Mrs Jean Mensah, EC chairperson

The Electoral Commission (EC) has revealed that the country will save some $18 million or GHS 104, 677, 650.00 million cedis if the new Biometric Voter Management System is implemented.

The EC in a statement on Monday explained that the total cost of maintaining the old Biometric System is $74,364,500 while the total cost for a new BVMS system is estimated at $56,000,000.

These include: Biometric Voter Registration Kits (BVR) and Biometric Verification Devices (BVD).

The EC giving a further breakdown of the cost of the entire process, said the total cost of using the old BVR system for the 2020 election is estimated at $38, 692,500.00.

“This includes: cost of refurbishment of some BVR kits used in 2016 and the acquisition of new ones. The number of kits used in the 2016 registration was 5,500 and number of kits that were refurbishable was 1,500 and the unit cost of refurbishment was $3,500 pegging the total cost of refurbishment at $5,250,000.

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The EC further posits that the nation also needs an additional 6,500 kits at a unit cost of $5,145 pegging the total cost of additional kits at $ 33, 442, 500,” the statement read.

EC’s quest to compile a new voter’s register for the 2020 election has been opposed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Some Civil Society groups.

They argue that the EC has failed to prove that the biometric data which was recently used in the district level elections across the country is defective. 

Challenges with the old BVR system

The EC argues that none of the IT staff at the commission were trained on the BVMS, and that it (EC) was completely reliant on the vendor for the management of the system. Simply put the commission was “vendor locked-in.”

It further explained that the application server used for the online VMS was limited by allowing only 200 concurrent connections, adding that the EC has some 260 district offices nationwide each with at least 2 MVMS machines.

This had hampered the online registration process significantly during the just ended limited registration exercise.

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The EC said with the old system, there was no business continuity or an IT disaster recovery plan.

Advantages of the New System

According to the EC, the new server hardware comes with three, four or five year’s warranty and support coverage.

It further argued that, other system components of the new system are made with latest technology, providing higher performance.

The new system also has a higher memory capacity than the older system.

The EC intends to intensify education on the new BVR in the coming days in order to assure Ghanaians of its suitability for the 2020 general elections. 

Source: Adomonline.com | Dorcas Abedu-Kennedy