The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has denied reports that its top officials deliberately snubbed the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan and eight commissioners were to appear individually before the committee to respond to the Auditor General’s report on procurement of electronic voter identification devices – BVR kits – used in the 2013 General Election, but they failed to show up.
The commission, however, maintained that it has nothing to hide and its commissioners are ready to meet the parliamentary committee. The commission had proposed to meet PAC from August 31 citing earlier confirmed official engagements outside the country. PAC Chairman Nicholas Gumbo expressed disappointment with the failure of Mr Hassan and his team to appear before the committee for a third consecutive sitting. He accused Hassan and the commissioners of avoiding interrogation by writing to Parliament seeking more time
The Auditor General’s report found massive irregularities in the procurement of the BVR kits that should have cost approximately Sh4 billion instead of the Sh6.2 billion that was used to purchase the kits. In addition, the equipment failed during the polls, hence reducing the credibility of the exercise.
The report had found former IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago culpable of manipulating the tendering process of the BVR kits, accusations which he denied saying the decision to terminate the procurement by the tendering committee had been reached at a plenary meeting, also attended by the commission chairman.