AFAG Calls For a Review of Contract Awarded on Biometric Registration
The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) on Tuesday launched a campaign to solicit over a thousand signatures in protest against the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to go ahead with the biometric registration process without addressing certain concerns raised by civil society and political parties. “We are hereby calling on all Ghanaians to join AFAG’s “Register Once, Vote Once, Get Counted Once, campaign,” Mr Davis Opoku Ansah, Director in-charge of Research at AFAG said at a press conference in Accra. He urged Ghanaians to be interested in the process and endeavour as individual citizens to ensure a society whose core values hinged on true freedom and justice. "AFAG is wary of the consequences of the EC’s action as any flaws in the new biometric system could lead to a 'poisoned' Ghanaian society, otherwise intact", Mr Ansah said. He said AFAG’s main concern was the award of contract to STL/HSB/Genkey Consortium, explaining that the contractor to execute the biometric registration did not have National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) Certification. NIST is the highest certification possible for an Automated Fingerprints Identification System (AFIS). Mr Ansah explained that STL’s Suprema fingerprint readers were certified, but it was meaningless if their AFIS provided by Genkey was not certified, asking what use was a robust fingerprint reader could be if there was no strong AFIS back-end to identify fingerprint template de-duplication. “Per the procurement rules, when a company provides information and it is later found to be false, the contract shall be withdrawn,” Mr Ansah said, calling for a review of the contract awarded to STL and its partners since there appeared to be substantial doubt about Genkey’s claim to be a certified provider of AFIS system. AFAG pointed out that STL's experience in health insurance registration could not be a yardstick for the award of a biometric registration contract. “We have every reason to doubt the capacity of STL, the leading consortium of three companies to deliver, because none of STL's partners have been involved in National Biometric Voter Registration". Mr Ansah said the EC had a responsibility to invite all political parties and civil society groups to a forum and explain in detail how the contract was awarded. He suggested regular IPAC meetings, saying the situation where the EC met political parties individually was unacceptable, provocative and provided room for suspicion which did not augur well for consensus building. AFAG urged the EC to listen to the political parties and other civil society groups which were committed to ensuring a free and fair Election in 2012.
Source: Ghana News Agency