NADRA says RTS never crashed, ready for forensic audit

Issues statement after Senator Swati calls for removing its chief for transparent probe

Qadeer Tanoli August 31, 2018
NADRA issues statement after Senator Swati calls for removing its chief for transparent probe. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has reiterated its claim that its Result Management System (RTS) – used by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to transmit poll results – remained fully functional and did not shut down during the July 25 vote.

"Moreover, the RTS has no connection with Result Management System (RMS)," said a Nadra spokesperson on Friday after the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Senator Azam Swati called for a probe into the RTS failure that cast shadows over credibility of the polls.

Swati during a press conference along with Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also demanded that for transparent investigation into the RTS 'failure', the Nadra chairman should be removed for a few days. "It should be investigated as to why the RTS was made non-functional," he added.

Apparently reacting to the demand, the spokesperson said: "We want to make it clear that the RTS remained completely functional and it never stopped working. It is merely a misunderstanding that data was supposed to be transmitted from the RTS to the RMS."

PTI senator Swati calls for forensic audit of RTS failure on election day

He said NADRA is ready to explain its point of view at any forum. It is also ready for a forensic audit of the matter. He also claimed that the RTS and timely or delayed announcement of provisional or final results was never dependent the authority's made system.

Separately, in a letter addressed to Swati, the Nadra also retreated that the RTS never failed or crashed.

The Nadra said it learnt from media that during a meeting between the senator and Prime Minister Imran Khan, Swati blamed NADRA for the failure of RTS. "It came as a surprise, as Nadra had already submitted detailed answers to your questions establishing the fact that RTS never failed or crashed."

The RTS has nothing to do with the elections results (provisional or final results) as counting, tabulation, compilation, transmission, dissemination and publication of result was sole responsibility of the RMS which has not connected to the RTS, added the letter.

It said result of a constituency cannot be transmitted and compiled through the RTS and the presiding officers (POs) were responsible to send the snapshot of Form-45 and data from polling stations where practicable and network connectivity was available.

"The RTS only displayed progressive result directly from polling stations (where practicable). Therefore, the timely or delayed announcement of provisional or final results was never dependent on RTS.

"We are available to explain any further questions to clarify the situation. NADRA will welcome any kind of fair and transparent audit of RTS," the letter said.

Senator Rehman Malik, who is chairman of the Standing Committee on Interior, recently maintained in a report that the RTS did never cease functioning and it was deliberately stopped. The ECP faced severe criticism after results were delayed on the Election Day. The ECP has been blaming on the RTS system for delay in transmission of election results.

PTI shifts blame of RTS failure during general elections to PML-N

Under Election Act 2017, the ECP was made bound to establish a transparent results management system for expeditious counting, tabulation, compilation, transmission, dissemination and publication of results in the official Gazette and the website of the commission.

Two type of software were used by the ECP during the general election 2018 – the RMS and the RTS. The ECP introduced the RMS to further improve accuracy, efficiency and transparency of the results of the General Election 2018.

The RMS was supposed to have the capacity to store all the scanned pages of Forms-XIV, XVI & XVII along with data, stored into the database, permanently for audit trail accountability purposes.

The returning officers (ROs) were supposed to compile the provisional results and, on, or before 2.00am the day immediately following the polling day and communicate these results electronically to the ECP.

Under the Action Act, the presiding officer is to immediately take snapshot of the result of the count and, as soon as the connectivity is available and it is practicable, electronically send it to the ECP and the ROS before sending the original documents under section 90.

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