Thursday, April 21, 2011

Conduct of NSW election brought into disrepute

The conduct of the NSW State election has been brought into disrepute with the State Electoral Authority refusing to publish copies of the detailed preference data file.

Without access to this data it is impossible to verify the accuracy and integrity of the NSW State election. Copies of the preference data files are published (belatedly) by the Australian Electoral Commission and other state jurisdictions.

Electronic records are subject to modification and possible corruption. Publication of the data files limits opportunity for the data files being altered and changed.

The fact that the NSW electoral commission has refused to make this information available raises the obvious question why?


The detailed data file is a public document and as such is subject to an FOI application. The requirement for an FOPI application and the payment of $30.00 fee is an abuse of process. This information should be freely available and on the public record. It is not an onerous task. The information can and should be accessible visa a download from the NSWEC web site.

The NSWEC information policy states

In addition to the “open access information” the NSWEC also proactively releases other information.

Make an informal request

If the information you are after has not already been published, but is information which raises no particular concerns in terms of possible public interest reasons why it should be kept confidential, then the NSWEC may be able to release it to you on request without the formalities of having to make a formal application.
If you think this applies to the information you are after you can contact us to make an informal request.
Generally, we try to release information we hold without the need for you to make a formal access application, unless there are good reasons to require one.

We had made an informal request and also contacted Ian Bright, Manager of Information Technology, and was told in no uncertain words that this information is not available. 

We are left with no other option but to make an application and pay the fee to obtain information that should be readily and freely available.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Steve Tully's Information revolution under fire

The Victorian Electoral Commission has come under criticism for its management of the electoral role with many citizens complaining that the VEC has made false allegations against citizens in relation to voting irregularities to which the Commission is now seeking to take legal action.

Under Steve Tully, Chief Electoral Commissioner, the Victorian Electoral Commission has become the new stasi of State Government departments. The VEC is renowned for its half baked poor data administration. Crucial data records pertaining to the 2006 State election were deleted and destroyed with no copies or backups recorded.

The VEC administration is in disarray and there is a serious need for a open parliamentary review.

In the lead up to the 2010 State election the VEC, who had been granted access to private and confidential information from a range of government databases, had sent out notices to non-citizens telling them they had to enrol vote.

Steve Tully recently came under fire by Victorian Senator Scott Ryan who described the heavy handed approach taken by the Chief Commissioner in collecting data as the slippery slope for individuals loss of privacy.

Unknown to most and without any oversight the VEC has been compiling a massive database of names and private contact details.

Steve Tully, in what has been described as a fascist lust and zeal for power, has access to vast amounts of confidential private information from the Residential Tenancies bond authority, Vic Roads, Local Council rate notices, Library memberships, Educational Department student records and other sources. the VEC maintain this information on its database where there are little security to protect this information from misuse and abuse. Even private "Silent Enrollment listings are accessed for purposes that are not related to the conduct of the election. There is no record or monitoring who access the data records stored and for what purposes.

Steve Tulley has been given unfettered access to confidential information Information that should not be readily available. The VEC has then processed this information in a rather haphazard manner. there are numerous examples of mismanagement, misuse and abuse of information collected and held by the VEC including allegations that VEC staff have accessed the confidential information held for purposes not related to the issuing and casting of votes.

The recent stuff ups in administration are just the tip of the iceberg

The Attorney General needs to initiate a major audit and review of information technology and the information collected by the VEC.

Steve Tully should resign following the recent outrage

The problem that Steve Tully and the VEC data boffins have not realised is that the address used for electoral purposes does not need to be the same address used for Motor Registration or rental agreements, rate notices etc.

There is only one sources of information that can and should be relied on when determining who should be entitled to vote.

Birth Deaths and Citizenship records.

The only other requirements that the VEC needs to verify is the residential address in order to determine which electorate a person is entitled to be registered.

Questions need to be asked how confidential are you electoral details and why does the VEC need access to the detailed electoral role in the first place.

The Australian Electoral Commission has overall responsibility for the maintenance of the electoral rile. Why has the VEC been granted unfettered access to the rile data including Silent enrolment entitlements.