IEBC strikes out Sh3bn tender

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By PATRICK LANG’AT
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The electoral commission has now cancelled a Sh3 billion tender integrated elections management system.

The The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Wednesday said it struck out the tender due to insufficient budget and time constraints.

“Your financial bid was significantly above the budgetary provision,” IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba writes in his letter to Gemalto, a South African firm that reached the valuation stage of the tendering.

The system would integrate all the process of the poll, including biometric voter registration and identification, electronic results transmission and party/candidate registration systems.

It, the commission says, was supposed to be in place four months to the August 8 General Election, which is by April 2017 and be tested at least 60 days before the polls.

But more importantly, it was supposed to be up and ready for use in the electronic voter identification to start on May 10.

Last week, the Public Procurement Review Board ordered the IEBC to complete evaluation of the tender it had awarded to Gemalto SA, which was the only company that knocked off all bids to proceed to the evaluation stage.

The review board has also ordered IEBC to conclude the financial evaluation and award the tender within 30 days from the day of the date of the opening.

The commission had on February 28 terminated the tender so it could invite fresh bids.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has termed the preparation of a credible register as their biggest hurdle in the preparation for the elections.

In the 2013 polls, the IEBC was accused of running what the opposition has claimed to be four different registers that they said contributed to their loss.

The Raila Odinga-led opposition held weekly protests to demand the exit of IEBC commissioners for among other things, bungling the 2013 register.

This time, Mr Chebukati said, he would get it right.

“We in the IEBC know that if we have one credible final register, we are halfway done with a credible elections,” Mr Chebukati told an elections preparedness forum in Nairobi last week.

On voter register audit, Mr Chebukati says the IEBC hopes to do the audit “hopefully by June.”

But before then, Mr Chebukati said the commission was busy cleaning up its register for an expected voter verification, which will be done electronically, starting on May 10.

“We are procuring the technology necessary for the verification, because we want to get it right this time,” said Mr Chebukati in the Nairobi meeting.


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