Way cleared for IEBC Sh3.4 billion tender
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission yesterday moved to forestall further fallout and possible law suits arising from the tender for the Sh3.4 billion electronic voter registration kits. During a meeting yesterday, the chief electoral officer James Oswago was given until close of business today to complete the process that has delayed, leading to widespread speculations. “The CEO was told to do what is right and lawful. The commissioners want less litigation that can delay the electoral process,” a source told the Star after the meeting.
It now clears the way for the CEO to award the tender for the tender for the Biometric Voter Registration kits and the Automated Finger Identification System. The two top bidders are the Indian technology firm 4G Identity Solutions and Kenyan rival, Symphony. If the top two are disqualified for whatever reason, the commission will have to re-start the process in keeping with the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
The commission shortlisted four firms namely 4G Identity Solutions which quoted $45 million or approximately Sh3.72 billion at current exchange rates and Symphony whose bid was $47.5 million (approximately Sh3.9 billion currently). Others were Face Technologies of South Africa which quoted $55.3 million (approximately Sh4.6billion currently) and OnTrack of Israel which was willing to do the same work for $99.4 million (Sh8.2 billion).
IEBC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan on Monday while acknowledging the inordinate delay in awarding the tender denied that there was a rift among the commissioners and staff over the tender after The Star published an article detailing the behind-the-scenes goings on. “The regrettable delay in awarding the tender, which must be the thing fueling the speculation, is as a result of ensuring that due diligence is followed in the entire process,” Hassan stated in a reply to The Star’s story.
Yesterday’s meeting was also used by the commission staff to brief all the Commissioners on the progress of procuring the BVR kits in preparation for voter registration. The Commission has targeted to register 18 million eligible Kenyans to participate in the General Election set for March 4, 2013. The voter registration will start once IEBC finalises the constituency boundaries report after the Monday court ruling that left the 80 new boundaries intact except for a few changes in names and mergers of some of the vote zones.