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 NEC Postpones Voter Roll Update Exercise January 16th, 2014

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has postponed the conduct of the Voter Roll Update Exercise which was expected to run from January 13 to March 5, 2014.

The NEC made the pronouncement Friday at a press conference held at its headquarters in Monrovia.

 Addressing media personnel on the decision, the Chairman of the Commission Jerome George Korkoya, said  the inability of the NEC to follow the timeline is predicated upon the delay in the passage of the 2013/2014 National Budget  and procurement regulations at the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC). These problems he said has had a trickledown effect on all  operations and programs of the commission.

 

“Because of delay in passing the 2013/2014 budget, the National Elections was not able to place in orders on time for materials and kits required for the commencement of the Voters Roll Update (VRU) on Monday, January 13, 2014. As at now, only 50% of materials from international procurement is in country. Shipment of the rest of the materials has been hampered by unfavorable weather condition in the supplier country. However, our suppliers have assured that the rest of the materials would be here on Sunday,” Chairman Korkoya indicated. 

 

Chairman Korkoya intimated that due to 0problems associated with international procurement processes, the Commission as part of its planning process developed and submitted a procurement plan to the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) in accordance with its draft budget but The PPCC could not honor the procurement plan because it needed to know the total envelop allocated to the Commission in order to approve the plan.

Following the passage of the budget, an amount of 3 Million United States Dollars was made available to the Commission as portion of a total amount of 5.6 Million Dollars for the first phase of the electoral process. That amount has been expended to finance other aspects of the Voter Roll Update Process including procurement of materials for the VRU.”

Chairman Korkoya disclosed that the training of over one thousand temporary VRU staff has been completed and are ready to be deployed. Also more than 50% of the international procurement is in country in preparations for the start of the VRU process.

“In order to deploy these materials and personnel, the Commission put up bids to lease more than two hundred vehicles. Following the bidding process, the amount of 1.9 Million USD was required to rent the vehicles over a period of 45 days. 

In an effort to fast track the vehicle rental and lease process, the Commission communicated to the PPCC to seek a waiver of the requirement of Section 31, sub-section 3 of the PPCC Act. Upon receipt of the Commission’s request, the PPCC said that it could not grant waiver in the absence of a confirmation from the Ministry of Finance that the 1.9 Million United States Dollars for the lease and rental of vehicles was available. Accordingly, the Commission contacted the Ministry of Finance and is awaiting a response.

In view of these problems, the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission is constrained to announce the Postponement of the Voter Roll Update Exercise which was scheduled to be conducted from January 13 to March 5, 2014, the NEC Boss noted.

He said the postponement remains in force pending the conclusion of ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Finance and the PPCC in respect to the provision of the requisite funding.

 

 



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