French Firm Still Willing to Work with IEBC
French Firm, Gemalto SA, is ready to negotiate with the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over a tender for the supply of system to be used in the verification of voters.
The electoral body cancelled the Sh3 billion tender on Tuesday citing budgetary provisions among other reasons. The system, known as the Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS), will integrate biometric voter registration, electronic voter identification and electronic transmission of results.
In a letter addressed to IEBC CEO, Ezra Chiloba, the firm said it was ready “to fix the issues” raised by IEBC when it cancelled the tender. The French firm further expressed surprise saying the reasons cited by IEBC were not persuasive enough.
IEBC cited inadequate budgetary provision, operation of the law and substantial technology change as the reasons for cancelling the tender.
But Gemalto SA views that the ‘inadequate budgetary provision’ as not persuasive enough a reason to cancel the tender.
“Our view is that the Commission has sufficient scope within Section 132 of the Public Procurement and Disposals Act, 2015 to initiate negotiation with Gemalto SA. We also take the view, that the KIEMS project was a new obligation introduced by the Elections Laws Amendment Act 2016 subsequent to the 2016/17 budget cycle and perhaps a determinate budget provision would have been difficult. Thus, a more persuasive reason would have been that provided under section 63(1)(d) ,” read the letter in part.
Charles Mevaa, the firm’s vice-president in Africa also questions the substantial change in law mentioned by IEBC’s letter, stating that “we also note that there is no pending litigation concerning the KIEMS procurement.”
In regards to technological change, Gemalto SA stated that “whereas voter registration is a critical part of the KIEMS project, the drive undertaken in January does not fundamentally or substantially alter the technology.” It insists that the change only affects the terms of reference but not the technology.
“We submit that the technology offered by Gemalto SA offers unique opportunity to the Commission to fully integrate the full range of technology envisaged by the Commission including the cumulative progress of the voter registration. Our solution is also adaptable to the specific needs of the Commission,” the letter further says.
Gemalto SA hopes to engage the elections body to restore the tender process and start the work.