IEBC says they will use technology in polls

Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati Friday reassured Kenyans that the Commission will use technology for the August 8th elections.

Chebukati said that the Elections Act 2011 (as amended) requires the Commission to deploy an Integrated Elections Management Systems (IEMS) for voter registration, voter identification and results transmission.

He said that in order to meet the legal timelines for the procurement and putting in place the technology required for the elections, the Commission advertised for the tender for the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) on 16th December of 2016.

However, according to Chebukati, the process was stopped due to an order issued by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board on 29th December, 2016 following an application by a prospective bidder.

The order was lifted on the 17th January 2017. A total of 10 companies submitted their bids. One company, M/s Gemalto S.A, qualified for technical evaluation.

He explained that as the evaluation was going on, another order stopping the procurement process was issued by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board on 22nd February 2017 following an application by another bidder.

In a press statement on the “Election’s Preparedness’ “Chebukati said that the application was dismissed on 9th March 2017, and on 17th March, 2017.

“Over 19 million voters have already been registered using the current BVR system. The next priority is to ensure that components of voter identification and results transmission are integrated with the existing voter registration database,” said the Election’s boss.

In view of the above Chebukati said that the Commission decided to terminate the tender and in so doing, the Commission took into consideration its statutory obligation in preparing for elections, procurement procedures, value for money and timelines to guarantee delivery of a free, fair and credible election on August 8th 2017.

Since its termination, however Chebukati said that the Commission has taken steps to directly procure the required Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) from Safran Identity and Security (previously Morpho).

Safran was selected for the following reasons: Over 19 million voters have been registered using a stand-alone system provided by Safran Identity & Security. The Commission has a preventive and maintenance contract for the BVR system with Safran for the next three years.

“The Commission has decided to engage Safran Identity & Security to ensure that statutory timelines are met so that there is sufficient project management capacity as well as to ensure that the systems are fully compatible and integrated for the success of the elections.” said Chebukati.

He lauded efforts by political parties to abide by the timelines it has gazetted. We are available for consultations to ensure there is clarity and common understanding on every aspect of election preparation.

“We are aware that the court has suspended operation of section 28 of the Elections. This has an impact on the issue of political party membership lists. However, the court order does not pronounce itself on the issue of submission of membership lists to the IEBC,” he said.

He hoped that the judgment to be delivered on 29th March will be done expeditiously to avert delays in the legal timelines. We urge political parties to submit their lists,” he said.

He noted that Section 31 of the Elections Act requires that primaries be conducted using the party membership lists submitted to the Commission.

The Commission is mandated by the Constitution to regulate the process by which political parties nominate candidates for elections. While the Commission may not be conducting the primaries, the lists are necessary for the purpose of regulating the process of nomination including dispute resolution.

Source: Kenya News Agency