Electoral office seeks app partner

Elections New Zealand, the body which runs national and local elections, is planning a software makeover for its Electoral Enrolment Centre.

Elections New Zealand, the body which runs national and local elections, is planning a software makeover for its Electoral Enrolment Centre.

To achieve that, it’s looking for a technology partner with experience in application development, system, network and database administration and security analysis. The arrangement will be for three years.

Having provided at least two $250,000-plus software development projects and two “significantly sized” web development projects, both using open standards, is also a prerequisite.

Centre national manager Murray Wicks says a preferred vendor relationship was chosen, rather than outsourcing or a one-off tender, because “it makes the most sense, as we have ongoing and evolving technical needs that go beyond ‘build and operate’ scenarios.

“Outsourcing arrangements are inappropriate due to the high level of business knowledge required for our processing and a one-off tender is inappropriate as a large proportion of our business is ongoing, rather than build costs.”

A request for information calls for a wide range of competencies, but Wicks says “we believe there are vendors who can provide all these services, although we maintain specific relationships with specialist firms, such as [for] security audits.

“We would expect that those functions would often be provided using related tools and in an integrated package.”

The online data and entry system is the key focus of the centre’s aims, which in broader terms are “having simple, reliable and flexible systems that enhance and support roll accuracy” and will be delivered through “a number of system developments, bespoke and integration, and enhancements”.

An online data entry and retrieval system, integrated with Elections NZ’s website and with links to a call centre, will be at the centre of the new system. Wicks says at present, data entry and synchronisation is done using a batch system.

“It was originally based on an X.25 dial-up network and while it has been updated to run over TCP/IP, data transmission still occurs overnight.”

The centre plans to makes its vendor choice by May, with the relationship consummated at a later date.

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