The Australian Electoral Commission has enlisted Accenture and Canberra-based IT service management provider Epicon for the first phase of its once-in-a-generation core systems overhaul.
Standing offer agreements with the two companies were published on Monday after a year-long procurement for tranche one of the election system modernisation program, also known as the ‘Indigo Program’.
The pair will deliver “initial and foundational capabilities for the modernisation program” over the next three years.
An AEC spokesperson told iTnews that Accenture will provide system and enterprise integration, while Epicon will provide service management, business process management and supply chain management.
The two standing offers come more than three years after the AEC first revealed plans for the overhaul of the country’s 30-year-old election IT system in an attempt to mitigate against future cyber security threats and deliver improved services to voters.
The modernisation effort was prompted by an inquiry in the aftermath of the 2016 federal election that found ageing IT systems and inflexible, outdated legislation posed risks to electoral integrity in Australia.
Two tranches will be used to replace as many as 93 systems and supporting subsystems that support elections, including the core election management system and roll management system election processing, which are at the end of their useful life.
The AEC is using an initial $96.7 million in funding provided in the 2020-21 federal budget to modernise the AEC’s contact centre and build a new system to manage its 100,000-strong temporary workforce during elections.
According to the commission’s latest annual report, the new electoral management system will improve its “capacity to adapt to the ever-changing environment and citizens’ expectations, as well as to effectivity manage security risks”.
The upgrade, which will cut across federal elections in May 2022 and May 2025, will then extend to electoral roll, counting and voter management systems, candidate management, cyber security and resilience.
“The elections system modernisation (Indigo) program is a shift in the AEC’s approach which will deliver a citizen-centric, agile technology platform,” the commission said in its 2020-21 annual report.
“The seven-year transformation journey will reposition how we provide electoral services and ensure ongoing integrity of the electoral system.”
Updated on April 8, 2022 to include AEC's statement