IEBC defies pressure, awards Al Ghurair ballot papers tender

IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati.

Nairobi, Kenya: The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission  has defied pressure and awarded the Sh2.5 billion contract for supply of ballot papers to Dubai based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company Ltd.

IEBC said it had taken into consideration several issues before settling on Al Ghurair which is set to print about 120 million ballot papers for the August 8 polls.

Among the considerations are the capacity of the firm, history of work done in Africa and the region, logistics and pricing.

“Considering available options, the Commission resolved to award the tender for ballot papers to Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing of Dubai,” Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced.

Chebukati said this following consultation with stakeholders, they resolved to utilize the direct procurement commonly referred to as single sourcing.  Al Ghurair was picked due to the following reasons:

Capacity of modern machines whereby 50% of machine capacity have been allocated for production of ballot papers with adequate back-ups.

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Has a suitable emergency production, packaging and delivery plan.

Has fully deployed experienced and qualified personnel.

There are four direct flights daily by two major airlines to Kenya which makes trasportation easier.

The Company has sufficient and stable financial base to fund its obligation.

The firm has experience in African countries, part of Asia, Middle East among others.

The prices offered by M/s AL Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC in the previous contracts were competitive and within the prevailing market rates.

The firm has a reputation of being efficient and reliable in terms of delivery.

Chebukati announced that the IEBC will sponsor representatives of stakeholders to travel to Dubai and witness the printing of the materials.

IEBC awarded Al Ghurair the tender initially in October last year but it was nullified by the High Court in February this year.

Justice George Odunga who quashed the contract ordered IEBC to start the process afresh.

Due to time constraints, the commission opted to use restricted tendering where select firms were invited to bid but that also ran into trouble weeks later.

This is when the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board nullified the process on grounds of faulty tender papers.

IEBC then resolved to do directly award and invited Al Ghurair for negotiations in spite of the pressure.

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