The Electoral Commission (EC) last Monday opened tenders submitted by the seven shortlisted companies to select one that will undertake the biometric registration of Ghanaians before the 2012 elections. With the opening of the bids, all the documented proposals submitted by the seven companies would be opened and those that meet the stringent technical specification proposed by the EC would again be shortlisted to select one for the job. The process, which took place at the headquarters of the EC in Accra on Tuesday, was meant to ensure that all the processes meet the law governing competitive bidding in Ghana. The Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, disclosed this to the Daily Graphic during a five-day workshop on Voter Registration for West and East African countries in Accra. The five-day Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) Modular workshop on Voter Registration was organised by the International IDEA as part of its ongoing partnership with the Africa Union. After the opening of the tenders, the seven companies would be made to demonstrate through various presentations to the commission to exhibit their technical capacity for the job and their financial proposals, after which a final selection will be made. Initially, 47 companies from various countries across the world responded to the advertisement placed by the EC for expression of interest and the number was shortlisted to seven. The replacement of the manual voters register with a biometric one would help address some critical issues such as double registration and voting. Among others, voters who would be registered would have their finger prints captured. The EC is determined to discard the old manual register and replace it with a biometric one, for which reason a new registration exercise would be organised in due course to collate the data of voters for the 2012 general election. Briefing the participants during the opening session of the conference, Dr Afari-Gyan urged the participants to strive as much as possible to share their experiences and learn the best practices from one another. He said because elections were very practical, exchange of practical experience from the managers of registration process would go a long way to enrich the participants’ management systems. The 26 participants are from the 13 Election Management Bodies in Cameroun, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, North Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Zanzibar. The project is funded by a grant from the Australian Government through AusAID.
Source: Daily Graphic Ghana