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    Posted December 5, 2009 by
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Huge irregularities in Machine Readable Passport Tender in Bangladesh


    Huge irregularities in Machine Readable Passport Tender in Bangladesh

    According to the deadline from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Bangladesh Government has taken all preparation and called for the tender for machine readable passport recently. In respect to that eight companies has participated the tender.

    According to a reliable source, one group of people is trying to award this large project to IRIS-PWPW consortium who does not have enough experience in this sector. One of the major contract of IRIS got cancelled on October 27th, 2009 in Turkey passport project, which they failed to complete successfully even though they were awarded the project on 2007.

    Tusuka Technotrade, their local agent has another company called Tusuka Properties and they have bought illegaly properties of Major Dalim, who has been convicted and sentenced to Death Penalty in Our Honorable Banga Bandu assassination case, which has a very serious legal implication on Tusuka group. This news of Tusuka Properties came out in a daily newspaper recently.

    Also their passport partner Polish Security Printing Company (PWPW), Poland is not known for selling 25 million passport booklets outside Poland, which is a mandatory requirement for this MRP tender. According to their own website they have just started manufacturing passport booklet since 2008 and only supplied 0.5 million to Lithunia. In Qulalification Criteria, ITT clause 12.1(b) , page 43 of the tender document ,it clearly states that “the supplier must provide that the manufacturing company is capable of producing minimum 8 million passports in a year and issued minimum 25 million to other states”. Whereas, PWPW does not have proven track record of supplying 25 million passports to other countries. This is a mandatory violation making this IRIS- JV’s BID as  NON-RESPONSIVE.

    Moreover this IRIS JV has offered Ruhlamat inkjet passport personalization device/printer, which is not working in any single country in any passport project till date, whereas this MRP tender requires delivery of a proven passport printer which has successful track record in at least in 5 countries. In the MRP tender document, section 7.8 Device Specifications, sub section no Item 1. Passport Personalization Device clause no. 8 in page 140, it clearly states that “The personalization device shall have proven use for personalizing passports in at least 5 countries”. Ruhlamat personalization device does not have this track record.  This is a mandatory violation making this IRIS JV’s BID as NON-RESPONSIVE.

    Also IRIS JV supplied a sample Passport booklet which does not meet the Sample security specification criteria. Also the sample booklet they have submitted does not have the  “Lamination Foil” attached, makes it really impossible to understand the security features capability of  IRIS provided sample passport, making their capability for production of secured Passport booklet as per this MRP project requirement highly questionable.

    If government awards this project to such inexperienced company, Bangladesh may face tremendous problems. Manpower export and international trade between Bangladesh and other countries will be in danger. Millions of people may face several hassles.

    Our government should select a bidder who is more reputed and well experienced and who can complete this large project as per ICAO deadline on April 30, 2010.

    Directorate cancels biometric passport contract
    The Security General Directorate has cancelled a contract for designing and implementing biometric passports because the contractor failed to meet certain bid requirements.
    In a breach of contractual specifications, the devices purchased within the scope of the project fail to insert digital photos on passports. The contract for the project was signed in July 2007 and was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
    The directorate launched an international tender for new passports compatible with EU norms in 2007. Six firms submitted bids by the deadline, April 6, 2007. A joint venture, Kunt Elektronik from Turkey and IRIS Technologies from Malaysia, won the bid with an offer of TL 10.5 million. The winner was supposed to deliver all hardware and devices to the Security Directorate by January 2009; however, the delivery was delayed for three months. The directorate imposed a fine determined by the terms of the contract signed with the winner because of its failure to comply with contractual requirements.
    The contract signed with the joint venture included four phases: the contractor was to deliver and install the hardware and devices that would constitute the computer infrastructure in the first phase, and the devices were to be tested in the second phase. A commission tasked by the security directorate undertook the testing. The directorate found serious flaws with the operation of the devices and that the devices failed to insert digital photos on the passports properly. Directorate sources also noted that the optical devices failed to read biometric passports, adding that this constitutes a breach under the contract.
    Considering these failures, the directorate cancelled the contract. Reports indicate that the directorate has made a total payment of TL 2.5 million to the winner so far and that the contractor has installed the passport infrastructure in 81 provincial security offices.
    A new tender will be held immediately to make sure that biometric passports are delivered to passport-holders because Turkey has made commitments to various international bodies on this issue. Turkish authorities had previously assured EU officials that the use of biometric passports would be launched in 2010.

    27 October 2009, Tuesday


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