A Canadian parastatal is leading the search for a credible technology company that will supply 16,000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits to the electoral commission.
Finance Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua on Tuesday said the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is in the final stages of searching for a qualified firm that can deliver the kits to the specifications of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) before the contract on a Sh4.6 billion concessionary loan can be signed.
Mr Kinyua said that the loan, an export agreement previously negotiated at Sh4.6 billion, may surpass Sh5 billion after the IEBC demanded additional kits for more BVR stations due to time constraints.
"We are yet to sign the contract and we will only do so when everything is complete and clear, the loan may reach over Sh5 billion because of an additional request for more kits,” Mr Kinyua said.
The PS told the Nation that Kenya is not involved in negotiating with the potential bidders.
He said the ultimate responsibility in managing the quality and the procurement process is now in the hands of the Canadian authorities.
The PS said that the supplies are expected by October before the IEBC can roll out its voter registration plan expected to target 18 million voters.
But sources involved in process revealed that Canada has been forced to stretch the search for a suitable supplier beyond its borders after a local company Electoral Services International Inc was dropped on claims it could not meet some of the stringent specifications set by the IEBC within the available time.
ESI formerly trading as Code Inc supplied the 1,500 kits used in the BVR pilot project in 18 constituencies ahead of the 2010 referendum.
CCC is said to be negotiating with a French technology company Safran Morpho to supply the kits whose delayed delivery has put the planned registration of voters in a suspense.
Safran Morpho was among the 29 initial bidders rejected by the IEBC evaluation committee before the tender was cancelled by the commission.