of procurement law, an increase among PPOA staff and potential bidders of their capacity and understanding of the law and procurement practices, and the newly established posting of procurement reviews of the highest spending government entities on a public website’a big achievement in increasing transparency.

The program also supported improvements to health care procurement and delivery. Surveys of the public health supply chain found that Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA)’a key government entity in the provision of basic health services’was a relatively efficient procurer of medical commodities at lower prices. However, an audit of KEMSA’s procurement, warehouse and distribution systems noted that the absence of an audit committee compromised the internal audit function. Trainings and forums for more than 700 public health professionals in rural health facilities were held throughout Kenya on new KEMSA inventory tracking and audit procedures. The inventory management system was also overhauled to ensure the timely update of records and improved internal tracking.

The objective of the activity to improve monitoring capacity was to create demand among civil society and the public for procurement reform by equipping a group of civil society organizations with the expertise and tools to engage as champions of proper procurement practice. Although some progress was made in improving government and external monitoring by creating public procurement watchdogs, the overall objective of increased monitoring was not achieved. Transparency International-Kenya trained “Public Watchers” to monitor the advertisement of procurement tenders in their areas, observe tender processes and the execution of projects.

Kenya Threshold Program Implementation

The Kenya Threshold Program agreement was signed by the Government of Kenya and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which was responsible for implementing the program on MCC’s behalf, in March 2007. The program concluded in December 2010. As the program administrator, USAID managed the program operations in Kenya and oversaw the program implementing partners: Associates in Rural Development, Inc., Management Sciences for Health/Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis in association with Africa Youth Trust, and PACT-Kenya.

Improve Health Care Procurement and Delivery

Strengthen KEMSA’s procurement capacity and accountability by providing technical assistance to develop appropriate software modules and train relevant stakeholders in procurement processes.

Improve supply chain management of public health resources by supporting developing and implementing a warehouse management system, a pilot “pull” system for commodity distribution, and a logistics management information system.

Establish capacity within the Ministry of Health to monitor KEMSA’s procurement function and assess compliance by implementing a quality surveillance system, provide quality assurance equipment and system, and carry out a countrywide price survey.

Strengthen the supervision of medical supplies delivered to rural health facilities by establishing and training local management supervisory teams, creating improved procedures for storage and usage of medical supplies in rural facilities, and developing a distribution schedule and posting KEMSA tender prices on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Improve Monitoring Capacity

Use internal monitoring and evaluation by the PPOA, Ministry of Health and KEMSA to measure threshold program progress, to include baseline studies and the auditing of program activities.

Support external monitoring and evaluation by non-state actors, including civil society and private sector groups, to ensure transparency and accountability and to report on progress, results and impacts.

Reform the Public Procurement System

Strengthening the capacity of the newly created Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) to create greater transparency in the procurement process, provide the public with more procurement related information, and introduce more structured decision-making processes and greater efficiency in procurement.

Develop and pilot an electronic procurement system in the five largest Kenyan government procuring entities – the Office of the President, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Roads and Public Works, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Health.

Develop and implement new procurement regulations and guidelines.

Institute proper records management protocols for public entities.