Monday, May 30, 2011

Commission seeks to deny public access to detailed results: More questions raised about NSW Electoral Software

The NSW Electoral Commission has once again gone to extraordinary steps to try and avoid disclosure of detailed election results racing ongoing concerns as to the design, structure and certification of the NSW Electoral Commission's software

In what is seen a further example of misuse and abuse of process the Commission falsely claims that copies of the below the line preference data files used to tabulate and calculate the results of the State election can not be made available.  The Commission claims that in order to do so they would need to write a program to extract the data.

This has raised a number of questions as to the design structure and security of the software deployed by the commission.  Presumably the information is stored in a commonly used database storage format such as Microsoft access, SQL, MSSQL or similar.  Any computer person who is familiar with the data structure should be able to write SQL query to extract the data within 5-10 mins.  Bare in mind that the NSW Electoral Commission has an "qualified" IT team, one finds it extremely difficult to believe that the Commission is unable or unwilling to responded to the formal FOI request in good faith.

The request made to the Commission had requested that the FOI application fee be waived as the information sought is in the public interest.

Given the extraordinary effort made by the commission to avoid disclosure we wonder exactly what is it they are seeking to hide and prevent being made public?  Perhaps this is an issue that the NSW Corruption Commission or the Auditor General should investigate.

Public elections MUST be open and transparent, the information sought is readily available from all other Australian electoral commissions that data-entry preference data.  Why not NSW?

No comments:

Post a Comment