The tender committee of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that was handling the award of a tender for the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system resigned on Friday, bringing uncertainty to the process. The committee was to pick a company to be awarded the multi-billion shillings tender to streamline how voters are registered.
The Independent Review Commission formed to establish why the 2007 general election was disputed found that disputed voter registers played a big role in disagreements over poll results that led to violence.
The Johann Kriegler led commission recommended the adoption of a new voter registration method and the development of a proper voter register to replace the outdated and controversial black book.
Thus the BVR system that the IEBC seeks to deploy is not only welcome, but crucial is ensuring Kenyans have peaceful, transparent and efficient elections. Disagreements that have led to the tender committee quitting therefore need to be addressed urgently, and the process revived.
The Public Procurement Act provides that due diligence be carried out on a winning firm in any bid and if cleared, be awarded the tender. It further states that if the winning firm is not cleared, then the process should be repeated on the firm that comes second. Should this also fail to be cleared, then the tender should be re-advertised and the process started afresh.
IEBC has already shortlisted the top firms. It should now refuse to give in to pressure from those interested in influencing the outcome of the tender and do the right thing.
Quote of the day: "In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular." - US writer Kathleen Norris was born on July 16, 1880.