EC invites IT firms to demonstrate their biometric solutions

Thu, 12 Dec 2019 Source: ghananewsagency.org

The Electoral Commission (EC) on Tuesday met four technology firms to demonstrate their biometric solutions, to enable it select a suitable and robust Biometric Voter Management Solution for the country's electoral processes.

The four hardware IT firms that demonstrated their biometric solutions are - MIRU SYSTEMS Company Limited, BucK Press Limited, Smartic International and Thales Digital Identity Solutions.

Two software companies will also demonstrate their biometric solutions on Wednesday, December 11.

Madam Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of EC, speaking at the demonstration meeting in Accra, said upon assumption of office, the Executive Committee of the Commission invited an IT Consultant from Canada to audit the old biometric solutions procured in 2011.

Upon the audit, the IT Consultant recommended that, the old biometric solution used in the 2012 and 2016 general elections was obsolete and not robust enough to manage the country's electoral processes.

Therefore, the EC opened an international competitive tender process to enable interested IT firms with robust biometric solutions to bid for the EC's Biometric Voter Management Solution.

She said those that applied were shortlisted and asked to demonstrate their biometric solutions in the presence of the civil society organizations, political parties, development partners and the media.

This, she said, was done in the spirit of transparency of the selection process, adding that, an independent evaluation committee would examine the demonstrations by the IT firms and present its report by the close of next week.

"This is a process that involves the destiny of our nation that's why we opened up the process, not only for the political parties, but to the CSOs and the media to observe and ask questions for feedback," Madam Mensa said.

Meanwhile, five political parties including the NDC, PNC, APC, UFP and Egle boycotted the demonstration exercise, explaining that, the EC has not engaged them on the audit report that recommended a new biometric solutions for the country's elections.

Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, the Director of Elections of the NDC, at a press conference shortly after the walkout, said the EC has not been transparent with the acquisition of a new biometric solution in terms of the cost and the audit report that recommended a new biometric system.

He said the letter inviting the Party to the demonstration meeting stated it was an emergency Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and called for the immediate withdrawal of the plan to acquire a new biometric system.

More so, he said, the issue of acquiring a new biometric system for elections has not been discussed exhaustively at an IPAC meetings, to solicit political parties and other stakeholders' inputs.

Therefore, the party would use every legal and constitutional avenue to ensure that the right thing is done.

Mr Afriyie Ankrah said although the NDC supports the upgrading of the old biometric system, but any plans to acquire a new biometric solution should be done with broader stakeholder consultation and through transparent process.

Nana Agyenim-Boateng, the Founder of the United Front Party, also called for the withdrawal of a new biometric system because the EC has not done enough consultations, saying that, any attempt to impose a new biometric system would create chaos in next year's election.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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