MPs vow to go hard on OT Morpho over Ksh3 billion new tender tussle

Safran  Morpho, A French firm that procured election materials worth billions of shillings risks missing out on a Sh3 billion identity data tender.

Members of National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee led by Ugunja MPOpiyo Wandayi yesterday accused directors of Safran Morpho of snubbing their investigations into procurement of the materials and services by IEBC.

Wandayi, who chairs the committee said they will block Safran Morpho from doing  any business with State agencies.The company has now re-branded itself into IDEMIA after a merger with Oberthur Technologies and Safran Identity & Security (Morpho).

Reports have indicated the company has already placed its bid for the tender that seeks to collate personal data under one system by capturing all biometrics which will be used the August population census.

In the run up to 2017 General elections, IEBC awarded the firm a tender worth  more than Sh4 billion to supply the 45,000 Kenya Integrated Election Management System kits used in the August 8, 2017 polls, and another ShSh2.5 billion for the repeat presidential election on October 26.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo castigated the directors of the firm saying they are only interested in making money at the expense of efficiency and accountability: “They cannot be readily available when signing contracts but remain shadowy when asked to account for their dealings.”

The MPs also took issue with the failure by the company to block unauthorised access into its systems during the 2017General elections that so the firm  blamed for altering the presidential election results.

In 2016, Safran Morpho would also found itself enmeshed in the US Russia hacking scandal that saw Donald Trump win the electoral college votes despite losing the popular votes to Hillary Clinton. To date, the FBI is still investigating the possibilities that Russians hacked the US electoral technology in order to aid Donald Trump win the elections.

The involvement of Safran Morpho in the US hacking claim is being fronted on the basis that Safran Morpho is the company that supplied technologies containing Russian ‘backdoor’ that would enable the Russians gain access to US votes.

In a lawsuit newly unsealed in federal court in San Jose, the French firm, Morpho, and its parent company, Safran Group, also based in France, was accused of making “surreptitious sales of more than $1 billion in Russian technology to federal, state and local governments in the United States between 2009 and 2015″, SF Gate reported.

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