Elec­tion agency to in­vite pub­lic to test kits in new guide­lines

Reg­u­la­tions are part of the on­go­ing re­forms trig­gered by the com­ing into force of the Elec­tions Laws (Amend­ment) Act, 2016

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics General - OLIVER MATHENGE @Oliv­erMa­thenge

The IEBC has pub­lished draft ICT reg­u­la­tions that will open its elec­toral tech­nol­ogy to more pub­lic scru­tiny than in the last elec­tions.

The reg­u­la­tions are go­ing through pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion. They re­quire the IEBC to pub­lish de­tails of the com­pany or com­pa­nies that will pro­vide the net­work dur­ing the elec­tions.

The IEBC will also be re­quired to carry out timely end-to-end test­ing of elec­tion tech­nol­ogy be­fore de­ploy­ment for the elec­tion process.

“The com­mis­sion shall is­sue a pub­lic no­tice spec­i­fy­ing the date, time and place of the test­ing to in­vite stake­hold­ers to at­tend,” the draft reg­u­la­tions state.

Af­ter the 2013 elec­tions, op­po­si­tion chief Raila Odinga, who had lost to Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta in the race, said TNA and IEBC shared a server through a com­mon ICT provider.

Raila said this was how Uhuru and TNA ma­nip­u­lated the re­sults al­low­ing IEBC to de­clare his ri­val as the win­ner.

“A telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work ser­vice provider who in­tends to pro­vide ser­vices to the com­mis­sion shall dis­close to the com­mis­sion any ex­ist­ing agree­ment(s) with po­lit­i­cal par­ties, agents, or can­di­dates be­fore en­gage­ment for telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices in an elec­tion,” the draft reg­u­la­tions state.

The reg­u­la­tions also state that the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work ser­vice pro- viders shall en­sure the se­cu­rity, trace­abil­ity and avail­abil­ity of the net­work dur­ing the elec­tion.

The IEBC may also con­duct au­dits in­ter­nally or may de­cide to con­tract a rep­utable firm to con­duct an au­dit of the elec­tion tech­nol­ogy.

“The com­mis­sion may con­duct sys­tems re­views to eval­u­ate the con­fi­den­tial­ity, in­tegrity and avail­abil­ity of the elec­tion tech­nol­ogy by as­sess­ing: a) the se­cu­rity ac­cess to the sys­tem, b) the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the sys­tem from the logs, c) the ac­cu­racy and the com­plete­ness of the data,” the reg­u­la­tions state.

The reg­u­la­tions are part of the on­go­ing re­forms trig­gered by the com­ing into force of the Elec­tions Laws (Amend­ment) Act, 2016.

“This le­gal amend­ment re­quires the com­mis­sion to de­velop a pol­icy on the pro­gres­sive use of tech­nol­ogy in the elec­toral process and also make reg­u­la­tions for the adop­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of tech­nol­ogy in the elec­toral process,” the com­mis­sion ex­plained.

The Act fur­ther es­tab­lishes an in­te­grated elec­tronic elec­toral sys­tem con­sist­ing of voter reg­is­tra­tion, voter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and re­sults trans­mis­sion that shall be used in the next gen­eral elec­tion.”

The com­mis­sion, in line with the amended Act, has es­tab­lished an Elec­tions Tech­ni­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee to over­see the adop­tion of tech­nol­ogy.

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