The Tribunal Electoral de Panama is to upgrade the country’s multi-purpose National ID system which also serves as Panama’s voter registration system.
Under the terms of the $3.7 million contract, L-1 Identity Solutions, the prime contractor of the project, will deliver a complete multi-biometric solution that includes new enrolment devices, an upgrade of the biometric national registry, and integration services. The solution includes DFR 2100 Single Fingerprint Readers for fingerprint capture, ABIS System Search Engine for face and fingerprint image searches and BioTouch 500 and BioLogon Software for administrator authentication.
According to Magistrate Eduardo Valdes of the Tribunal Electoral de Panama. "We cannot overstate the importance of this project and its successful implementation to the government and people of Panama, particularly when we are in the midst of preparing for the next national elections scheduled for May 2009…We want the system to be operational in six months."
The Tribunal Electoral de Panama currently operates a two-finger database system of close to two million records that is used to vet individuals who apply for a new card or renew an existing credential to ensure there are no duplicates in the system. The database uses an earlier version of BioEngine technology, a minutiae-based fingerprint algorithm developed by Identix Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of L-1. The size of the database is expected to grow by about 20 percent as a result of contemplated legislation that makes it mandatory for all minors aged 12-17 to obtain a juvenile ID card with biometric data.
According to the plans set forth by Tribunal Electoral de Panama, implementation is scheduled to begin in February 2008 and extend through July 2008 with completion expected in time for Panama’s presidential elections in 2009.