16 August 2017

Liberia: Bid War Over 2017 Election Supplies - NEC, PPCC Differ Over Legitimate Bid Winner

Monrovia — There's an ongoing scuffle between the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) over the awarding of pre-packed elections materials contract to a company which the PPCC believes didn't win the bid.

The NEC has awarded the contract to INKRIPT - a Lebanon-based company that delivers bespoke solutions in the fields of security printing, smartcards and trusted identification.

But the Executive Director of the PPCC, Mr. Dorbor Jallah, insists that UNIPRINT - a South African-based firm which is partnering with a Liberian firm, M-Tosh Media Incorporated is the legitimate winner of the bid.

Information gathered by FrontPageAfrica revealed that the NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, announced the winner when PPCC had not given the green light or the review of the evaluation of the agreement.

Cllr. Korkoya announced the awarding of the contract at a press conference about a week ago.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, Mr. Jalllah said - "Actually what they told the media was not the complete information; because what they told the media was that they have selected a company and they have forwarded the document to me for review. So that is actually the correct information."

" So yes the document did come to me on Tuesday for review and we did the review and last night we certify that everything was okay - the process that they carried out - so last evening I wrote my approval for the contract to be awarded. So the process did meet all of the requirements.

"The one that had issues is the one that has to do with the pre-packed materials. They wrote me a letter but I wrote them asking them to reverse their decision and award it to the one that has won it legitimately and then they wrote back challenging my decision so I'm preparing my response to them as well."

Also speaking to FrontPageAfrica, the communications director at the NEC, Henry Flomo said, it was the NEC that conducted the international bidding process and after verifying the documents presented, they realized that INKPRIT was best suited for the job.

"These are sensitive elections materials and we were looking for a company that has the proficiency to handle these materials and also has the required security to handle these materials and deliver them in a timely manner."

"I guess we don't want Liberians having doubt over the conduct of the elections in October. "

"This was a fair bidding process. We are a legal entity and we operate with the law," he said.

He wondered why the PPCC will insist that the South African firm which, according to him, did not meet the criteria for the contract is the legitimate winner of the contract.

"As far as we are concerned, we awarded the contract to the legitimate winner whom we think has what it takes to deliver," he added.

Sources close to the bidding process informed this paper that Cllr. Korkoya is deliberately refusing to award the contract to the South African-Liberian venture because of some vested interest.

After Dorbor said they should give the contract to the legitimate winner, Korkoya, according to sources, went to complain to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, claiming that Dorbor was interfering with the elections.

Executive Mansion sources informed FrontPageAfrica that finance minister, Boima Kamara, to investigate and submit a report to her office, yet Cllr. Korkoya insisted that he will not give contract to a company associated with a Liberian company.

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