EC rejects charge of non-transparency: Electoral rolls -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

EC rejects charge of non-transparency: Electoral rolls

ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: The Election Commission has rejected allegations of non-transparency in the preparation of Computerised Electoral Rolls, 2007.

A spokesman for the Election Commission, in a statement, said that a national tender was published in newspapers and a very comprehensive ‘request for proposal’ was prepared for inviting proposals from reputed IT firms for the critical task, through an open competition.

Professional and transparent proposal evaluation criteria were evolved and followed for awarding the contract. A two-stage evaluation –technical evaluation completed prior to opening of financial proposals of the technically qualified firms– was done by subject matter and IT experts and a committee, comprising representatives of the ECP, UNDP, Pakistan Computer Bureau, ministry of IT, USAID and International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES), supervised and scrutinised the whole process of bid opening as well as evaluation of technical and financial proposals, submitted by various firms. Thereafter the lowest bidder –Kalsoft JV– was awarded the task of preparation of computerisation and printing of electoral rolls.

About the alleged shortfall in the enrolment of voters, he said despite wide publicity campaign by the Election Commission, there was lack of interest among persons 18 year of age or older and non-availability of computerised national identity cards (CNICs) and the old national identity cards.

He, however, said that in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, it was decided that after comparing both the electoral rolls –the electoral rolls of 2002 and the draft Computerised Electoral Rolls of 2006-07– the names which do not appear in the draft Electoral Rolls but exist in the previous Electoral Rolls of 2002, may be incorporated. Additional lists may be prepared by the verifying officials, under the supervision of Registration Officers, that is, assistant election commissioners and deputy election commissioners.

The spokesman said all registration officers in the provinces, the federal capital and Fata, were directed to identify the names of all those persons (men/women), who stood enrolled as voters in the existing electoral rolls, prepared in 2002 and updated in 2004, but their names do not appear in the draft computerised electoral rolls of 2006-07, so that these could be merged with the final computerised electoral rolls, to be used for conducting the forthcoming general elections.

He rejected the charge about huge expenditure and non- transparency in preparation of the electoral rolls terming them biased, fabricated, misleading, unfair and contrary to the facts.
Source: Dawn
Date:9/29/2007