Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is under pressure to undertake the services performed by the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) companies as the government contemplates cancelling the recently floated contracts.

Treasury sources confirm there was a lot of confusion in the ministry after the evaluation of the PSI contract floated on <

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“We are aware that for customs and importers to have confidence in the capacity of an inspection company to deliver services, the evaluation of the tender must be seen to be objective, rigorous and transparent. This situation cannot be said to obtain now,” says the sources on condition of anonymity.

One of the bidding companies for the multi-million PSI contract is believed to have secretly planted a mole within a team of Treasury officials assembled to evaluate the contract.

The sources reacted with consternation when it emerged that a letter from one of the bidders to finance minister, David Mwiraria, had accurately described the goings-on in the closed-door meetings, showing that the bidder had infiltrated the evaluation team.

However, it has emerged that pressure is mounting to have the PSI tender re-evaluated and then announcement made if it is found not to have been breached or scrapped if flawed.

They said the whole tendering process has been thrown into confusion as some quarters now argue that KRA should be strengthened to take over the services performed by the PSI companies with the back-up of an x-ray scanner.

Early this year, plans by the Treasury to procure the contract by inviting bids from only four pre-shipment firms, namely Bivac, Cotecna, SGS and Intertek had to be postponed when the merchants inundated top Treasury officials with several anonymous letters containing claims of impropriety.

The existing tender was extended for 90 days with effect from March 8, 2003 .