The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) terminated a Sh3 billion tender to protect its image and integrity.
It has emerged that taxpayers could have lost a massive Sh2 billion if IEBC had gone ahead to comply with an order to award the deal to French firm Gemalto.
The IEBC realised the firm had quoted Sh5.2 billion after the IT Company was solely qualified from the 10 firms that were evaluated.
Wednesday, IEBC’s Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba wrote to Gemalto communicating the decision to terminate the tender citing three grounds among them budgetary constraints.
“The IEBC notifies you that the tender has been terminated due to, among other reasons, inadequate budgetary provision as your financial bid was significantly above the budgetary provision,” stated Mr Chiloba’s letter.
The notification was also sent to the other nine firms.
Chiloba was acting to save the commission from litigation and possible prosecution of IEBC staff for bungling the process.
The IEBC was also forced to make the decision following an earlier announcement that they would single-source due to the strict timelines.
The commission had opened the tender and begun evaluating the 10 firms for the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems) whose cost was estimated at about Sh3 billion when it was stopped mid last month.
The firms were France’s Safran Identity and Security, Gemalto Security, Novus Holding of South Africa, Lithotech (South Africa), Supertech STL (Ghana), Kenya’s Compulynx, the UK’s Smartmatic, Avante Tech from the US, Bigradap Tech of South Africa and Spanish firm Indra Technology.
The successful firm was to provide the commission with a solution to integrate Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), Electronic Voter Identification Device (Evid), Electronic Voter Tallying (EVT) and Electronic Result Transmission kits.
The current row rekindled memories of 2012, when IEBC failed to navigate vendor wars leading to the hiccups of the process of acquiring BVR kits, leading to a Government-to-Government arrangement.
The late procurement of Evid also faced a similar fate when the kits largely failed in the March 4, 2013 polls.
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James Oswago, the former CEO of IEBC, is currently in court battling cases related to corruption in procurement related to the 2013 elections, while all nine commissioners were thrown out last year.