On June 9 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) published an eleven paged press release on the outcome of the KPMG audit of the voters register. At first glance, the release seemed quite comprehensive as it included figures, charts and words on many aspects of the audit. But this picture is misleading. Important aspects are missing. Media and the public should demand the original file that the audit firm submitted to IEBC. (Edit: On July 7, the full audit report still is not online. See below.)
One remarkable example is the issue of “security and infrastructure” of the register. Simply put, can using the voter register fail or be faulty by its design and is it suspeptible to rigging. These crucial questions are being asked by the public and pondered in social media.
On page 6 the IEBC press release states in the last paragraph:
“As part of the audit, KPMG have also made recommendations on enhancing controls over the database and infrastructure to ensure security of the Register. As is standard for such findings, these will be addressed by the Commission in liaison with its IT vendors and independent support.”
- What are the exact recommendations about the database?
- What are the exact recommendations about the infrastructure?
- How will these recommendations be addressed?
- With whom exactly will the IEBC do this (“vendors and independ support”)?
- When will that happen?
- What shortcomings has KPMG found?
- How serious are these shortcomings on “controls over the database and infrastructure?”
The answers to these questions lie in the heart of the question: will the Kenyan public trust the election process and its outcome. Hence, all details of the report should be given.
In a press briefing on July 6, IEBC-representatives could not publish the full audit report as they claimed it contained “too much data” and “the file, too big”. The commission has set up a web page for publishing it by and by (link), where “eventually” the whole report will be accessible. When asked exactly when that “eventually” would be, IEBC CEO, Ezra Chiloba did not reply. In a tweet on the same morning, however, the commission had falsely stated the fulll report was already there.
Legal Access to information at the IEBC
As we have written here on RoGGKenya, IEBC is also legally required to publish and publicize all important information – see Sec. 27 of the IEBC act. Media who want to get the report may follow the rules given in Sec. 27 to request that information.