It is now certain that the compilation of biometric voters’ register by the Electoral Commission (EC) will be conducted from March 24 to May 12, 2012.
The nation-wide registration exercise which will last seven weeks will take place at over 6,000 centres involving over 45,000 officials.
As part of the technical preparation for the exercise, EC will, between January 17 and February 15, 2012, take delivery of 7,000 biometric registration kits and back-up materials which will be delivered in five batches.
A highly placed source within the EC told the Daily Graphic in Accra that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ghana Revenue Authority had given the EC a six-month tax exception for the importation of all necessary equipment.
Currently, officials of STL, the company that won the bid as the vendor for the biometric registration, is training its core technicians who will also train registration supervisors from the EC and others who will carry out the registration and subsequent usage of the system.
The source said to ensure that the officials trained would have hands-on experience, they were undergoing the training with 150 of the biometric kits, excluding the expected 7,000.
According to it, the officials, some of them from Holland, together with their Ghanaian counterparts, would undertake the trainer-of-trainers course and also supervise the cascading trainer-of-trainers process which would see to it that officials of the EC, from the top to those at the last point, were properly trained.
It noted that STL officials would brief the commissioners of the EC and the directors at the EC Headquarters on the processes and procedures.
It indicated that the training, which would be concluded at the end of this month, would include usage, dismantling and arranging the registration kit, as well as the study of all components and troubleshooting.
It said to make assurance doubly sure, the EC had put in place measures to prevent the loss of data or any information at any point in time.
The measures include the building of a Disaster Recovery Centre to ensure that should the information at the data processing centre, the district offices, as well as the data capturing centres, get destroyed, the EC can rely on the one stored in the Disaster Recovery Centre located outside the EC.
The source explained that any information captured at the registration centre would be sent electronically to the district centres, where it would be transmitted through satellite built at each district centre to the national data centre and automatically sent to the Disaster Recovery Centre.
It said at every point, from the data capture centre to the Disaster Recovery Centre, the EC would have at least five back-ups in the form of hard drives that would forestall the loss of data at any point in time.
The source said registration included the details, including the photographs and fingerprints, of applicants at the registration centre.