Opposition-8 Gradually Looses Hope
10 March, 2011
Opposition-8 Gradually Looses Hope

How much for a Biometric Passport?


Opposition demands to create the electorate lists and use biometric data for the elections. The Authorities do not refuse directly. Instead, they presented such financial calculations allegedly needed for the realization of opposition’s proposal that they defy a sensible comprehension. Namely, the Authorities claim that biometric IDs for the entire electorate would cost up to GEL 190 million. However, the opposition found out that the Authorities used wrong maths and that the job would

require only GEL 66 million.
Some time ago eight opposition parties started talks with the Authorities on the ways of improving the election environment. Since then much has changed. If in the beginning the Governmental circles cherished the hope that they would reach a consensus with the opposition, today the anticipation has evaporated.
A certain segment of ‘opposition-8’ is skeptical about further talks. There are a number of issues which the Authorities keep in the dark. The opposition believes that silence on these issues is equal to refusal. In other words, the Authorities are not going to make concessions on significant questions.
Electorate lists and biometric data for the elections have been reverberating around the political arena for months. The opposition has even tabled the draft law to this end. During these months the Authorities have been vehemently evading the issues. Only now they presented financial calculations but the opposition found a number of basic math mistakes there.
According to the Governmental project, production of every biometric ID would cost GEL 35 including VAT and their issuance to 3 750 000 citizens would take 7 years and GEL 132 130 500.
“For unknown reasons, the Government made a number of incongruent calculations. For instance, they included the summary of salaries, office rent, utility, stationary and similar expenses for no less than seven years,” say the ‘opposition-8’ representatives. Another criticism was directed to the costs of collecting citizen data for registration purposes. The third stage of this process is data processing. The opposition claims the Authorities inflated the costs. In this way, the total cost of the 14-month-long project added up to GEL 102.5 million including VAT. If we consider that the job in reality requires registration of no more than 3 million citizens, the project costs would be 20% less than the project supposes, i.e. around GEL 80 million including VAT or GEL 66 million excluding VAT.

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