Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (112)

Joan Burton

Question:

105 Ms Burton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the annual report of the Comptroller and Auditor General in relation to the Government’s stewardship of the electronic voting project after the system was withdrawn prior to the local and European elections earlier in 2004; his further views on the Comptroller and Auditor General’s belief that the project should have been subjected to more rigorous cost benefit analysis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27320/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

I have noted the assessment of the electronic voting and counting project by the Comptroller and Auditor General as set out in his annual report for 2003 which considers a number of issues in relation to the planning and implementation to date of the project.

As regards financial aspects, the report records the analysis by my Department of estimated costs and savings, associated with the introduction of electronic voting and counting, which was carried out in the course of the planning of the project; it also acknowledges that the Government decision to move to electronic voting and counting was influenced primarily by factors other than cost. I am satisfied that this decision was fully justified on the basis of a range of identified benefits which, in addition to savings achievable over the longer term, include providing a higher level of service to the public, improving accuracy, flexibility and speed in the voting and counting processes, and making greater use in electoral administration of modern information and communication technologies.

Question No. 106 answered with QuestionNo. 100.
Question No. 107 answered with QuestionNo. 27.