Poll job given abroad
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
The 10 million ballot papers for the general election are being printed in Indonesia because it is much cheaper than printing them at the Government printers here, says Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.
“To print at the Government printers in Waigani will cost K23 million whereas in Semarang (city in Indonesia) it will cost only K6.6 million, including the delivery to Port Moresby and the eight security features embedded in the ballot papers,” he said.
Gamato said the Central Supplies Tenders Board had approved the tendering of the job to a renowned company in Central Java, Indonesia.
Gamato said the Government Printers printed the 2012 national election ballot papers with security features for K9 million.
“Now they have quoted us K23 million. So we are now printing the papers in Indonesia,” he said. Gamato said they also got quotations from other PNG-based printers.
Gamato said the Central Supplies and Tenders Board approved giving the printing job to the Pura Group in Semarang city, Central Java. The company is three times bigger than the PNG Government Printing press, he said.
“They are specialised in such business,” he said. “They also do Indonesian ballot papers. “I visited them last year.”
Gamato stressed that the company was internationally-renowned for keeping such secret security features confidential.
“They do printing similar printings for other governments and security features for foreign currencies,” he said.
Gamato said the ballot papers were different from the ones used in 2012. “We have changed the features because in every election we must change them,” he said.
“We are printing 10 millon ballot papers – five million each for the Open and Provincial seats.” He said deputy commissioner John Kalamoroh was in Semarang with the serial numbers to start the printing of the ballot papers.
“So it will take about one and a half months of printing and another month to bring them,” he said. Gamato said there were 4.8 million registered voters in 2012 national election.
“The actual number of people who voted was 3.7 million. So we are playing safe in this election because there might be an increase in registered voters,” he said. Gamato said metal ballot boxes would be used in the highlands region while plastic ballot boxes were for coastal areas.