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Companies

IBM, Oracle yet to get Sh303m election pay

Voters in Nyahururu town participate in a mock voting exercise on August 2, 2017. PHOTO | STEVE NJUGUNA | NMG 

Two global tech companies say they are yet to receive Sh303 million pay from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for services rendered during the August 8 General Elections.

IBM East Africa is demanding Sh110 million for maintenance of IEBC’s servers while Oracle Technology Systems (K) is claiming Sh193 million pay for offering security services to protect the poll agency’s database.

The multinational firms complained to the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the IEBC has shown no commitment in paying them for the services rendered.

“We had done an assessment together with the IEBC where we took inventory on everything that we had delivered and the value was $1.9 million (Sh190 million) they paid us $800,000 (Sh0.8 million) so we have been requesting from them the balance of $1.1 million (Sh110 million),” said IBM Country General Manager Nicholas Nesbitt.

Ms Corine Mbiaketcha, the managing director at Oracle (K), said the firm’s calls to the IEBC to clear the bill have so far been futile.

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The IEBC had signed a Sh273 million contract with Oracle (K) but has since only paid Sh80 million for IT services during the 2017 General Elections, according to the tech firm.

IEBC hired IBM East Africa to maintain servers it had acquired in 2012 from French company Safran Morpho, but the tech firm terminated the $4.35 million (Sh435 million) contract after the poll body failed to keep its end of the bargain.

“Agreement was that we would be paid in three instalments depending on certain milestones. The IEBC honoured the first instalment of $800,000 and went mum on the rest,” said Mr Nesbitt on Monday.

The two firms had appeared before PAC to shed light on how they were awarded contracts by IEBC through direct procurement.

The MPs are questioning the timing of the contracts, noting they were hurriedly awarded without proper documentation of engagement, and claiming the contracts could have been vendor-driven.

In their defence, the firms said the IEBC approached them to carry out assessment of its systems before awarding them tender.

“Is it possible there was some informal engagement with the IEBC that culminated into this direct procurement,” said Unguja MP Opiyo Wandayi who chairs the PAC.

The investigation follows revelations in the Auditor General Edward Ouko report on inconsistencies in procurement of equipment’s and services at IEBC in the 2017/2018 financial year.



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