Nexbis to challenge termination of Border Control System project

Additional reporting by Ahmed Naish.

Nexbis has said it will challenge parliament’s decision instructing the government terminate a Border Control System (BCS) project signed under the previous administration.

The Malaysia-based IT group has said it will seek a court injunction preventing any attempts to cancel the agreement whilst court hearings over the contract were still ongoing.

Speaking to local media on Tuesday (December 25), Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed claimed the government would respect parliament’s unanimous decision to halt the BCS project agreement with Nexbis.

Dr Jameel told local newspaper Haveeru that it was “difficult to come up with an exact figure at present” for the level of compensation the government would potentially have to pay Nexbis after prematurely terminating a contract with the company.

The home minister was not responding to Minivan News at the time of press.

Yesterday’s vote on the deal was taken after Parliament’s Finance Committee claimed there had been foul play in the agreement signed between Nexis and the Maldives immigration department.

Prior to the parliamentary vote, an official spokesperson for Nexbis told Minivan News on December 23 that the company would “challenge” any decision by the Majlis to halt the BCS contract while court hearings were continuing in the country.

“We are asking the Supreme Court to intervene with the decision as we have come to be aware that the contract cannot be legally terminated if there is an ongoing legal case. Presently we have legal cases in the Civil Court, the High Court and the Supreme Court,” the Nexbis source added.

Meanwhile, Director of the Department of Judicial Administration Ahmed Maajid today (December 26) confirmed that to his knowledge, Nexbis was currently involved in ongoing cases within the Maldives’ judicial system.

Maajid added that on a legal basis, the contract between Nexbis and the government could not be terminated until all proceedings involving the company were concluded.

“There is a provision in the Judicature Act under Law 22, 2010 that basically states no public body can terminate a contract with a company that is involved in judicial proceedings in the courts,” he said,

“The government has made their decision based on the the Majlis’ vote. But the legality of that decision can be challenged at the Civil Court if Nexbis submit a case. They have a constitutional right to do so.”

The MVR 500 million (US$39 million) BCS project moved ahead this year after a series of high-profile court battles and delays that led Nexbis to last year threaten legal action against the Maldivian government should it incur losses for the work already done on the project.

The Malaysia-based mobile security provider has come under scrutiny by political parties who claim that the project is detrimental to the state, while the Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) has alleged corruption in the bidding process.

Nexbis has denied any allegations of wrong doing within its contract.

Unanimous vote

Amidst these concerns, parliament voted unanimously yesterday (December 25) to instruct the government to terminate the border control project agreement with Nexbis.

All 74 MPs in attendance voted in favour of a Finance Committee recommendation following a probe into the potential financial burden placed on the state as a result of the deal.

Presenting the Finance Committee report to the floor, Chair MP Ahmed Nazim explained that the “main problem” flagged by the ACC was that the tender had not been made in accordance with the documents by the National Planning Council authorising the project.

The documents were changed to favour the chosen party and facilitate the deal, Nazim said, which the ACC considered an act of corruption.

Regarding allegations of corruption within the contract, the Nexbis source told Minivan News that the company is “systematically denying” any allegations of corruption, adding that if there was any foul play within the contract “we were unaware of it”.

Nazim stressed that the Finance Committee inquiry focused on the financial burden on the state and had discovered that the government would have to pay US$166 million to Nexbis over the course of the agreement.

Conversely, he claimed that the Maldivian government would only earn US$8 million as royalties during the agreement period.

Nazim noted that the Finance Ministry informed the committee that it was yet to receive a copy of the agreement two years after it was signed.

The Finance Ministry has also not included any funds in either the 2012 or 2013 budgets to pay for the project.

Nazim also accused the then-attorney general of “negligence” in the deal as he had not provided an official legal opinion to the Immigration Department in writing.

Recommendations by the former attorney general to amend the agreement could not be found in the documentation, he added.

Nazim said the Finance Committee concluded therefore that the best course of action would be to terminate the Nexbis agreement and install a different border control system at the earliest date.

Following the Finance Committee decision, the budget review committee has included a recommendation compelling the government to terminate the Nexbis agreement.

The Finance Committee also recommended terminating the agreement over concerns it contained clauses to waive taxes to the company, Nazim said. He noted that imposing or waiving taxes was a prerogative of parliament under article 97(d) of the constitution.

During the ensuing debate, MPs from both the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and government-aligned parties spoke in favour of terminating the agreement.

Along with the decision to terminate the Nexbis deal, the government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hasaan Manik late last month also opted to void an airport development agreement with India-based infrastructure group GMR.

The GMR contract, a 25-year agreement to develop and manage an entire new terminal at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), was the single largest foreign investment project in the country’s history.


16 thoughts on “Nexbis to challenge termination of Border Control System project”

  1. the maldivian goverment seems to be nuts,throwing out one contract after another and preparing to face courts on account of compensation,seeing all this no investor should part a single dollar to maldives development

  2. Actually Nazim only submit the papers of ACC & AG , where is Immigration and Nexbis word to investigation from Majilis, since ACC mention serious complain and courrption but actually after that too expensive as we understand Immigration department and a Technical team member request to answer to majilis but Nazim push Parliment only to hear about ACC Report and AG Azima is ACC Lawyer and one side basis it goes not fair and even media cover these stories , we had known that all companies represent with politican involvement , one win other die they prefer. why ACC never goes court and went Majilis more corruption cases are there, and why ACC to crazy to cancel this agreement and take all Laptops of nexbis and there staffs euipments and disturb immigration staffs and run behind them this also a proof ACC was pushing from some one behind dark side my source from ACC heard Ilyas was not done anything wrong but ACC two members push to take ilyas as a corrupt man and spoil his name? Hilmy will know that well, actually acc is under Azima and Nazim and thats why Immigration was block to answer to Majilis.
    if any person who defend this project will be corrupt that is the motor of ACC to promote in media like before

  3. I heard Nazim called Former controller and asked to pay him 1 million dollar to clean from ACC and Majilis and he control ACC when not agreed and given by Tender Board Mention Nazim got angry...

    What to do this Corrupt Nazim is telling others corrupt... ha ha ha

  4. Since Independent Team had mention that nexbis is best proposal to tender board then why Others not concern their comments which I heard all techinical was evalulated by tender board independent committee not immigration why ilyas and immigration all balmes come. at the end the blame must go Tender Board and this project not award by immigration or ilyas and why Nazim running behind them asking he can clean? if it is true even tender board can answer and had seen techinical that was leak and it was evalulated by NCIT head and other IT guys.
    I think if clean project says courrpt it is a big mistake that makes to spoil nation
    Tender board award means they must answer and even Nazim and Azima must run behind them not immigration or Nexbis

  5. Jangiya Nazim, Zaki, Mariya Didi, Alhan, Ali Waheed, Speaker Shahid, Munawar, Rekko Moosa..etc are all shameless politician who are corrupt to their smallest nerve. Sad fact is, Anni got romantically involved in Mariya Didi and couldn’t get out of her charms and also that kept him blind when presidency was taken away from him and yet he blind and deaf!! Sad but true!! MDP core cannot speak this to his face

  6. Nazim who control ACC to come out with this statement is proof enough this man will sleep peacefully without shame on a bed he bought from his ill begotten deals.
    Sure he will ask companies that he is the man who control ACC and Parliment and he is the man who needs everything

  7. There are two sides to the story of foreign investors being scared away by these high profile terminations.

    On the one hand it seem that GOM is terminating a contract that is signed and therefore should be stuck with. But on the other hand it may also encourage investors to see fairness, equality and a defeat to corruption. The genuine and honest investors may well see real potential in the country if they no longer fear backroom deals with another company driving them out of business.

  8. The project which was suspended when Nasheed was President was resumed after he resigned. Those who decided to do so should be investigated too.

  9. Come on Nexbiz, Do you honestly think your software is worth $40m?

    Its worth less than $2m, and thats without a negotiator.

  10. Come On Maldives. Let us kick out and then again start begging

    What are we waiting for

    Again Anni will come back to power he will bring in investors and there will be coup again all investors will be kicked out

    Compensations will cross the Budget and there will be no money left then sell the resorts to make money


    Hats off to us

  11. The anti-corruption board, moving at breakneck speed, has jumped into the news to lodge complaints against the tender to award the ‘border control system’ to Malaysia’s Nexbis Limited. This time they have commenced play even before the referee’s whistle was blown.

    After a lengthy evaluation process which consumed almost four months, the Maldivian government represented by the Department of Immigration and Emigration has awarded the provision of a ‘Border Control System’ to Malaysia’s prestigious Nexbis Limited.

    ‘The system involves biometric scanning of individuals along with fingerprint verification, a foolproof system for controlling the entry of illegal aliens and suspected drug traffickers into the Maldives. This is the latest state of the art technology and the system will link up data exchange between the Maldives Police Services, the Immigrations Department, the Customs  the Coast Guard and other relevant authorities,’ said Dato' Sri Johann, the CEO of Nexbis.

    ‘Our proposal was evaluated by the IT experts appointed by the tender evaluation board and the Ministry of Finance. We scored the highest points. Our financial proposal involves the investment of over US Dollars Thirty Nine million at zero cost to the Maldivian government. On the technical side the IT experts awarded our proposal the highest number of points. The evaluation process was fair and transparent and we look forward to working with the Maldivian government’, said a Nexbis representative. ‘The Border Control System will begin implementation by December’.

    ‘Maldivian passport holders will not be charged. Arriving and departing passengers of other nationalities will be levied a security fee of US$ 2,’ said a reliable source connected to Nexbis.  

    Nexbis is a leading expert in development of applications for Governments in the areas of National Security, Identity Verification and Document Authentication. Nexbis (M) is the inventor and owner of the only forensic-level (L3S) mobile security solution in the world – the Nexbis National Security Suite, also known as NexCode TM. With patents filed in 140 countries worldwide, NexCode is a proprietary solution that is able to provide real-time information access capabilities, total assurance of information integrity and privacy through the use of the highly secure NexCode TM system architecture.

    The anti-corruption board alleges that corrupt practices were used in awarding the tender to Nexbis. However, they were unable to back up their allegations of corruption.

    A recent trend has emerged with every such deal the present government undertakes to implement. The opposition, unable to pin anything direct on the parties concerned, merely comes up with unfounded allegations which they are unable to back with concrete evidence. The Nexbis deal is simply another test case in point.

  12. Saleem people like you spoil the nation before you talk better look techinical and budget and what we are talking security . Do you know now system how many workes and departed from system but they are in Maldives and do you know hardware and server and even L3 Level and US watch list we are now. Human traffic and so on. People like you spoil all the projects. I never defend this project but better learn to comment and talk after seen techinical and do you know ACC last 3 years running behind thisproject with out any proof and how many people was they blame courrption when they defend this project in media. ACC report lot of lies just people like you will beleive why Nazim never given immigration to answer and even a letter and documents were sent to Majilis but it was not seen and not given opprounity to talk from immigration and AG Azima is the lawyer for ACC did she knows about project AG went to defend ACC in court immigration was alone .. . these are political propaganada but nation and immigration will suffer

  13. reading all coments all are blamed on nazim must look all his corrupt issues they think they are very smart
    utter nonsense
    i totlly agree with usay.
    no foregn investments now shud come to Male.

  14. @Yusay on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 7:09 PM

    You are an idiot. It is not people who talk about the corruption that brings nations down.

    It is corruption that does it.

    Stupid idiot!

  15. Naseem you beter understand this nation ACC control by Jangiya Nazim, and he plays all role when he fail to get money how can courrption will go without these people idiot who control ACC and other places, why ACC never stop any other project and never goes courts and even Majilis you better understand and see the dark side of these people and keep quite will never help you, where is GMR and other cases ACC fail and where is Immigration word and why ACC is running behind immigration 3 years what is there main aim??? and where is courrption. all ind com are control these people first must get independent these comms...


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