SINGAPORE - The attendance of MPs in Parliament will soon be tracked using a facial recognition system.
According to tender documents on government procurement portal GeBiz on Thursday (Nov 7), the Parliament Secretariat will be implementing a facial recognition attendance tracking system to replace manual tracking.
The Secretariat, which oversees the organisation of Parliament proceedings, supports the Speaker of Parliament.
A facial recognition system will improve efficiency and enable Parliament to become a digitalised workplace, it said in the documents. Currently, attendance is manually recorded in the official minutes of Parliament proceedings.
The system, which will include solutions development, software licence and hardware such as the server, network switch, client laptop and video cameras, will enable Parliament to determine how many, and which, MPs are present during any sitting in real time.
It will also allow users to conduct free searches on the attendance for any sitting online, based on specified criteria such as the sitting date and name of the MP.
"During any sitting day, an MP will not be required to attend throughout, as not all issues will concern him/her. An MP may also 'come and go' several times during a sitting and there are also designated break times during sittings. As such, attendance needs to be tracked throughout the entire sitting and not just at the beginning or end of sitting day," the document explains.
The quorum for a sitting is one-quarter of the total number of MPs excluding the Speaker. Under the Singapore Constitution, an MP will be stripped of his seat if he is absent from Parliament sittings, or any Parliament committee to which he has been appointed, for two consecutive months without prior permission from the Speaker.
The tender requirements state that the new system must be able to generate exportable and printable reports on the number of MPs present and absent, and their names; as well as attendance records, such as when and how many times an MP was absent in a given time period.
It also includes the installation of an estimated six "inconspicuous" cameras in Parliament.
There will be a soft launch during one of the sittings, to allow the contractor to fine-tune the system's accuracy and performance under actual conditions. The contractor may also take this opportunity to capture and update the facial profiles of the MPs.
The closing date for the tender is Dec 2.