Biometric voter registration bid do-over commences in Liberia (update)
Despite an erroneous local media report to the contrary, Laxton has informed Biometric Update that it participated in the second round of presentations by bidders for the Liberian voter registration contract.
A re-evaluation of bids to provide biometric voter registration technologies for Liberia’s 2023 elections began Thursday in Liberia, FrontPageAfrica reports.
The National Elections Commission’s Bid Evaluation Panel will consider presentations from five bidding parties, according to the report, which will each be video recorded. The video recordings were requested by the Public Procurement Concessions Commission (PPCC) during an at-times contentious back-and-forth between the elections body and the procurement oversight agency. That interaction was touched off when the NEC submitted a request for approval of its selection of a bid led by Ekemp.
All bidders were invited to present their technologies to the NEC again on Thursday and Friday, Laxton VP of Marketing and Communications Martijn Baas told Biometric Update in an email.
FPA reports that the biometrics contract is worth close to US$12 million.
Nigerian officials claim unfair treatment of INITS
A pair of Nigerian officials say that the treatment of the Ekemp bid, which was made in collaboration with Liberian partner Palm Insurance and Nigeria’s Inits Limited, say the rejection of the original winning bid by the PPCC is unfair, according to This Day.
Nigeria Peace and Security Forum Secretary Salaudeen Hashim and Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy National Coordinator Taiwo Otitolaye each suggested the oversight body was wrong to call for the reconsideration of bids.
Hashim claims that the PPCC invited new presentation from bidders “who couldn’t successfully complete their demonstration before the evaluation committee,” as quoted by This Day. He called for the Nigeria Ministry of Foreign Affairs and especially, Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia to engage with Liberian officials in the matter.
Hashim and Otitolaye each suggested that the reasons provided by the PPCC for rejecting the bid were not satisfactory, particularly for a bid involving businesses from West Africa.
The affair has also reportedly drawn criticism from the Chinese embassy in Liberia.