Australian Electoral Commission plans to replace its 30-year-old systems

Australian Electoral Commission plans to replace its 30-year-old systems

Seeks industry advice for new system with cyber security as a priority

Credit: Dreamstime

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is seeking industry advice in order to modernise its current systems.

At the moment, the AEC runs 93 systems and supporting sub-systems which deliver services to citizens and political parties, support the work of the AEC and provide integration and interface services.

According to the request for information (RFI) documents, the current core software platforms have been in use for almost 30 years.

"The technology platforms that support these ICT systems, while old, are still capable of processing large volumes of data and are reliable for the short term," the RFI documents stated.

"These systems and associated sub-systems have been developed incrementally over time to deliver new business requirements and improve connection between business systems and databases.

"Most of these systems and sub-systems are bespoke in nature as no commercial off the shelf (COTS) products were available at the time to meet legislative requirements."

Now the AEC is seeking advice on how to modernise a 30-year-old system, however it does not have a specific time frame for when this modernisation could take place.

After the RFI process is completed, it plans to conduct a procurement process, subject to government funds approval, to support the design, development, acquisition and implementation of a new system.

Ultimately, AEC wants a new integrated roll and election management system to replace its legacy one.

It also flagged the issue of cyber security and the importance of maintaining the integrity of electoral ICT systems and protecting them against unauthorised interference

"Events within Australia have demonstrated that the risk of cyber-attack is increasing and even unsuccessful cyber-attacks can impact on the public’s perception of the integrity of the business process," the document stated.

An indicative implementation schedule suggests the first tranche of the overhaul, involving the delivery and implementation of a solution that delivers an election management function, would ideally be for the federal election due in 2024-25. This would be followed by a roll management function as a second tranche. 

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Tags AECAustralian Electoral Commission

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