Bidders for New Driver’s Licence Wait with Bated Breath


With 400,000 wasted cards and several months behind them, the Transport Authority seems concerned about fairness




Two short-listed bidders and others with grievances have been waiting since September 2015 to hear of any new developments on the Federal Transport Authority’s (FTA) tender for the procurement of a multimillion Birr biometric driver’s licence system and 500,000 plastic cards.

A source at the Authority told Fortune that a committee had been attending to the complaints submitted by seven of the bidders and has just completed its review. The Tender Committee expects to receive the report on the complaints review this week, leading to a possible addition to the short-listed companies.

The 500,000 cards to be used for the driver’s licences are to be procured after the Authority found that the 400,000 it had bought in 2014 were incompatible with the new system that it wants to have, a bidder told Fortune. The second tender was announced on April 23, 2014, drawing offers from 10 companies by opening date in June.

Seven bidders were left complaining while the FTA, in a pre-qualification process on September 26, 2015, short-listed Supercom Ltd, an Israeli company, and M2M Group, a company based in Morocco, for the technical evaluation. M2M is represented by a local partner, Moti, a major supplier of ATMs for commercial banks in Ethiopia.

It took months to address the complaints submitted immediately after the announcement, said the source, because the committee was drawn from two different institutions, the FTA and the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MoCIT).

Eight of the 10 companies that had made offers, when the tender opened in June 2015, were rejected in the pre-qualification phase in September. But one of them, CopyCat, did not present a grievance to the Authority. Those that complained and now have another opportunity to join the short-list, are Techno Brain, Face Technologies, Safran Morpho, Africom Technology, Veridos, Madras Security, and Muhlbaure High Tech International. CBM Integrates, embroiled in a dispute with Moti in ATM and Point of Sales (PoS) supply, represented Safran Morpho, while SS Communication and GMD represented Muhlbaure and  Veridos, respectively.

Safran, Veridos, and Muhlbaure were rejected because they could not fulfil the requirement of a 10 million dollar annual turnover. In addition, Safran did not submit an independent audit report, while Muhlbaure did not submit original documents. Other requirements included ISO 9001:2008 certification, a track record of five similar projects, as well as Intergarf certification for security printing.

Basically, the role of local agents will be hardware installation in 172 offices across the country, installation of cables and regional server and hardware service. The hardware includes finger print scanners, cameras, monitors, servers, workstations, signature scanners and plastic card printers. These will all be integrated with the software installed in the system.

A local agent close to the bid told Fortune that the Authority had summoned them in December, 2015 and told them that they were processing the appeal in consultation with the Federal Public Procurement Administration Agency (PPAA).

“We are still waiting,” said the bidder.



By DAWIT ENDESHAW
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Feb 01,2016 [ Vol 16 ,No 822]


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