A multi-million dollar project to digitalize the country’s justice infrastructure— the National Integrated Justice Information System— is on hold two months after the opening of the financial proposal of the competing bidders.
The Attorney General’s Office, which is conducting the bidding process, opened the financial proposal of bidders on June 28, 2017. During the opening, two bidders who passed to the financial stage listed their respective prices.
Accordingly, ISYX Technologies and Asseco Group, an Indian and Polish multinationals, submitted 15 million dollars and 40 million dollars, respectively.
It has been months since the financial opening. However, the bid process is still on hold, said a source close to the bidding process.
“I have no idea why it is not going forward,” he said.
Following the delay, ISYX has filed a letter of clarification demanding explanation for the delay, The Reporterhas learnt.
It is to be recalled that a number of international IT firms have shown interest following announcement of the bid for the development of the National Integrated Justice Information System early this year.
Accordingly, nine international IT firms, including Tecno Brain, Huawei, ZTE Corporation, Tech Mahindra, ISYX Technologies and Asseco Group participated in the bid.
ISYX, along with its local partner AFRICOM Technologies, came at the top of the ladder during the technical evaluation stage. ISYX is an information technology (IT) solutions provider working mostly in Asia and the Middle East. It also manages service providers, design of ICT infrastructure and information security solutions, IT consulting, business process consulting, BCP-DR solutions, enterprise resource planning solutions, analytics, enterprise mobility and enterprise management.
On the other hand, Asseco Group is among the top IT companies in Poland and is currently working with the Information Network and Security Agency (INSA) on modernizing the country’s billing system. It has more than 25 years of experience in providing IT solutions in Central and Eastern Europe. It also supplies software to vendors in Europe, taking the sixth place in the Truffle 100 ranking, according to its website.
Following the technical evaluation, which was mainly done by experts from INSA, the aforementioned two companies made it to the next level.
The winning company will work on consulting, implementation as well as the development of the system.
A source told The Reporter that following the conduct of due diligence on the two companies, Attorney General Getachew Ambaye’s decision on the matter is being awaited.
Meanwhile, the same source expressed misgivings that the bidding process might be cancelled altogether.
However, a representative of one of the two final bidders argued that retendering will delay the project for another year.
The implementation of the system aims at employing IT in the management of the justice system, which until now is characterized by the complete absence of management information systems, according to the bid document.
More than ever, there is a growing need for statistical data and management information system within the police, prosecution, courts, correctional institutions and other judicial bodies, reads the document.
The absence of well-organized data center and information system affects every aspect of the effort to bring about a qualitatively better justice administration in the country.
The project aims at creating an integrated justice information system in every ladder of the justice system of the country. It will implement ICT at judicial institutions at both the federal and regional levels.
The program is fully funded by the Ethiopian government.
By Dawit Endeshaw