IBM's report on the error rate of the Senate scanning and counting solution

The request was successful.

Dear Australian Electoral Commission,

My request concerns the answer to a question taken on notice by the AEC at Senate Estimates on 23 March 2021, Question on notice no. 68; Portfolio question number: F068, linked here: https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...

The question concerned the error rate of the Senate scanning and counting solution. The AEC's answer states: "In 2016 IBM were engaged to provide a quality assurance process prior to the election to help validate the developed Senate scanning solution. The result of this process was IBM considered the quality of the AEC solution to be high. Based upon IBM’s outputs, it was stated the error rate appears to be <0.5%."

Although it does not say what form "IBM's outputs" took, I assume those outputs are documents in a form that could be made available to the public. I therefore request, under freedom of information law, all of "IBM's outputs" from their validation of the Senate scanning and counting solution, as referred to in the statement quoted above.

Yours faithfully,

Vanessa Teague

Australian Electoral Commission

Thank you for contacting us.

This is an automatic response from the Australian Electoral Commission to confirm we have received your email.

For more information on enrolling to vote, federal elections or the AEC, visit www.aec.gov.au.

Please do not respond to this email.

Dear Australian Electoral Commission,

I am concerned that the response to this request appears to be delayed. I believe I should have received a response by July 23rd, 2021. Please respond promptly.

Yours faithfully,

Vanessa Teague

Legal Services Mailbox, Australian Electoral Commission

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Teague

 

 

Thank you for drawing to our attention that you made an FOI request on 23
June 2021. We understand that this request is for:

 

all of "IBM's outputs" from their validation of the Senate scanning and
counting solution, as referred to in the AEC’s response to a question on
notice asked at Senate Estimates on 23 March 2021

 

Unfortunately, your request was blocked by the AEC’s spam filter and was
not forwarded to the AEC officer for processing.

 

We acknowledge that the 30 day statutory timeframe for providing you with
a decision on your request has expired and the AEC is deemed to have
refused your request by operation of s 15AC of the FOI Act.

 

We ask you consider withdrawing your 23 June 2021 request and make a fresh
request which the AEC will seek to process as quickly as possible.

 

If you do not agree to withdraw your request and make a fresh request, the
AEC will need to seek approval from the Information Commissioner for
further time to deal with your request in accordance with s 15AC(4) of the
FOI Act.

 

Regards,

Louise Parrott | Principal Government Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal & Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

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Dear AEC,

No, I do not withdraw my request. Please attend to it as soon as you can.

Also please fix your spam filter - you could simply permit-list righttoknow.org.au

Yours sincerely,

Vanessa Teague

Dear Legal Services Mailbox,

Please acknowledge that you received my response, and that I did not withdraw my request.

Yours sincerely,

Vanessa Teague

Legal Services Mailbox, Australian Electoral Commission

Dear Vanessa

I acknowledge that we received your response. The AEC is in the process of seeking approval from the Information Commissioner for further time to deal with your request in accordance with s 15AC(4) of the FOI Act.

Regards

Louise

Louise Parrott | Principal Government Lawyer
Legal Services Section | Legal & Procurement Branch
Australian Electoral Commission

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Legal Services Mailbox, Australian Electoral Commission

2 Attachments

Dear FOI Officer

I am writing to request a s 15AC extension for an FOI request made by Ms
Teague to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), contactable at the
above email address.

Details of the access request

The applicant lodged her FOI access request through the rightoknow website
on 23 June 2021 for:

all of "IBM's outputs" from their validation of the Senate scanning and
counting solution, as referred to in the AEC’s response to a question on
notice asked at Senate Estimates on 23 March 2021 (complying with s 15).

A decision on the request was due on 26 July 2021. 

 

The AEC’s processes are that FOI requests lodged on the AEC website or
sent directly to [1][AEC request email] are then forwarded to the legal team
for processing. Emails from righttoknow.org.au have been blocked by the
AEC’s spam filter and then need to be manually released. In this instance,
the email was not forwarded to the legal team for processing. The request
came to our attention on 26 July 2021.

The decision on the request is now deemed refused.

Period of s 15AC extension sought

The AEC commenced processing the request on 28 July 2021 and requests a 20
day extension under s 15AC. This would make the new due date for a
decision 17 August 2021.

Reasons

·         The extension is required to process the request which was not
received by an officer of the AEC responsible for processing FOI requests.

·         The AEC has taken steps to ensure the spam filter no longer
blocks emails from the righttoknow website and is investigating ways to
have FOI requests automatically directed to the legal team.

Attached is a breakdown of how the AEC would use the extended period for
processing the request. It sets out the actions still required on the
request along with dates for when those actions will be completed:

Relevant documents identified – 6 August 2021
Documents assessed for release – 9 August 2021
Consult internal parties – 10 August 2021
Consult external parties – 10 August 2021
Decision drafted – 17 August 2021

Yours sincerely

Louise Parrott | Principal Government Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal & Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

T: (02) 6271 4662

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Jasmin Clarke,

5 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/02069

Agency reference: LEX540 the

Ms Vanessa Teague

 

Sent by email: [1][FOI #7537 email]

Extension of time application by the AEC

Dear Ms Teague

 

I write to advise that on 3 August 2021, the Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner (the OAIC) received an application from the
Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) for an extension of time, to process
your FOI request.

 

The AEC has applied for an extension of time under s 15AC of the Freedom
of Information Act 1982 (Cth) because it has been unable to finalise your
request within the initial decision period.

 

The AEC has advised the OAIC that:

 

·         On 23 June 2021, the AEC received your FOI request.

·         The AEC was due to provide a decision on your FOI request on 23
July 2021.

·         Due to an administrative error, your request was discovered in
the AEC’s spam folder which had consequently blocked ‘righttoknow’ emails.
The AEC advise that the email was not forwarded to the legal team for
processing until the request was brought to the AEC’s attention on 26 July
2021.

·         Steps have been taken to ensure the spam filter no longer blocks
emails from ‘righttoknow’ and is exploring avenues to enable requests to
be automatically directed to the legal team to prevent this error
occurring again.

·         Additional time is required to finalise conducting searches,
review and assess documents, conduct internal and external consultations
and finalise the decision.

 

The AEC has requested an extension to 17 August 2021. I will take any
comments you may have to make into account when deciding the application.

 

Please respond to this email by close of business 9 August 2021. If I do
not hear from you by this date, the decision maker will make a decision on
the basis of the information provided to me by the AEC.

 

You will be notified of the decision once the matter has been finalised.

 

Further information about extension of time requests may be found on our
website at [2]Extensions of time.

Contact

If you have any questions regarding this email, please contact me on (02)
9284 9847 or via email [3][email address]. Please quote OAIC
reference number at the top of this email in all correspondence.

 

Sincerely

 

[4][IMG]   Jasmin Clarke  |  Assistant
Review and Investigation
Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [5]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9847  | 
[6][email address]
[10]Subscribe [11]Subscribe to
[7]Facebook | [8]LinkedIn | [9]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #7537 email]
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-infor...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
5. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
6. mailto:[email address]
7. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
8. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
9. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
11. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

Dear Jasmin Clarke,

I am happy with the proposed extension.

Yours sincerely,

Vanessa Teague

Jasmin Clarke,

6 Attachments

Our reference: RQ21/02069

Agency reference: LEX540

Ms Vanessa Teague

 

Sent by email: [1][FOI #7537 email]

Extension of time under s 15AC

Dear Ms Teague

 

Please find attached a decision of today’s date for an extension of time
from the Australian Electoral Commission.

 

Sincerely

 

[2][IMG]   Jasmin Clarke  |  Assistant
Review and Investigation
Advisor

Investigations and Compliance

Freedom of information
Regulatory Group

Office of the Australian
Information Commissioner

GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001  |
 [3]oaic.gov.au

+61 2 9284 9847  | 
[4][email address]
[8]Subscribe [9]Subscribe to
[5]Facebook | [6]LinkedIn | [7]Twitter |   icon Information
Matters

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #7537 email]
2. https://www.oaic.gov.au/
3. http://www.oaic.gov.au/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.facebook.com/OAICgov
6. https://www.linkedin.com/company/office-...
7. https://twitter.com/OAICgov
9. https://www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speech...

Legal Services Mailbox, Australian Electoral Commission

4 Attachments

Dear Ms Teague

 

I refer to your request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act
(‘your FOI request)’ made through the righttoknow website on 23 June 2021.

 

Please find attached a letter to you dated 17 August 2021, and a zip file
containing 107 PDF documents.

 

Regards

 

Louise

 

Louise Parrott | Principal Government Lawyer

Legal Services Section | Legal & Procurement Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

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