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 ID cards,not yet.!
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toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2017 :  14:01:47  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a big problem for many,It must be remembered that the NEW administration,has yet to devise a scheme that bears no resembalence to practices that existed before,so it will take time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday, September 21, 2017


(Issue, Wednesday 20 September 2017)

The temporary ban on the issuance of The Gambia national identity card is still in force, despite several loud cries for the resumption of the service.


“This ministry [Ministry of the Interior] will resume issuing national ID cards as soon as there is a cabinet conclusion on the issue,” the ministry said without giving any specific timeline as to when the cabinet will conclude on the issue.

In a press release issued yesterday, the Minister of the Interior noted the concerns raised by the citizens with regard to the suspension of the issuance of national ID card documents.

In the release, signed by the press secretary, Lamin Njie, the Ministry of the Interior concurred with the conclusions and recommendations of the Ministerial Task Force and the Technical Committee to award the contract for the production of biometric national ID cards to an identified competent company.

The cabinet has since been informed of this decision through a cabinet paper, the release said. The response, which is holding the resumption of the service, is yet to come.

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/id-card-issuance-ban-still-in-force

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 21 Sep 2017 14:03:06

toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 14 Oct 2017 :  13:24:29  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
".......... Semlex representative Ted McEwan has told The Point that their company does not want to fight with Pristine over the contract and so they were open to negotiations. Details are still not open to the public as we go to press."

STILL NOT ready to GO YET !

["“The contract was awarded by the former president, according to records,” ]

======================================================================

Checks have been completed and SECURE ID cards can be produced,this will make many Gambians relieved, a fee will probably be payable for the issue of a card,

Will only ADULTS have to have an ID card or children as well,?

Will birth certificates be introduced,so that when children reach ADULT age they can obtain a Gambian ID card ?

However it must be remembered that Gambia is a country where many other peoples from all over Africa have made their home,how will they get on?

Have treaties been made with other countries who are friends of the Gambia ?
Much of the Gambian Population will be affected and be required to obtain Residency Permits from The government,money is going to be a big problem to them as jobs are hard to find.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Barrow government has finally decided that an indigenous Gambian technology solution company, Pristine, should work together with Semlex, a Belgian company engaged in the development and supply of technological systems in identification and authentication.

“Policy decision is that Ministry of Interior will have to work with Semlex and Pristine for the production of the national ID cards, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance for the procedures to be followed,” Presidential spokesperson, Amie Bojang-Sissoho told reporters yesterday.

On the details of the partnership arrangement between the two companies, especially when Pristine claimed to have had a valid contract for the same project that was later awarded to Semlex, by former President Jammeh, Mrs. Bojang-Sisoho, who referred this reporter to the Ministry of Interior for clarification, said it’s “an implementation question.”

However, multiple attempts to secure an interview with the Minister of Interior since July have so far proved futile.

In the same vein, separate attempts to speak with the Semlex company representative in The Gambia, Ted McEwan, were also unsuccessful. But Mr. McEwan assured that he would share interview questions with Semlex officials in Belgium, who will be in a better position to provide answers. However, this had never happened up till now, after six key questions were sent to him in August.

On 9th August, Mr. McEwan was contacted to comment on the visit of their officials to Banjul for a scheduled meeting to negotiate the contract they believed they hold legally.

“Once the press team deems it appropriate to take interviews, I will revert. At the moment, we are dealing with loose ends and we don’t want to jump the gun. Let’s give the Government the courtesy to also make the relevant announcements,” Mr. McEwan said in an email response.

At a press conference in July, Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty said, The Gambia government was obliged to pay up to $100million to Semlex, the firm originally awarded with the national ID cards contract in 2016, should the contract be taken away from them.

Fatty said government does not have such kind of money and they do not want to go through an adjudication process with Semlex over the ID contract matter; so they were compelled to renegotiate.

“The contract was awarded by the former president, according to records,” Mr. Fatty said, adding that Semlex began importing technological equipment to implement the contract at the value of 10million. He said the machines that are supposed to do the process are still here in the country.

Notwithstanding, Semlex representative Ted McEwan has told The Point that their company does not want to fight with Pristine over the contract and so they were open to negotiations. Details are still not open to the public as we go to press.


Author: Sanna Camara


http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/pristine-semlex-to-produce-gambian-id-cards

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 14 Oct 2017 13:37:14
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toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  16:38:45  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Latest for 2018 from The Daily News.

==================================================================================================================================

This is a company that many countries including the Republic of Guinea Bissau have cancelled their contracts with SEMLEX, then why are we as a country bend on going ahead with not only with the printing of our IDs and passports but even our voters cards are being considered among other documents to be printed by SEMLEX.

This is all the reason why the Daily News calls for private investigations into the awarding of the contract of the production of our national documents to SEMLEX. We still stand by that position because we cannot understand why our government is going ahead in honouring a contract with such a company which more and more countries are cancelling contacts with. Can the government guarantee Gambians that this company will not give our national documents to none Gambians in other parts of the world? Can we the citizens be assured that our national documents will be secured; and above all if they are to print our voters’ cards, how sure are we that they will not be tampered with?

These are worrying questions that continue to boggle the minds of right thinking Gambians in and around. We are just coming from a system where there was a cry that our voters’ cards, IDs and even passports have fallen into wrong hands.

Government Should Revisit Semlex Contract

The Gambia government must tell Gambians how this bidding was done because going by the letter signed by Amadou Sanneh, the Minister of Finance that there was going to be a bidding which never took place. Another letter signed by Bulli Dibba, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior stated that the 2016 contract would be reviewed and government would be advised. We are not sure either if the review indeed took place.

http://dailynewsgm.com/government-should-revisit-semlex-contract/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  16:24:15  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
QUESTION OF THE DAY

Hello ? anyone there listening ?

==========================================================================================================


The issuing of National Identity Cards was halted since 2017, more than a year ago. The Minister of Justice told the media in February that the government had decided to restore the Semlex contract for producing the ID cards, but after four months ID cards are yet to be issued and no explanation has been given to the public

http://foroyaa.gm/when-will-the-issuing-of-national-identity-cards-resume/

.

ID cards are needed for many reasons, including national identity, security, financial transactions, etc., but Gambians are now carrying expired ID cards contrary to law.

Foroyaa will approach the Minister of the Interior to seek his opinion on the matter.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2018 :  21:02:30  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A resolution soon ? I wonder.........looks to me like political talk talk.....at the moment,both sides wanting a resolution but are finding it a difficult path to tread in order to reach a conclusion to satisfy both commercial and political aspirations.
If you were a company and you had equipment in a country worth $10 I suspect that you would seriously not want the contract to go ahead ?

"Mr. Fatty said, adding that Semlex began importing technological equipment to implement the contract at the value of 10million. He said the machines that are supposed to do the process are still here in the country."

This quote is from the report here:

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/pristine-semlex-to-produce-gambian-id-cards

====================================================


June 27, 2018

Kaddy Jawo



The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou has told lawmakers on Tuesday that the contract of the Belgian company Semlex was ‘unlawfully terminated’.
He said the government either has to choose reinstating Semlex’s contract and face possibly no legal consequences or accept possible bids and face arbitration with Semlex.

“If we ever have reason (s) to terminate the contract of Semlex without legal liabilities, we will because we have done it in the case of African Petroleum and MGI. Why wouldn’t we do it again?”
He said if the contract of Semlex was terminated lawfully, they wouldn’t have been here discussing it again.
Minister Tambadou said they are aware of corruption allegations against Semlex but they have not heard any complaints from countries where the company is operating.
“The contract with Semlex has been renegotiated and amended. It is now before our ministry for final review and conclusion,” he said.

Last year, the Justice Minister told journalists that terminating the Semlex contract could have serious legal implications for which Gambia may pay dearly.
This comes a day after lawmakers gave the Interior Minister two weeks to supply them with contract documents between Gambia Government and Semlex as they prepare to launch an inquiry into Belgian company.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 27 Jun 2018 21:15:51
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toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2018 :  14:46:25  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Atleast the "discussions " are ongoing,despite being in the politico talk talk stage

======================================================================================================

The Minister of Justice has informed deputies at the National Assembly (NA) that the termination of the contract between the Gambia Government and Semlex, a Belgian Company, was unlawful and that efforts are underway to restore it. The Minister gave this response to a question raised by the member for Serrekunda West, Madi Ceesay. In his question to the Minister in Tuesday’s sitting of the NA, the member demanded for answers regarding ongoing investigations against the Belgian Company on corruption and money laundering, by the Belgian government and further asked in a supplementary question, why Government still wants to award a contract for printing the national document of the country to a Company that is under investigation.

Unsatisfied with the minister’s response, the member rose and said that the minister’s response tantamount to insult; that the minister should be ready to provide answers to their questions.

In his response, the minister said the contract to Semlex was not awarded to them but restored; that they are waiting for the report from the investigation by the Belgian government; that when this new Government came into office, it found a situation where the former Government entered into an agreement with Semlex, for the production of the country’s national documents in 2016; that shortly after the it was executed, the former Government terminated the contract against the legal advice of the then Justice Minister at the time; that in September 2016, the ministry of justice adviced Government clearly stating that the manner in which the semlex contract was terminated was unlawful and poses as a legal liability; that in January 2017 following the change of Government, they were aware of the controversy surrounding Semlex’ activities on the continent and were also aware that Pristine Company was earlier engaged in the production of national identity cards; that they provided Pristine an equal chance to compete with Semlex; that three legal opinion supported the restoration of the contract through a restructured bidding process.

Pristine the Minister said was contested the agreement signed with the ministry of health, for the production of E-birth certificates, as an extension of the contract to produce identity cards with the ministry of interior.

That when the bidding of the contract was made, Semlex did not bid but instead demanded for their contract to be restored; that cancelling the bidding process would also incur no legal liability on the part of Government, because a bidding process is an invitation to offer third persons a service to Government; that unless Government accepts, there will be no bidding contract. The minister said it was unwise to award the contract to Pristine.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 30 Jun 2018 14:47:16
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toubab1020



9241 Posts

Posted - 17 Jul 2018 :  17:16:19  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It appears that not everybody is happy about how the enquiry is going,concerns are being raised in this article from The Freedom Newspaper.

=======================================================================================================

Hon. Momodou LK Sanneh
Chairperson, Standing Committee on Defence & Security
The National Assembly of the Republic of The Gambia
15 July, 2018

Concerns over efforts to sabotage and whitewash the Semlex National Assembly Inquiry

Dear Honourable Sanneh:
AD

We wish to bring to your attention grave concerns over the way in which the National Assembly has elected to carry out the Inquiry into the Semlex contract, a process which we hoped would pave the way for greater accountability and transparency on government’s processes and procedures.

And this was precisely why we had requested that an Inquiry into how The Gambia government reached its conclusion to press ahead with awarding a contract to Semlex, a company which is under criminal investigation in Belgium. In a letter we sent to the leadership of the National Assembly on 21st March 2018, which still has not been responded to, R2K Gambia appealed to the National Assembly, as our representatives, to test the vibrancy of our new found democracy in the New Gambia, by subjecting the Semlex contract to a public Inquiry. We also offered our support to assist in any and every way possible, to ensure that this call for a motion is adopted, debated and executed accordingly.

Hon. Sanneh, we are still to be satisfied that the appeal we made on 21st March is being adhered to. It is true that there is an Inquiry being exercised in the National Assembly, but the manner in which this process is unfolding is deeply worrying. We have been reliably informed that the mover of the motion, Hon Madi Ceesay- Serrekunda East, is not involved in the Inquiry. This is highly unusual. We also have been reliably informed that the original contraption of a joint Committee (Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Standing Committee on Defence & Security) overseeing the Semlex Inquiry has been scrapped, and only members of the Defence and Security Committee are now tasked with the Inquiry. We are baffled by this development. As this clearly points to efforts being made to shield the Inquiry from public view, under the guise of securitization and secrecy. It will not wash.

Furthermore, we are equally baffled by the statement made by Amie Bojang-Sissoho, Director of Press & Public Relations, Office of the President, who on 11th July, 2018, gave a press briefing and said the following: “On the Printing of national identity cards, Semlex is the contractor and the details of the contract are being reviewed. The President has been briefed that the review process of the agreement with Semlex is at the final stages.”

This announcement is indeed alarming, as it gives the impression that regardless of what your Inquiry concludes on the Semelx matter, the Office of the President has already determined the outcome, which is, according to Mrs. Bojang-Sissoho, final- Smelex will be given the contract regardless. We now wonder what the point of a National Assembly Inquiry is, if the decision to hand over our collective and individual assets are now left to Executive Orders and directives from State House. We thought that such appalling behaviour was of a bygone era, under Ex-president Jammeh, who made decisions, which were motivated by his own pecuniary gains, and those of his close friends and family members, instead of subjecting such decisions to legal frameworks, and institutions tasked with the relevant thematic area.

Hon Sanneh, we are sure you are aware that there are legal processes that government must take in awarding contracts/procurement/public tenders as prescribed by the GPPA. You are also fully aware that even if the government wants to bypass the GPPA, it must subject itself to the prescripts of the Act, whereby the President may (only be able to support a single source) by order published in the gazette, exempt any procuring organisation from requiring the approval of the Authority with respect to any procurement in whole or in part, and in such case the Cabinet shall be responsible for giving such approvals instead of the Authority. We are sure that you are also aware that no such exercise was ever undertaken by Ex-President Jammeh, and now President Barrow in awarding Semlex the contract.

Hon. Sanneh, we would like you to clarify the timelines of the 10 days’ timeframe given to your committee to complete an extremely complicated issue: Biometrics contracting; individual identities; private information; and other individual and collective assets such as passports (given to Africard, owned by Mr Bazzi, who is being investigated by the Janneh Commission, and has supposedly had his assets frozen by the Government of The Gambia and is currently blacklisted by the US government).

To make the task more daunting, you are to also apply your minds to multiple contracts given to multiple entities at different times over a period spanning 2007 (we will come to that at a later stage) 2009 -2018, (which is nine to 11 years) that needs to be scrutinized, and this also included at least three legal opinions- all in 10 days. This is not a realistic nor credible timeline, if our information is accurate.

We had submitted a draft ToR to the leadership of the National Assembly, which we are resubmitting with this letter for the record. You will see from the ToR that the number of witnesses that you would need to call, based on our investigations and evidence we have gathered, that there are nothing less than 20 people- and no doubt the list will grow, that must be interviewed, or invited to testify before the Inquiry.

It is therefore impossible for your Committee to claim to be undertaking this exercise with seriousness and due diligence if you have determined that 10 days is adequate to investigate, call in witnesses, compile a report with recommendations and debate the report in the time frame identified.

Hon. Sanneh, if your committee continues to pursue this path of conducting the Semelx Inquiry, then we have no choice but to elevate our campaign and to also view you, and the committee you lead, as being complicit in awarding Semlex a contract that is fraught with corruption, and major irregularities.

We make these utterances because the National Assembly has the power to override Executive Authority that is not vested in rational and reasonable application to the decision it makes. The mere constitution of an Inquiry under section 101, subsection 1/ S101 (1), of the Constitution, makes this clear.

Hon Sanneh, in this New Gambia we expect higher moral standards and public spirited values from our representatives. We don’t expect conspirators and connivers utilizing state institutions to legitimize illegality and in the process rob us of the right to be governed well, and refusing to give us affordable public services and goods that are rightfully ours.

We will not allow our passports, driver’s licenses, car registrations and birth and death certificates, and voters cards (which was blatantly illegal as it breached the Elections Act), to be outsourced to a company that is being investigated by Belgian authorities for illegal and corrupt practices.

By this letter, R2K Gambia, which has 4,600 members, is placing it on record that we want the Semlex Inquiry to be properly constituted, and that we expect the following:

• the ToR be made public;
• the composition of the team conducting the inquiry to be rationally and reasonably selected;
• the investigations and hearings to be publically ventilated (just like the Janneh Commission);
• citizens and experts to be invited to proffer submissions about the case; and
• the findings to be debated by the National Assembly and shared with the public.

Sincerely:

R2K Committee

https://freedomnewspaper.com/2018/07/16/gambia-concerns-over-efforts-to-sabotage-and-whitewash-the-semlex-national-assembly-inquiry/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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