Dáil Éireann - Volume 608 - 25 October, 2005

Written Answers. - Election Management System.

  121. Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the status of the electronic voting scheme; the cost to date; when electronic voting will next be used here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30404/05]

  154. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to recoup the expenditure on e-voting to date; his proposals to ensure that no further costs are incurred under this heading; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30392/05]

  170. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether the electronic voting is [776] unlikely to be used for the next general election; when the system is likely to be used; the cost of the system when the estimated cost of testing and storing the electronic machines until such time as they are likely to be used is taken into account; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30386/05]

  592. Ms F. O’Malley asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the amount that is being spent by the State per month to store the electronic voting machines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30077/05]

  657. Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will report on the electronic voting project and the current testing being undertaken on the project along with the associated costs; if the current phase of testing takes into account the need for a voter verifiable audit trail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30584/05]

  676. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the costs incurred by the State to date in respect of e-voting; the annual projected cost; his plans to identify a more suitable use for the technology in question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30630/05]

  680. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the cost of public relations and consultancies in respect of e-voting; if further costs are likely to accrue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30635/05]

  Mr. Roche:I propose to take Questions Nos. 121, 154, 170, 592, 657, 676 and 680 together.

Following an open procurement process, my Department appointed consultants in July 2005 as part of a programme of further assessment, testing and validation of the electronic voting and counting system. The brief is to undertake a security and risk assessment of all aspects of the system and to devise a programme of additional testing. This work, which will take into account all relevant considerations, is intended to address issues raised by the Commission on Electronic Voting and demonstrate that the system operates reliably, securely and accurately.

The consultancy work, costing €92,300, excluding VAT, is under way and will be completed as soon as possible. The timing of the further use of the system is dependent on the progress made with the above work and the ongoing work of the Commission on Electronic Voting and on the dates on which future polls may be held.

[777] The total cost incurred to date in the development and roll-out of the electronic voting and counting system is €51.065 million, including €3.097 million in respect of awareness and education initiatives and €581,000 for work by consultants on assessment-testing of the system. In addition, information provided by returning officers to my Department indicates that the total annual storage cost for the electronic voting machines and ancillary equipment is some €696,000 which equates to a monthly cost of some €58,000. It is not possible at this stage to quantify total additional costs that may arise in relation to the electronic voting and counting system. In any event, such costs are likely to be small relative to the capital investment already made.