Biometric procurement: EC has selected company that paid bribes to Jacob Zuma – IMANI
After months of back and forth on the procurement for Ghana’s new voters’ registration system, the Electoral Commission has selected a foreign company of dubious reputation to do this work, IMANI Africa has expressed misgivings.
The World Bank blacklisted French multinational group, Thales, between 2004 and 2005 for corruption, IMANI Vice-President Mr Bright Simons, launched the think-tank’s fresh condemnation of a $74million procurement plan it has branded ‘needless’.
At a press conference Tuesday, the tech innovator said Thales suffered a reputational risk that “even Satan would be scared of.”
Settling on a company to supply Ghana’s biometric election management system has seen lots of arms-twisting, Mr Simons said and referred to tender documents IMANI had obtained.
The tender process was first published in April 2019, cancelled and re-issued in August, and finally, evaluation of the bids was completed in December 2019.
But fighting off arm-twisting from the EC, the chairman of the tender committee refused to go along with the Commission, he claimed.
The EC then set up a new tender process in January 2020 and completed in within 19 days. The winner–Thales- has been awarded a $74million contract to do Ghana’s work.
A competitor during the bid was not awarded the contract because it had some reputational issues in the Philippines, Mr Simons told reporters.
But after looking up the winner’s reputation, Mr Simons said found “an amazing pattern.”
IMANI Africa said it had found, Thales was investigated in South Africa for paying bribes to president Jacob Zuma.
In 2004, the World Bank’s Integrity Unit blacklisted Thales from any of the World Bank’s projects for one year because of its fraudulent practices in a US$6.9 million contract for the supply and maintenance of motorcycles in Cambodia.
In Gabon, non-governmental organisations chased them out, while in Cambodia, it ran into trouble with the World Bank.
He said in Estonia, the government sued Thales for 150 million Euros for failing to deliver on the provision of ID cards.