Liberia electoral commission re-selects Ekemp biometrics despite ‘dismal performance’: media
FrontPageAfrica understands that Liberia’s National Elections Commission has re-selected Ekemp International as the supplier of biometric voter ID cards and other materials for the 2023 electoral roll, via a unilateral decision by the Commission’s chair.
This followed a “dismal performance in the re-demonstration of its bid proposal,” which followed Ekemp attempting to sue the Commission over the procurement process, U.S. intervention, which it denied, and an upset Chinese embassy.
In the latest twist of the many in the supplier saga (this is Biometric Update’s tenth article on the issue), FrontPageAfrica reports that National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairperson Davidetta Brown Lansanah made the decision to award the biometrics contract to Ekemp.
The outlet also reports that Commission members accused Lansanah of interfering with the work of the procurement department and that commissioners had no say in the decision to go back to Ekemp.
Liberia’s Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) raised concerns the first time Ekemp was submitted to it by the NEC. The PPCC called for a re-demonstration of bidders’ capabilities. Ekemp reportedly failed the requirement of being able to print a voter card on the spot “leaving many disappointed and raising eyebrows on the NEC over the first evaluation process,” notes FrontPageAfrica.
Ekemp claimed unfair treatment as different requirements were made of the company during its demonstration causing it to run out of time, and submitted a petition for a Writ of Prohibition with the Supreme Court, which rejected it.
The NEC has also been mired in a procurement scandal over the alleged lease of facial recognition thermometers from a company associated with Chair Davidetta Browne Lansanah’s brothers at inflated prices.
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