The US$35.4M contract which was signed last week between the Guyana Government and a German company for the implementation of an electronic identification system is not finding favor with the Opposition.
The Opposition has rejected both the procurement process and the non-consultation of the project.
Executive Member of the People’s National Congress Merwyn Williams, said the government appears to be comfortable on forcing projects on Guyanese without first consulting them, even though those projects have the potential to directly affect them.
“A few days ago, the government in haste signed a US$35 million contract with a German-based company for a Single Electronic Identification System and cards that will be issued to Guyanese. There was no public consultation, no parliamentary review, no new legislation, and no proper public procurement procedure. The e-ID card deal was simply dumped on the Guyanese people. The entire process is teemed with potential for corruption,” Williams said.
Williams said the government has not taken note of the far-reaching implications the project.
He raised concerns about the impact on citizens’ privacy rights, the security and integrity of the central data system that will produce the cards and store data, and the continued use of the current ID cards, especially for voting.
“We warn again that the PPP’s lack of accountability and transparency and note that it will continue to create greater mistrust between government and its citizens. And greater mistrust leads to greater social and political instability. The PPP regime seems to be hell bent on raising tensions in our society at a time when we should be working together to ensure all Guyanese benefit from our oil and gas resources,” Williams noted.
The Guyana Human Rights Association has also raised concerns over the project, but those concerns have since been dismissed by the Government. There have been calls for the project to be put on pause pending consultations.