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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 16 Feb 2018 : 11:32:32
The world now revolves around hard copy of things be it paper certificates or plastic making it impossible for bad people to obtain advantage by not telling the truth,unfortunatly too prevelent in Africa today.
By Kebba Jeffang
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Aboubacarr Tambadou, said Government has agreed to restore the 2016 contract of Semlex, to produce National Identity Cards.
“After a whole year of consideration of this matter, culminating with the establishment of a Ministerial Task Force, we showed the seriousness with which this Government has taken up this issue. Government has decided to recognise and restore the June contract with Semlex which was purportedly terminated by the previous Government, shortly after the contract was executed by the Ministry of Interior in 2016,” he told journalists at a recent press conference.
He said the principal reason for such a decision was in recognition of the fact that a Gambian owned Company Pristine Consulting, was also involved in the activity; that Pristine Consulting’s contract expired in 2014. He however said the Gambian owned Company disputed the expiration claim arguing that their contract with the ministry of health on the E-Birth Registration System that was signed in 2015, was an extension of the contract with the Ministry of Interior for the production of National ID Cards.
Tambadou said the three man Ministerial Task Force led by Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh, supported by himself and the Information Minister, engaged in consultation before arriving at such a decision. According to him, three separate legal opinions were prepared by the Ministry of Justice to review the matter; that three state lawyers and some international lawyers have reviewed the issue before a final review was held in September 2017, which concluded thus:
“That the contract with Pristine Consulting contract expired in 2014, and the termination of Semlex Company was wrong and in breach of the contract term. Notwithstanding, a consideration of the fact that Government was still desirous of providing Pristine Consulting as a Gambian owned Company, a fair opportunity to compete with Semlex, Government agreed to conduct a restricted bidding process and invited both Companies to submit bids for the production of the ID Cards,” the Minister said; that after consultation with their respective staff, both Pristine and Semlex were contacted to submit their bids. He however said Semlex submitted their bid and Pristine did not, maintaining their position that they still have a valid contract with Government. “At this point, the ministerial task force had to consider its options,” he said.
He said they could have proceeded with the bidding process and potentially award the contract to Pristine and face the international arbitration proceedings with all the legal and financial costs. But said they were aware that their position is weak as a Government.
Meanwhile, according to him, the second option was to cancel the bidding process and recognize and restore the June 2016 contract with Semlex, without legal consequences for the cancellation of the bidding process.
Consequently, he said, the Task Force unanimously chose to recommend to cabinet, the second option which was approved.
|1 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 20 Apr 2018 : 19:26:34
NAMs urged to probe SEMLEX
The Point: Friday, April 20, 2018
Right 2 Know Coalition a Gambian civil society group with about 4000 members in a press conference on Thursday has challenged the National Assembly Members (NAMs) to make a probe about the credibility of Semlex.
The civil society group has questioned the credibility of the Belgian company and feels it’s the responsibility of the NAMs to make inquiries into the Semplex saga and resolve the issuance of the national documents: national ID and passport to be precise.
The civil society’s worry with the credibility of Semplex is as a result of many corruption allegations associated with the company and its CEO Albert Karaziwan.
According to the statement from R2K, there is now a criminal probe into Semlex and its operations, and a case on Semlex CEO Albert Karaziwan, over money laundering and other corrupt practices. The national prosecutor has confirmed that serious evidence against Semlex has been uncovered. Their computers, files, and other materials have since been sealed, and confiscated to aid in the investigations.
This is a company that has been awarded a contract, which was immersed in illegality from the onset. A contract that flouted all the procurement rules, and vested in the corrupt practices of the Jammeh regime, which the current government is now determined to uphold and execute, despite all the evidence of the political exposure and high risk associated with this company.
The group said despite these serious allegations and problems associated with Semplex, nevertheless The Gambia government is yet insists on entrusting their most precious assets to this company-identification of their citizens, reputation of its national identities, and the citizens power to elect and selected how they wish to be governed, their voters’ cards.
Hon. Madi K. Ceesay, National Assembly for Serekunda said the National Assembly has a role because the president, the ministers are all accountable to the national assembly because they are a people representative and as a result they are mandated in the standing order and in the constitution to probe any matter that they felt there are doubts.
“As we speak to you now those constitutional clause and the standing order sections that empower us to probe into the matter, we have already started in to that,” he said. “My position is that what is at stake here is our national integrity.”
He said The Gambia’s passport is highly ranked in the world 71 and if the government is bent on giving this contract to Semlex which is currently under investigation in its home country, then his (Hon. Ceesay) position is why is the government entrusting a company that is not credible and they will get to the bottom of the matter as they owes it to the people.
|Bantaba in Cyberspace
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