Liberia: No Contract Has Awarded – NEC Chair Speaks on Biometric Supplies Contract

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MONROVIA – The chair of the National Elections Commission Madam Davidetta Brown-Lansannah says the Commission has not awarded the contract for the supply of biometric materials and equipment for the 2023 elections.

According to her, the comparative audited income statements of each of the bidders show that only Ekemp/INITS/Palm and Laxton have implemented a project worth this amount over the last two years.

She said Laxton failed to provide audited financial statements for the immediate past year (2021), which is a requirement in the standard bidding documents. Laxton only provided statements for the fiscal years 2020 and 2019 and did not provide audited financial statements.

Moreover, Laxton expressed a condition regarding its ability to pre-finance. 

“The NEC did not and has not awarded any contract to the recommended bidder or to any other bidders in this matter. Moreover, the original report shows that only Ekemp/Inits/Palm and ESI made it to the final stage of the evaluation.”

In her defense of the applicability of the procurement law, she also said, Section 27 of the Public Procurement and Concessions Act empowers the Procurement Committee of the NEC to establish Bid Evaluation Panels.

 The procurement committee constituted a Bid Evaluation Panel — comprising five employees of the NEC — to evaluate the bids received for the supply and delivery of biometric equipment and software (ICB No. NEC/VRPLE/ICB/001/2022) regarding the 2022/2023 voter registration exercise. 

The Evaluation Panel worked for about three weeks, during which time it considered bidders’ capacity to pre-finance, technical responsiveness, portability of their equipment, ability to print registration cards on the spot — at the registration canter’s, past performance, delivery time, cost and other requirements.

“The Evaluation Panel by a unanimous vote, voted the joint venture of EKEMP/INITS/Palm as the most responsive bidder and on August 26, 2022, submitted its report and recommendation to the Procurement Committee of the NEC, which comprising five members,” The NEC Chair said.

Section 27 of the Procurement Act states that the Procurement Committee of a procuring entity shall receive the reports and recommendations of the Bid Evaluation Panel and make recommendations for contract award.

“After taking receipt of the Evaluation Panel’s report, the Procurement Committee of the NEC reviewed the standard bidding documents; the proposal of each bidder, and finding that the Panel’s report is supported by the record, the standard bidding documents and the Act, the Procurement Committee, by a unanimous vote endorsed the Evaluation Panel’s report and recommendation.

“The original Report shows, among others, that only Electoral Services International (ESI), the joint venture of Professional Services Inc./HID Global, and the joint venture of EKEMP/INITS/Palm met the pre-finance requirement.”

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