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National party claims totally untrue

13 October 2004 Media Statement

National party claims on failed software totally untrue

Claims by the National Party that the Government approved the troubled software used by Datamail in the local government elections are complete and utter rubbish, Local Government Minister Chris Carter said today.

"I am advised that the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) did not review or endorse any part of Datamail's database product now causing the problems in vote processing," Mr Carter said.

"DIA officials did attend one general presentation given to numerous members of the local government sector about Datamail's products but DIA did not seek and was not given any access to the code or access to the software that would have allowed any testing or endorsement of any kind.

"What is more, DIA had absolutely no responsibility for reviewing or endorsing the software. Responsibility for running the elections, and selecting who counted the votes, rested entirely with councils. It has done so for more than 150 years," Mr Carter said.

"DIA did develop the calculator used to count single transferable votes in the election, and this process involved liasing with all of the companies directly contracted by councils to count votes.

"The calculator has worked successfully, and is entirely separate from the problem software," Mr Carter said.

"I'm amazed at the National Party. We've got a situation where candidates and communities still don't know the results of elections in their area. Instead of offering a constructive contribution to the problem, National is being completely irresponsible with the truth.

"A swift check can be made on this by the media, ring Datamail and ask them," Mr Carter said.


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