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Desire to meet deadlines ‘may have led electoral agency to single-source’

The rush by the electoral agency to meet deadlines put in place by a new law on the use of technology may have led it to single-source.  

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is required by law to procure and put in place the technology at least 120 days before the August 8 elections.
The technology is to be in place by April 10.

IEBC is also supposed to open the voters’ register for verification by the public by May 10.  It should test and certify the technology at least 60 days before the elections.

According to an advisory to the commission seen by the Nation on Monday, IEBC was on the verge of violating the first deadline with delays in acquiring the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System or Kiems.

“However, this could be negotiated with Parliament,” part of the advisory read. 

VERIFICATION TIMELINE

“With respect to verification of timeline of May 10, DICT requires 72 days to set up, test, migrate data, train officers and deploy kits to the field…this means the gadgets should have been with the commission not later than March 30.”

“As it stands, the Kiems tender will not be able to meet the May 10 obligation.”

The advisory added that if the current Kiems tender were to be processed as it is, delivery was expected to be between April 26 and June 10.

At least 45 days are required for manufacture and delivery.

EXTERNAL INFLUENCE

“This is the best scenario, assuming there will be no external influence in the process and that the company selected will have the capacity,” it read.

“Accordingly, there will be no adequate time for integration, testing, simulating and certifying the technology within the legal and operational timelines as required by the law. The commission must think outside the box.” 

With this in mind, IEBC was advised to approve the upgrade of the Biometric Voter Registration kits to be used in the verification of data by May 10.

The commission was also asked to terminate the Kiems tender awarded to Gemalto SA “owing to its implications of the law of timelines, technological change and lack of adequate budgetary provisions” following a financial evaluation of the current tender.

DIFFERENT CONTRACTORS

“The commission should consider an alternative mode of acquisition of critical components of Kiems for the General Elections…taking into consideration success factors for system integration between the existing 19 million records of the register of voters, voter identification and results transmission,” it added.

The advisory noted that during the last elections, systems used were provided by different contractors and for success, integration was paramount.

‘It is apparent there was no sufficient time for integration of new systems with existing ones,” it said.

“The 2013 lessons should be taken into consideration to ensure effective and efficient integration of the system.”

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