FB pixel

Potentially good news for HID Global in Liberia as Ekemp biometric voting contract saga continues

Potentially good news for HID Global in Liberia as Ekemp biometric voting contract saga continues

HID Global and joint venture partner Professional Services Inc may now be awarded the contract for providing biometric voter card and supplies in Liberia, state local outlets report, after the selection of rival bid from Ekemp continues to sour.

In the latest twist, reports Frontpage Africa, Liberia’s Senate Committee on Autonomous Commissions and Agencies has found that the National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah acted on her own rather than with board approval – or even knowledge, as board members had told media – in offering the tender to Ekemp and joint venture partners INITS and Palm Insurance, despite their technical demonstration going awry.

This follows the news yesterday that the Public Procurements and Concessions Commission (PPCC) had rejected the second attempt at awarding the biometrics contract to Chinese firm Ekemp.

Frontpage Africa quotes the Senate Committee report as stating that the Ekemp and HID Global bid had been the two “most responsive to the pre-financing requirement which was a major requirement for evaluation,” but that the PPCC subsequently questioning that aspect of Ekemp, the NEC had still gone ahead.

The PPCC reportedly found that Ekemp’s financing partner, Palm Insurance, has equity and liabilities of a little over US$2.8 million for a project cost of $12 million, and Ekemp’s annual revenue of $12 million. This is in comparison to its findings of HID Global’s 2021 revenues of $6.1 billion.

The committee finds that a “new process” must be initiated, this time with full involvement of the NEC members. The report states, according to Frontpage Africa, that given the timeframe of the elections, “it is advisable to consider the next responsive bidder in line as per NEC pre-financing requirement in the report to avoid the unnecessary delay.”

HID Global is the “next responsive bidder” despite its bid being beyond the budget limit and the highest of all received. It also does not propose to print cards locally but centrally and redistribute. The article notes concerns from other locations where the HID Global approach has been used and many cards go uncollected.

The committee’s report has been submitted to the Senate and awaits a response.

The Senate Committee report also casts doubt on the NEC chairperson to handle the upcoming 2023 general elections. The chair of the committee, Senator Henrique Tokpa cautions against rushing through biometric voting procedures:

“We are recommended that NEC should test the electronic biometric voter registration but it should not be tested during the actual voter registration process. It should be tested before that.”

Reporting by The Daily Observer also examines the risk to Liberia’s democracy due to the whole affair.

Related Posts

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The ID16.9 Podcast


Featured Company