Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – The SuperCom firm will supply electronic tags for people under house arrest and some other defendants or convicts in the Czech Republic, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) told reporters yesterday, presenting the tender winner.
The state will pay 93 million crowns for the tags and their monitoring centre’s operation for six years.
Five bidders competed in the tender, while the price was the decisive selection criterion.
The Probation and Mediation Service put up a tender for electronic tags last February. The expected price of the public contract was 100 million crowns without VAT.
The Justice Ministry has long been striving for the electronic monitoring of prisoners. The past tenders were always cancelled, last time because there were no bidders.
This time, the ministry chose the form of a “competitive dialogue” in which six firms participated.
They underwent several rounds of direct talks. They also provided the office with their products for a month to test the system’s basic functions. Five firms submitted a particular bid then.
Pelikan, who tried the particular products himself, described an electronic tag as “a box of the same size as a larger cell phone that is tied up to an ankle” in the past.
He admitted that the tag was a bit uncomfortable in the night when he was sleeping, but said it would not limit a daily life except for the fact that the device must be charged up every day.
The electronic tags will be used for an efficient monitoring in the case of house arrest as well as for the prisoners released on parole who are ordered to stay at home and some people remanded in custody.
The Justice Ministry points out that one of the main advantages of electronic tagging is that the prisoners would remain in contact with their families and can go to work.
Czech courts have been able to impose house arrest since 2010, but they do not use this possibility very often. One of the reasons might be that the persons under house arrest cannot be monitored continuously by electronic tags, but probation officers only carry out random checks.