SIEC denies arrest claims on former official

A newly eligible voter being registered under the biometric voter registration system which involved an electronic kit (machines), during the registration period that was conducted last month.
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By Gary Hatigeva

THE Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) has denied claims that one of their officials was arrested in relation to manipulative activities within its operation to recruit field officers.

Island Sun was told that an official of the commission was arrested last week following issues raised over claims of fishy recruitments of people that have not met requirements to be engaged in the voter registration process, which had drawn worries among voters.

This paper was also informed that a good number of those recruited for the registration programme were computer or technology illiterate, as data collection are electronically compiled and stored, using mostly electronic machines.

Many including former registration officers in the recent programme, claimed that there were others who have poor grammar and writing skills, let alone spelling, which also raised a lot of concerns that the data collected might not be as accurate or could be filled with errors and missing details.

This was something, many have allegedly linked to the arrest, as many of those highlighted, were said to have been used an official, to raise extra bucks from them.

However, a senior official spoken to (name withheld) denied the claims, but confirm that there was an SIEC officer who was terminated by the Public Service but nothing in relation to the recruitment of Registration officers as was rumoured “and was not arrested either”.

A newly eligible voter being registered under the biometric voter registration system which involved an electronic kit (machines), during the registration period that was conducted last month.

The official clarified that the termination was based on the 2016 and 17 Public Service disciplinary charges for misbehaviour at the office which included harassment, drunk and disorderly and disturbances at the office premises.

The official however admitted that it could be true a few of the recruited registrations officers might have under-performed at start however, working in a team of three has helped them pick up on their performances, a point many thought was still questionable as they should have never been recruited in the first instance.

“This is not a village programme or a school assignment we are talking about here, it is a national program that deals with matters of this country, such as an important event like the National General Election,” a disappointed voter expressed following the arrest claims.

Meanwhile, the official reiterated that the registration process is still ongoing and in the coming weeks the list will be put up for public’s viewing and inspection, “and therefore, would like to ask the public to look out and make sure check that all their details are correct”.

“The provisional list will be on display starting on October 29 and will remain until November 20, and if they have any complaints or identify spelling error that needs correction, do submit their complaint/correction by filing an objection to omission or objection to inclusion claim to make that correction.

“The omission and objection period will start on November 7 to November 20, and the public is asked to check the list and submit any final correction for consideration before it is finalised,” the SIEC official reiterated.