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Ghana Post GPS Has Robust Security Infrastructure – Minister
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The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has assured that the recently launched Ghana Post Global Positioning System (GPS) application is accompanied with a robust security infrastructure.
According to her, enough measures have been put in place to prevent any external intrusion or hacking.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful made these remarks at a media conference in Accra to respond to some criticisms following the launch of the Ghana Post GPS application on October 18, this year.

The launch of the application has raised criticisms from a section of the public on the security of users’ bio-data raising concerns that the application software was vulnerable to security interference and that hackers could easily hack into the system to steal users’ bio-data for mischievous purposes and the procurement process, as well as many other concerns.

According to her, the appropriate measures that come with the app makes it difficult to hack.

“The proper firewalls and security features are being built into the system prior to it going live to protect against the very things that we all fear happening. I don’t know what someone else is doing to try to breach the defences that are currently being built – they say the criminals are always one step ahead of us – but the knowledge on cyber security defences currently available today, wherever it is in the world, are what we are employing in the system we are deploying”, she added.

She explained that the system forms part of the process of integrating the national digital ecosystem to formalise the economy.

She said the digital addressing system was to ensure effective and smooth delivery of public services to Ghanaians and to help in weeding out criminal elements in the society.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted that the new addressing system was part of an entire ecosystem that the country was developing, saying: “It is a critical component in a digital economy to identify businesses and properties properly”.

She said the government would be harmonising other database of state institutions into the National Identification System, which would serve as the central point for both public and private institutions to facilitate the formalisation of the economy.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful mentioned some public institutions that would benefit from the central database as the National Health Insurance Authority, the Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Births and Deaths Registry, among others.

She said the coming into operation of the digital addressing system would assist the utility service providers to easily locate businesses and properties, which would help in revenue collection processes.
She cited Peru, saying: “After the economy was formalised, 40 new banks were created, which brought employment to many people and that is why the government is committed to building a formalised economy through proper addressing system”.

The Sector Minister reiterated government’s commitment to digitally connect the country’s economy, and that the Ghana Post GPS and the National Identification Project were key elements to help in that process.
She urged the public to help in enhancing the process towards the formalisation of the economy through the digital address system by approaching the ministry with constructive criticisms for a better system.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VOKACOM, Nana Osei Afrifa said Ghana Post GPS is the licensed and customised version of the Asaase GPS purposely made for Ghana.
He said certain security information could not be shared with the public, but assured that the Ghana Post GPS had all the necessary security features to prevent interferences and easy hacking.

He said the Asaase GPS user information and connectivity with security services were the private property of VOKACOM; however, the government had paid for the Ghana Post GPS back office, the data, the server, connectivity with security services and firewalls which would host the digital property addressing system.

Nana Afrifa said his outfit was prepared to engage with the Information Technology (IT) experts who had raised questions about the application and would accept criticisms in good faith, in order to enhance its security features.

James Kwofie, the Managing Director of Ghana Post Company Limited, said the award of the contract to VOKACOM started in April this year through a competitive bidding process.

He said out of 27 applicants who submitted bids, six were shortlisted for evaluation and that a panel evaluated the bids and sent the commendations to an Entity Tender Committee.

Kwofie added that the Tender Committee also forwarded its report to the Central Tender Review Board of the Ministry of Finance and the Board finally settled on VOKACOM.

He said the Central Tender Review Board signed the contract with VOKACOM, under the supervision of the Attorney-General’s Department after the Finance Ministry had approved the budget for the contract.

He noted that the VOKACOM bid was the lowest valuated bid among the six shortlisted companies, with the highest bidder quoting GH₵170 million.

He said the cost of the project includes the data solution, the service, licences and physical target of government building, as well as the marketing campaign.
He said the bid for the Ghana Post GPS was awarded at GH₵10 million and that the Valued Added Tax (VAT) alone took GH₵1.7 million from the amount, which went to the government.
Source: The finder

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