MONROVIA – The long hauling pulling over the selection of the preferred bidder for the biometric voters registration contract by the National Elections Commission (NEC) could be over, as competent sources within the electoral body have disclosed that one of the four bidders, Laxton Group, was evaluated and selected by the Bid Evaluation Panel, and that NEC will be submitting a request for “no objection” to the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC).
According to our inside source, with the procurement committee having endorsed the panel’s report and recommendation, the NEC said it was requesting for a “no objection” for its intent to award the contract to Laxton Group for the supply and delivery of Biometric Voter Registration Equipment and Software via contract IF B No. NEC/VRPLE/1CB/001t2020 with financial value of USD11, 956,834.32 (Eleven Million, Nine Hundred Fifty-six Thousand, Eight Hundred Thirty-Four United States Dollars and Thirty-Two Cents).
The said communication from NEC to PPCC will contain an Inter-office Memo to the Bid Evaluation Panel dated November 14, 2022, the Bid Evaluation Panel’s report of November 15, 2022, and Minutes of Procurement Committee Meeting approving the Evaluation Report, and a copy of the draft contract.
It can be recalled that there has been an unending back-and-forth communication between the two integrity institutions in the wake of the selection of one of the bidders, EKEMP, during the first round of the bidding process where PPCC objected to NEC selection and ordered a rerun of the entire process to include video recording and submission of USB drive.
At the second round, EKEMP was again selected but PPCC for the second time objected to the choice, citing the failure of EKEMP to print an enrolled card during a specific period allotted and insisted that NEC should pick from among the other contenders as the alternative preferred bidder.
It is not clear whether PPCC will accept or reject the latest choice from NEC as anxiety is growing against the background that the December 15, 2022 timetable set for biometric enrolment by NEC is fast approaching.