The Specific Case of Voter Registration

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Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Procurement Aspects of Introducing

ICT Solutions in Electoral Processes:


The Specific Case of Voter Registration

Anne
-
Sofie Holm Gerhard
& Mette Bakken

Tbilisi, 9 September 2010

European Commission

United Nations Development Programme




Introduction of the Operational Paper,
rationale & scope




Unfold the complexity of introducing
ICTs in Voter Registration processes, and
its impact on procurement activities




Highlight some key challenges &
lessons learned in operational &
procurement planning, and budgeting for
the Biometric Voter Registration
processes


Objective


Introduces
Electoral Procurement
processes and planning, guiding
principles, and challenges



Focuses on
Costs of VR Processes,
well
-
established budgets and risk
assessments



Examines the increasingly
Central Role of
ICTs

in elections



Studies
ICTs

in VR
as one of the most crucial, expensive and
expanding part of the electoral process



Addresses
Specific Procurement Issues related to Biometric VR



Linkages
between

Civil
and

Voter Registration


Scope and Structure of the Paper

Staffing

Equipment

Office lease/maintenance

utilities


Warehousing

Voting
Operations
and Election
Day

Verification
of Results

Post
-
Election

Legal
Framework

Running Costs
of EMB

Voter
Registration

Electoral
Campaign

Training
and
Education

ToT, venues, transport,

equipment

Training of civic & voter
educators

VR materials and services

Observers & accreditation

Party liaison/Media
monitoring

Complaints mechanism

Polling station kits,

Ballot boxes,
voting screens, ink, lanterns,
uniforms, polling station
furniture

Embassy voting & out
-
of
-
country voting

Any procurement relating to
the tabulation &
communication of official
results or to complaints and
appeals?

Audits &
evaluations

Upgrades, updates,
training (i.e. BRIDGE) sust.
development

The
Electoral
Cycle vs the
operational
&
procurement
cycle

consumables

IT equipment/ software/ website

Training

Security Costs

Uniforms

Travel

Conferences

Printing

Printing of manuals

Training of election officials

Materials/announcements
(TV, radio, press)

Data processing, VR list & ID cards

Data Entry Centre, hardware,
software

Ballot lottery, design, production,

logistics

Polling Forms

Counting Centres

Call Centre/Website

Security

Hiring legal
experts

Operational Planning starts with
Policy and the Legal Framework…


Policy

decisions



Approved

Legal

Framework


Division

of

roles

and

responsibilities


Interaction

with

development

partners/international

community



Quality

of

original

data,

exploration

of

sustainable

solutions

(possible

synergies)


Choice

of

technology

and

standards


Ad

hoc

VR

to

permanent

system


Procurement

of

technological

systems,

e
.
g
.

digital

registration

kits,

data

processing

centers

(central/regional

level)


Decision

on

Eligibility


Methodology
:

staggered

registration

etc?


Absentee

voting

&

IDPs?







Create

operational

plan



Create

operational

timeline


Create

budget



Create

procedures




What’s needed in a biometric voter
registration process?



1.
The

Digital

Mobile

Registration

Kit,

possibly

with

the

following

components
:

1.
Embedded computer with monitor, Keyboard, and mouse

2.
Digital Camera (webcam)

3.
Biometric extension with Finger print scanner and Signature pad

4.
Colour printer

5.
Registration
software
, pre
-
loaded

6.
Kit case incl. all components of the kit, and consumables (printer cartridges)

7.
Power source, generators/Solar Power kit

8.
Technical and operational manuals and guidelines involving hardware and
software

9.
On
-
going technical support

2.
Trained

registration

staff

(cascade

training
..
?)


3.
In

country

or

out

of

country

duplicate

analysis

(AFIS?)

4.
Production

of

Preliminary

Voter

Lists



Display

5.
Production

of

voter

cards


6.
Voter

education

material

&

campaign

7.
Observers

&

Candidate

agents






How long to
progress
from here..?

Specifications


can take months to
draft and then agree on

INDICATIVE Timeline for Procurement
of Biometric Kits


5 ½ months




Tasks

Working
Days





Technical Specifications and Services finalised and validated
by all partners





01/12/2009

Technical specifications & services approved for the
procurement process, alongside with launch of Expression of
Interest/pre
-
qualification

10 days

01/12/2009

11/12/2009

Tendering period

30 days

14/12/2009

22/01/2010

Analysis and Technical Evaluation

6 days

25/01/2010

01/02/2010

Analysis and Financial Evaluation

2 days

01/02/2010

02/02/2010

Notification to suppliers, travelling

6 days

03/02/2010

10/02/2010

Validation testing

6 days

11/02/2010

18/02/2010

CAP/ACP committees

8 days

19/02/2010

02/03/2010


Negotiations and signing of contract

5 days

03/03/2010

09/03/2010

Indicative production of first batch , and development of
simple software package, delivery of e.g.120 kits for training

30 days

10/03/2010

18/04/2010

Estimated prodcution and delivery of e.g. 3000 kits

50 days

10/03/2010

18/05/2010

VR Procurement


Risks and
Challenges

Structural Arrangements in place



Independent EMB ?


Permanent EMB?


Human Resources


Procurement Structures

Supply Market Distortion



Political lobbying lead to prejudicial outcome of the tender process.



Some commodities are very simple but limited specialized suppliers.

Inflexible deadlines



Often used by critical stakeholders as a pressure tool exerted on procurement means



Cause serious value for money predicaments e.g. need to airfreight, single source
situation etc



Cause severe pressure on logistics and distribution

VR
Procurement


Risks and
Challenges

Incomplete or Late

Technical Specs/
ToR
/Request for Assistance




C
reates margin for error
-

remedy action limited



Creates ambiguity, a situation suppliers can manipulate



Limited qualified technical experts to develop solid specs



Standards are not applied



Testing is not applied

National

Ownership, Capacity and Infrastructure




EMB not be fully in place or lack capacity, high staff turnover



Technical Solution or Technical Transfer



Checks and balances in place



Political, logistical, geographical, security challenges etc.


Reputational Risk



EMB and donor community
(
perception vs. reality
)

VR
Procurement


Risks and
Challenges

Unrealistic Expectations




By stakeholders on the Procurement Rules & Regulations to deliver



Ill
-
informed of the market response time




Cost of high
-
tech Solutions and Sustainability



Tremendous focus on highly advanced technology w/o infrastructure to support it



One time event with little synergies or thought into a wider institutional plan?



Total Costs of Ownership
of biometric VR are extremely high



Disaster Recovery?

Insufficient Budgets



Lead to sub
-
optimal goods and services being purchased



Several ad hoc procurement exercises as patch work solution

Operational Planning Challenges


Inadequate

time


Inadequate

assessment

of

appropriate

technology

and

needs


Inadequate

and

isolated

budgets


Inadequate

technical

specifications

and

lack

of

standards


Lack

of

ability

to

integrate

cross
-
cutting

operational

plans



Insufficient

study

of

sustainability

and

operational

costs


Insufficient

national

ownership


Lack

of

focus

on

transfer

of

knowledge


Lack

of

focus

on

synergies



Ensure

all

above

issues

are

available

with

opposite

connotation


Further Recommendations…

Seek advice early


Technical Advisory is available


Observe Standards developed in relevant domain


Examine the full implications of costs, operations and maintenance
-

focus on
sustainability and informed decisions


Integrate Pilot projects/ validation testing

Integrate procurement into project formulation


Include procurement input into project formulation (Strategy/Operations)


Create an independent role for a Procurement Expert & Technical Expert in the team

Procurement tools


Establish detailed procurement plans and realistic timelines


Establish conditions for efficient procurement, accelerated delivery, build
economy of scale, ensure quality assurance (pre
-
qualifications)


Examine options for local vs. international procurement


Timely introduction of new technologies…



Thank you


anne
-
sofie.holm@undp.org