Alarming news broke recently that the CEO of the overseas owned election software company that has a contract with the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has been arrested on suspicion of putting American polling booth worker data on to Chinese servers .
Last week in Parliament I expressed my concerns regarding this critical software system, the election management system, and the procurement process which saw this company, rather than an Australian company and Australian based software developers win the contract.
I have again called on the Queensland Labor Government to ensure appropriate checks and balances are in place to guarantee security of polling booth workers’ data and other sensitive information used in elections.
It is a matter of the public record that the company the ECQ and Queensland Government contracted to deliver an Election Management System (EMS) used Chinese-Based software developers during the development of the system.
I have also advised Parliament that the overseas-based CEO of the parent company which won the contract tried to sue me last year, requesting an apology and financial compensation. I rejected this as my questions about the procurement process and cost of the contract were in the public interest and I believe continue to be.
There are still many extremely serious unanswered questions, such as how the Government can ensure security of data and the cost of the contract, which they have deemed “commercial in confidence” and won’t release.
Regardless of the outcomes in the USA, my concerns are with the sovereign capability, security and procurement of the Queensland election management system, as well as how this firm came to get a contract over local Australian suppliers and the unknown costs of the Konnech contract.
I will continue to demand greater transparency and accountability, as well as security of our election system so that Queenslanders have more than just the word of the Government. See my speech below in Parliament and I am awaiting the answer to a Question On Notice to the Attorney-General regarding the procurement process which is due mid-November.