The Curious Case of Aniva Consult Technologies

The Unsleeping Eye brought my attention to an innocuous little piece on a Spanish-language AV blog, which seems to be a repost of a company press release from December 2015:

eyevis technology has been chosen to display the decisions and debates of the politicians who govern Romania.

Two video walls made up of EYE-LCD-6000-SN 60-inch displays have been installed in the Parliament’s Senate Plenary Hall. The videowalls are located 5m high on the left and right side of the presidium and are used for showing the speaker and vote results live.

Essentially, two enormous video screens were purchased and installed in the Romanian Senate. As this was a press release from the manufacturer of those screens, there’s nothing too unusual here. I can’t find any information about how much these jumbo screens cost, but they surely aren’t cheap.

What’s odd though is the company that got the contract to install the screens, known as Aniva Consult Technology, which boasts it is “100% Romanian financed”, and based in Bucharest.

The video screens are only one of their successes in the Romanian parliament, as in August they also “won the bid” to install an electronic voting system in Parliament (link in Romanian) that cost 180,000 euros. It ended up not getting used because it relied on fingerprint recognition, which (literally!) scared a number of lawmakers, who preferred a cheaper (and simpler) version where legislators use special cards to log in and vote.

So who exactly is this Aniva Consult Technology firm, and how are they getting such lucrative contracts to install expensive technology in the Parliament? I honestly have no idea, as there’s almost no concrete information anywhere. According to this blurb from Ziarul Financiar (in Romanian), the company was formed in 2011 by a woman named Marinela-Ionela Ivanus, and the firm has a grand total of TWO employees with almost no income prior to 2013.

The ZF article was written in 2014 to announce that Aniva had just secured a lucrative contract worth 150,000 euros to install a voting and information system for the Bucharest city government, which ALSO used a fingerprint identification system. Just as with the Parliament, the city counselors were also hostile towards using a fingerprint system. Avila also installed similarly expensive equipment for the Craiova city government, several departments of the Interior Ministry, and the Romanian Constitutional Court.

I sure wish a real journalist would get to the bottom of this, how a tiny two-person firm is “winning” contract after contract to install expensive equipment in Bucharest for various government departments. Who is this Marinela Ivanus? Is she the same woman who won 20,000 lei in the lottery back in 2010? And how is she able to keep selling incredibly expensive fingerprint voting systems that no Romanian politician seemingly wants? And why is Aniva’s website a slapdash piece of crap with nonsensical stock photos?

I also have no idea where the name Aniva came from, unless it’s from an area in far eastern Russia. In Polynesian languages it means bright, talented, and beautiful woman. Is that why Marinela named her company Aniva?

Maybe one day we’ll have the answer…

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