, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – The contentious tender row at the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday spilled over to the corridors of justice after an activist sought an order to compel the commission to award the Sh3.9 billion to the lowest bidder.
The case filed at the Milimani High Court under a certificate of urgency by activist Okiya Omtata, seeks orders stopping the IEBC from awarding the tender to any other party other than the lowest bidder 4G Identity Solutions.
Omtata claims that he has recently learnt that the IEBC declined to offer the Biometric Voter Registration kits tender to the lowest bidder and in the process of awarding it, the commission will cause Kenyan tax payers to lose millions of shillings.
He argues in his petition that the due diligence report that was supplied by the commission disqualifying the lowest bidder had no professional anchoring and was done in a manner that was likely to be fraudulent.
“IEBC did not apply or use proper information in arriving at a just decision to award the tender to the lowest bidder which lacked facilities and capacity to supply the material,” he states.
Out of the four firms shortlisted for award of the tender; 4G Identity Solution was ranked first quoting Sh3.72 billion, followed by Systems Integrated Limited at Sh3.85 billion, Face Technologies was third quoting Sh4.78 billion while On Track Innovations was ranked fourth quoting a price of Sh8.22 billion.
Omtata has further sought orders that the court prohibit IEBC from conducting the ongoing due diligence evaluation on Systems Integrated Limited.
“I have now become aware that the tendering process is being conducted against a backdrop of powerful forces operating corruptly and discreetly to advance their vested interest,” he says in his application.
Omtata says that the commission ignored his notice in which he demanded a professional tendering process that would safeguard public interest.
The case will be heard on Friday.
On Monday, the IEBC defended rejection of the bid by 4G Identity Solutions to supply the BVR kits with IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan saying the decision was informed by negative information received about the company after it won the tender.
He said that the process has been above board having involved external observers and evaluators and denied reports that the tender had caused a rift within the commission.
Hassan admitted that there was a possibility of delay but said that the polls agency will use its current biometric voter registration kits if the new tender fails to deliver on time.
The kits IEBC intends to use were used to register voters ahead of the 2010 referendum in a pilot project that covered 18 constituencies.
“Once we have awarded the tender, we can be able to manipulate and use the software and configure our current equipment,” he said.
“They can be sent to the 1,450 wards so that we have at least one per ward. That is the worst case scenario but we have taken into account all factors including the delay in delivery of kits by the new company,” he said.