The Director General of NCRA (National Civil Registration Authority), Foday Kamara has told the Global Times that, he was satisfied that, the biometric registration kits supplied by a European firm, which was awarded the contract “are the best in terms of quality and functionality”. Mr. Kamara said, “The VIU-800 registration stations proved to be technically reliable and easy-to operate”.
The NCRA Director General told the Global Times that, the biometric registration kits supplied by Smartmatic enabled NEC (National Electoral Commission) to successfully register approximately 3.1 million Sierra Leonean voters and NCRA was able to successfully register 2.1 million people residing in the country. “Rotten kits could not have done what these kits did for us in record time”, he said.
Mr. Kamara disclosed that, he was shocked to hear about missing data from NEC. “There is no missing data…NEC knows how to retrieve data which they had imputed into the machines…We have cooperated fully with them to retrieve their misplaced data….When they embarked on exhibition, they asked for and they were given six hundred machines to enable them do their exhibition. All their misplaced data are traceable….They know that, we know that”, the NCRA Director General said. He said that, he was satisfied with the bid evaluation process because, at the end of the day, they are getting good value for money.
Mr. Kamara admitted that, when the biometric voter registration started, some of the NEC staff experienced some difficulties in operating the kits. “As time progressed, they got used to them… Few of the machines found it difficult to adjust to the temperature here….But they were adjusted and they performed extremely well”, Mr. Kamara said.
Mr. Kamara clarified that, SMRT Co. Ltd (the vendor) did take part in the bid evaluation and they won the bid based on the functionality of their machines during the demonstration done at both Leicester Peak and in down-town Freetown.
Mr. Kamara disclosed that, he himself flew out of the country together with a team of some IT experts to examine the machines and they were satisfied that, they met all the specifications required.
The NCRA Director General informed the Global Times that, UNDP recruited some consultants from PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) who evaluated the kits and they gave them a clean bill of health.
In conclusion, Mr. Kamara said, “hand-on-heart, I can tell you that, the biometric registration kits supplied by Smartmatic are the best kits in terms of quality and functionality”.
Meanwhile, NEC sources have confirmed to the Global Times that, all misplaced data have now been “manually retrieved”.