Kenyan investors on Friday called on the government to seal corruption loopholes by enforcing the use of the e-procurement system to help inject efficiency and transparency.
The investors, who are members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), said the system will go a long way in aiding the fight against corruption by eliminating the use of manual systems which are prone to abuse and create loopholes for corruption.
"The Private Sector calls upon our members and partners to utilize e-procurement in applying for government tenders. E- procurement ensures fairness and equality among participants besides minimizing manipulation," KEPSA said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
"We continue to seek additional measures to support the government in its fight against corruption and encourage all institutions put in place measures that will stem the vice," it added.
The e-procurement, which is being implemented under the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), provides an efficient and streamlined purchasing and payment system by fully automating the process.
The initial phase has seen the automated procurement system deployed in 19 state corporations that are housed by the National Treasury. The system is expected to streamline procurement within the public sector and save on taxpayer money.
The rollout follows Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive in August last year to all public entities to automate their procurement processes using IFMIS e-Procurement. Currently, State corporations use different systems to manage their finances.
KEPSA said it fully supports the automation of the procurement process through e-procurement, noting that it's the duty of all responsible corporate citizens to ensure that tax payers get value for money.
"Corruption remains a major hindrance to national development as it compromises the quality of public service and infrastructure, for which business pays a high cost. Corruption impacts on service delivery to both the business sector and the public," it said.
The investors said the cost of corruption far exceeds the billions of shillings looted from tax payers, and noted that its impact on service delivery and substandard infrastructure is an additional cost on business.
The private sector said it has put in place measures to support Kenya in its fight against corruption, such as embracing the use of the business code of ethics developed in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact Network.
"We urge all our members to sign up to the Business Code of Ethics and request the government to encourage companies bidding for tenders to subscribe to the business code of ethics," said the statement.
The investors said corruption remains a key hindrance to development and is an unofficial levy on business and tops the list of economic crimes against the country.
"The economy is the first pillar of the Vision 2030, and therefore economic crimes should be prioritized for prosecution. This will safeguard key economic projects besides protecting hard earned taxpayer funds," KEPSA said.
Last week, Kenyatta cancelled tenders worth 3 billion U.S. dollars and threatened to sack 11 principal secretaries whose ministries and departments failed to use the government e- procurement system.