Muhlbauer High Tech International, a German firm that was in 2010 contracted to implement the National Security Informations System for the printing of National IDs has advised government to acquire a backup and recovery data system.
Muhlbauer High Tech International, Vice President, Matthias Karl Kohler who was appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, said the current NSIS does not have a backup system and risks losing all the data in case of any eventualities.
“It is a concern to us that government now has a data center, but no recovery or backup center. If there is a fire or terror attack or floods then all the data will be lost,” Kohler said.
“We urge entities responsible to put up a backup system. It was not part of our contract and that is why we did not put it. Data is very dangerous and once lost it is not recovered,” he added.
He blamed the slow printing of National IDs on the lack of maintenance of the equipment.
“Since 2018, no maintenance has been done on those machines. Once those machines are not maintained and serviced then it is likely to delay the printing process,” Kohler said, adding that the US$16 million machinery is not fully utilized and only operates at a capacity of about 50 percent.
He added that before their contract expired, they were providing free maintenance services with a 100 percent warranty on wear and tear. In 2018, Government entered into a joint venture with Veridos, another German company to set up a printing facility for digital identity documents for a period of 15 years. This comes after the expiry of the contract of Muhlbauer that was hired in 2010 to set up the ID printing system that is currently being used by the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) to print National IDs.