By Peter Opiyo
A row has emerged about the tendering process for the purchase of 9,750 Biometric Voter Registration kits for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( IEBC).
At the centre of the controversy is the recommendation to award the tender to a company that quoted a price above IEBC’s budget and also ranked third in a list of four companies shortlisted.
According to correspondence seen by The Standard, the Tender Committee recommended that Face Technologies be allowed to supply the kits at Sh4.78 billion above IEBC’s budget of Sh3.97 billion, about Sh810.7 million above the budget.
The documents show 4G Identity Solution was ranked first after quoting Sh3.72 billion, followed by Africa Symphony at Sh3.85 billion, Face Technologies was third while On Track Innovations was ranked fourth at Sh8.22 billion.
The Re-evaluation Committee was constituted at the request of the Tender Committee after it rejected the report by the Evaluation Team.
The Re-evaluation Committee that included experts from development partners gave its report to the Tender Committee on July 2. The Tender Committee then sent its decision preferring Face Technologies to IEBC CEO James Oswago.
“The ( Tender) Committee in its conclusion recommended Face Technologies be awarded the tender and at the same time rejected the very idea of preference and its application to the relevant case,” states one of the documents.
Consequently, Mr Oswago has written to the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) seeking advice on the matter.
Among the questions asked by the CEO are whether it is prudent to award the tender to a firm that was ranked third, and quoted way above the IEBC’s budget and whether the decision of the Tender Committee is justified.
“Can a tender committee make an award to a company not recommended by the Evaluation Team, and if so, in what circumstances and are these relevant to the current case,” Oswago’s letter reads in part.