[Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting source code FOI request review.

Luke John email at lukejohn.me
Tue Jun 24 15:13:13 EST 2014

On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au> wrote:
> On 23 June 2014 11:56, Chris Neugebauer <chrisjrn at gmail.com> wrote:
>> One of our members, Michael Cordover, has been going through the
>> Freedom of Information process to gain access to the source code used
>> by the Australian Electoral Commision to tally Senate votes in
>> Australian federal elections.
> Has there been any attempt to address this at the policy level? ie,
> contacting the AEC chairperson, or the Special Minister of State
> (Michael Ronaldson) who are presumably responsible for setting the
> AEC's policy as to whether these public review/exposure is more
> valuable than commercial exploitation?
> For instance, I see from the AEC's JSCEM submission from 2003:
> "8.12 In the interests of transparency, and because there are no security
> implications,[41] the code will be available for review. Potential
> reviewers will
> have to have the appropriate infrastructure (such as a VB license) in order to
> undertake a review."
> Has there been any attempt to request source code for review on this
> basis via whatever the ordinary channels are? (as opposed to via a
> FOIA request)

My request for access to the EasyCount source code whilst
scrutineering at the 2014 WA senate election identified that
submission. See below for the aec response.

"The underlying code-base of EasyCount (Senate) is not made publicly
available because this program shares code with the AEC's commercial,
fee-for-service cote counting program. In that context the code is
considered to be commercial in confidence."

It is my opinion that the AEC acted illegally in denying access to a
scrutineer. However the act provides no recourse for the AEC not
fulfilling it's duties.

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