Report: EC’s IT department lacks knowledge, skill

The Electoral Commission’s panel established to collate views for and against the compilation of a new voters’ register has issued a damning verdict on the Commission’s IT department.

The panel in its report submitted to the EC says the IT department does not have the requisite skill to cater for the current demands of the Commission.

“As at present the Information Technology Department does not have the required knowledge, skills and capacity.

“The Department itself did not adapt to the change in the technology and to the many operational procedures of the Electoral Commission,” the report said.

The report comes at a time when the opposition New Patriotic Party is raising questions about the credibility of the IT Department.

The party amongst other issues, suggests the department allowed over 76,000 non-Ghanaians who it suspects to be residents from neighbouring countries on the country’s voter’s register.

The opposition party did not particularly understand how a biometric data taken with photographs for the voter’s register will end up with marks of staple machines on the final voter’s register document.

The party alleged the sanctity of the data at the IT department was breached for which reason the bloated voter’s register cannot be relied upon for a credible election in November.

These allegations and many others forced the EC to constitute a panel to look into the allegations by the NPP and other pressure groups which were also calling for a new register.

The panel held a two day forum during which it collated arguments from the NPP, the NDC which resisted the compilation of a new register.

After weeks of assessing the information by the various stakeholders at the forum, the EC panel concluded arguments for a new voter’s register were unsustainable.

The panel further argued time is far spent on the election calendar to now consider compiling a new register.

Even though it rejected the call for a register the panel said the IT Department at the EC needs to be relooked at.

“The role of the Information Technology Department is a very critical one in the entire process spanning registration, voting, collation of results and quality assurance and evaluation. That role is very important in the preparations for successful public elections,” the report stated.

The panel demanded for the modernization of the department.

“It is therefore essential that the Information Technology Department is reorganized and emphasis placed on advanced information technology and modernization with adequate training,” the report advised.

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