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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

National Electronic ID System In The Works For PNG
$76 million system hoped to optimize population information

By Gregory Avira

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 19, 2012) – An improved voting system, proper birth registry, accurate population statistics and other improvements can now be achieved in Papua New Guinea after an official contract signing was held to commence the establishment of an electronic identification system (EIS).

Huaweii Technologies can now commence on establishing a national identification card system after an official contract was signed with the state at Government House yesterday.

Acting Governor General and Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc and deputy secretary for National Planning and Monitoring, Joe Kapa, signed the contract as representatives of the state, while Huaweii director Trevor Liu signed on behalf of the company.

The National Executive Council (NEC) had approved the engagement of Huaweii Technologies in early November to spearhead the establishment of the electronic identification system which would cost US$76 million (K228 million).

According to the deputy secretary for National Planning and Monitoring Joe Kapa, Huaweii’s first task would be to set up a population information data base before any future projects can begin.

Kapa said once the information data base was established then the data could be used by organizations like the Electoral Commission, Health Department, National Statistics Office and other organizations in carrying out their duties.

Kapa said, "This system could save costs for planning, election processes and other purposes like birth registry, collection of population statistics and for other wider applications."

Kapa announced that an inter-agency task force team would be set up to monitor and advice the government progressively once the project was underway.

"An inter-agency task force will be set up to ensure that a tailor made and quality system that meets our expectations is delivered," Kapa said.

Kapa further stated that under the contract, an independent committee would be set up once the identification system was established to inspect and advice the government on whether it meets the set requirements and if it can be used in future projects.

Huaweii Technologies head of business, Lee Pokarop, gave assurance that Huaweii was capable of setting up a system that would work for PNG.

Pokarop said the first phase of their project would be to establish 89 district offices and 22 provincial offices to coordinate the collection of personal information to set up a data base.

Huaweii director Trevor Liu said that since the project involved personal information of individuals, the state alone would be in charge of issuing the access levels at its discretion.

Liu pointed out that Huaweii was only setting up the system but it would be managed by PNG, with the central data base to be set in Port Moresby.

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