Multimillion Kwacha traffic project questioned
| Aug. 24, 2014, 5:59 p.m.
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
Players in the transport system have questioned the Malawi government’s decision to settle for MOVESA and Fischer Consortium as the eligible bidder to upgrade of the Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis).
The system was procured a decade by government through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works’ Road Transport and Safety Services (RTSS) directorate based on the South African NaTIS system.
Once the system is upgraded it will facilitate e-Traffic management where it will embrace new technologies to start electronically identifying traffic violations, fines and authenticating all output documents such as Certificate of Fitness (COF), local and international road service permits and driving licence cards.
The system also assists in the control of fake driver licenses, stolen vehicles and fine payments all of which are problematic in Malawi.
Sources in the transport sector have trashed the choice MOVESA and Fischer Consortium, saying the system needs physical locality of its operator and that the hired firm does not have direct capacity as it will depend on outsourcing the ICT services.
Those questioning, opting to remain anonymous have said the selection is erroneous because unlike Face Technologies who are currently running the Maltis system, Fischer Consortium are merely a consulting firm without hand-on expertise to manage the system.
Road Transport and Safety Services (RTSS) director James Chirwa has however defended the choice saying Fischer Consortium is a firm with hands on experience in the implementation of such a system.
“They have a proven record within the region. These people are not just advisors. The understanding of the word consultancy will need definition,” he said.
Four firms including the local MOVESA which bided in collaboration with the South African based Fischer Consortium, Techno brain, MADRAS Security Printers and DCDM Consulting competed to provide the services.
Face Technologies the current provider of the service did not participate in the bidding process.
According to the financial evaluation that was carried out using the quality and cost based evaluated bidder the total corrected bid value for Techno brain was US$5,590,689.64 (K1, 884, 341, 943.16), DCDM Consulting US$3,363,686.00(K1, 133,730,366.30), MADRAS Security Printers US$3,619,414.20(K1, 219,923,556.11), MOVESA and Fischer Consortium ZAR 52,861,346.35 (1,782,484,598.92).
The evaluation of financial proposal shows that MOVESA and Fischer Consortium pegged their proposal at ZAR28, 982,320.00, MADRAS Security Printers at US$3, 056, 792.00, Techno Brain – US$3,402,069.75 and DCDM Consulting US$2,598, 863.00
Chirwa therefore said he knows that those trashing their choice are those that competed for this and failed or other people who might have other sinister motives.
A statement that the Road Transport and Safety Services issued last month says government decided to embark on the process of upgrading the system after noting that it had challenges due to the increasing demand for services as a result of ever increasing numbers of vehicles.
Once in place the system will enable automation of existing links with external systems necessary for Maltis operations like banks, Malawi Revenue Authority, insurance companies and the Interpol.
“[It will also] enhance security by producing documentation with advanced security features that cannot be forged or replicated by fraudsters [besides] promoting transparency by tracking all transactions performed by users and administrators,” reads the statement which also states that the system will be able to generate transaction audit trail reports.
Government has taken two years to finalise plans to award a contract of upgrading the system and in an earlier interview to the media Chirwa has been declining to identify that the company is Fischer Consulting.
“It is true that it has taken almost two years to upgrade the system because we needed a lot of money and the process is also very rigorous. We could have loved to have this approved version by yesterday but we have been assured that everything is under control and the successful company will be announced shortly,” he was quoted as saying.