The National Security Ministry’s electronic monitoring system will be operated and manned by ministry staff and not personnel from Amalgamated Security Services Limited, National Security Minister Stuart Young said on Wednesday.
Amalgamated, partnering with an Israeli firm, had won the $10.3 million contract in 2019 to supply the system. Legislation to operationalise it was passed on Monday. The framework will aid systems to prevent domestic violence and other issues.
Electronic monitoring is done via bracelets using global positioning system technology. They send signals which are picked up and monitored by equipment and personnel at a command centre.
“Devices can be programmed that if they move outside of a set parameter, alarms go off at the command centre and actions can be taken concerning the person who is the subject of, or wearing, the bracelet,” Young said during the sitting of Parliament.
Government in 2018 engaged iGovtTT to conduct a competitive open tender process for procurement of an electronic monitoring system, including equipment, licences, software, training and system maintenance.
Young said Amalgamated Security Services Limited, in partnership with Israel company Attenti Limited, was the successful bidder. The contract was to provide full turnkey electronic monitoring solution for the installation of software and hardware. This included the supply of 300 ankle monitors, staff training, commissioning and maintenance of the system for three years. Primary and back up sites were up in November 2019, he said.
Young added, “The responses to any breaches of the system will be provided by the T&T Police Service and not any private security contractor.
“The ministry has hired a manager and deputy manager and other staff and is in the process of hiring more staff.”
He said rather than give a third party control over the operations, Government decided to handle operations within state machinery.
Young also said there’s no $80m annual contract held by Amalgamated for prisoner transport. He said Amalgamated began providing transport in 1996 and continues to date. But he said Government had re-negotiated the contract down.
“We have a one-year contract for prisoner transport between NIPDEC and Amalgamated of $25,939,031.04 (VAT Exclusive), not $80 million. Previous contract was an annual sum of approximately $44 million,” he said.
However, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi recently said Government will soon make savings on transportation of prisoners with the introduction of 12 virtual courts across the country.