A new electronic national identity card, commonly known as “o mang”, is expected to be introduced in three years to come. It will replace the current card, which is faced with some challenges.
The fat tender is expected to be opened sometime this year.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard, the Director of Civil Registration Department, Neo Lepang, said:
“My department will embark on a multi-million pula project that will convert “o mang” to digital and that is anticipated to start in 2016 or before, if things go according to our plan.”
She said that after the government approved the proposal some time ago, the project is in a planning stage but has advanced, adding that, as a department, they do not want to make any mistakes.
Lepang said her ministry anticipates that the project will be completed within three as the new ID card will be produced at a press of a button.
“My officers are busy with logistics and strategies on how the old card will be phased out to pave way for the new one,” she stated.
Lepang further indicated that critical government departments and private institutions will be linked with the system and the system will be crucially secured.
She pointed out that financial institutions will be linked with the system as well as the police and hospitals, among others.
When asked how much the project will cost the government, Lepang said that the government had already sourced funds but she was not in a position to reveal the exact amount that will be required for the project, adding that speculating on the figure might also affect the tendering process.
“I am also not going to comment on which companies are legible to tender for the project or whether they might be local or international.”
Lepang explained the government found it necessary that the O mang be produced electronically for a number of reasons that include security, efficiency and delivery.
“Currently, it takes 14 days for the ID to be produced due to a number of factors but the new system will shorten the time to a few days, including delivery of the cards to the public,” she said.
Meanwhile, retired security personnel have been engaged by the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs to audit the cards because of the numerous cases implicating non citizens that are not eligible to acquire the card.