EC planning to acquire our own biometric data centre and IT systems – Jean Mensah reveals

The Electoral Commission (EC) is taking steps to secure its own Information Technology Systems and Biometric Data Centre to manage election results and data.

The Commission has said it will no longer use STL, an information technology company, that has been managing its data after acquiring its own equipment.

The move is to enable the EC to have full control of its systems and reduce the monies being paid to the company to maintain its data.

The Electoral Commission pays four million dollars annually to the company to manage the data.

Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, said this when she led a team of Commissioners of the EC to pay a courtesy call on the Management of the Western Publication in Accra.

She was there with her two deputies – Mr Samuel Tettey, in-charge of Operations, and Dr Eric Bossman Asare, in-charge of Corporate Services.

The EC’s Delegation was received by Kwame Blay, the Chief Executive Officer of Daily Guide Newspaper, Fortune Alimi, the Editor, William Yaw Owusu, an Editor and Alhaji A.R. Gomda, Chief News Editor.

Mrs Mensah said the Commission had commenced recruitment processes to engage competent personnel in that field to manage the data centre.

She stated that the EC’s new administration met a proposal of 56 million dollars for the management of its IT infrastructure but upon feasibility studies and recommendations, they discontinued it.

“The EC invited a consultant from Canada who was engaged to design the IT infrastructure to conduct an audit and make recommendations. At the end he said it was not finally wise to pursue that proposal,” she said.

“Our staffs were not in the know, it was only our vendors who had the details and operated the system. With these steps, it will create the credibility of our system.“

Touching the call by former President John Mahama to investigate the hacking allegations, Mr Tettey, on his part, said the Commission was not technically and logistically prepared for the electronic transmission of results and so did not use that system at all.

He said the electronic transmission was an additional measure to ensure transparency but not the main mode of transmitting results.