IDEMIA honours PAC summons, says committed to ethical operations

February 21, 2019 4:16 pm
In 2017, the company provided 45,000 biometric voter authentication kits to 40,000-plus Kenya-wide polling stations enabling them to transmit the 2017 election results/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – Two IDEMIA Group Senior Executives Thursday afternoon appeared before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee following summons.

Matthew Foxton, IDEMIA’s Executive Vice-President and Executive Committee Member, and Olivier Charlanes, IDEMIA’s Senior Vice-President Africa for Public Security & Identity activities, appeared before the committee which is examining the Auditor General’s report on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) financial accounts for the year ended June 30, 2017.

IDEMIA (formerly OT-Morpho) is a French company headquartered in Paris which was involved in the competitive supply to IEBC of the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS); an integrated elections management system for voter registration, voter identification and results transmission.

At the PAC session, Charlanes assured the committee that Kenya had received value for money by procuring and deploying IDEMIA systems. He declared: “As a company, we have no doubt that we dutifully provided a robust system to IEBC, as part of our corporate commitment to empower citizens to vote in ways that are now possible in a connected environment.”

IDEMIA operates from over 180 countries and has a longstanding presence in Africa including Kenya. Since 2008, the company has provided the Kenyan Police with a criminal Automated Palm and Fingerprints Identification System (APFIS) and in 2012, the company delivered a biometric voter registration system to the IEBC in the run-up to the General Election in order to support IEBC building a secure and accurate electoral roll.

In 2017, the company provided 45,000 biometric voter authentication kits to 40,000-plus Kenya-wide polling stations enabling them to transmit the 2017 election results.

The KIEMS system was also used for the October 2017 election re-run.

Last year, the government through the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, engaged IDEMIA to provide 31,500 mobile biometric voter authentication kits to be used for citizens’ enrolment in the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) which is a National biometric population register of all Kenyan citizens and foreign nationals residing in Kenya.

Since the election kits contract had initially been signed with Morpho, a SAFRAN Group company, the Public Accounts Committee meeting also gave IDEMIA an opportunity to explain its past name changes.

Rebranded ‘SAFRAN Identity & Security’ in June 2016, Morpho came together with Oberthur Technologies in May 2017 giving rise to a new company called OT-Morpho, which ended up being renamed IDEMIA in October 2017.

During the PAC meeting, the IDEMIA executives tabled the firm’s official statement while reaffirming the company’s willingness to fully cooperate with Kenyan institutions.

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