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Government election app. “There are many more questions than answers”

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There are about four months until the elections, and a special application that will allow statesmen to film the work of electoral commissions is still not ready. According to our unofficial information, one of the elements of the application will be prepared by the Central Information Technology Centre. What about the rest? This is not known, because – as one of tvn24.pl’s interlocutors says – “there is no great desire to take part in a possible failure”.

Law and Justice’s ideas for changes to the Electoral Code were voted by deputies – despite the opposition of the Senate – in January, entered into force in early April.

One of the key “news” concerns a special application that will be used by shop stewards in all committees. Installed in their phones, it is to allow documenting the work of the commission and smooth transfer of the image to special servers.

– The need to create an application has been known since last year. You should check the stage of work on this – not trivial to implement – application or rather system – this is the signal we received from one of the officials of the Ministry of the Interior.

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What about the government election app? “I don’t have much desire to take part in a possible failure” Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Minister’s Duty

Although there is no official election date yet, October 15 is the most frequently mentioned date.

The provisions concerning the application are contained in Article 42 of the Electoral Code, which is extensive in numerous paragraphs. They indicate that the creation of this tool is the responsibility of the “minister responsible for computerization – i.e. the minister of digitization Janusz Cieszyński“. We asked the press office serving him, at what stage are the works on the application today – four months before the elections.

Janusz CieszyńskiTVN24

– Currently, development work is underway, and tests are scheduled for August – is the reply we received.

In the same e-mail, we asked another question asking for an indication of the unit that is working on creating the application.

– The implementation of the application is a statutory task of the Minister of Digitization – is the answer to this question.

However, the ministry of digitization does not create any applications – it does not have such competences as, for example, Microsoft or the native Comarch. The Ministry deals with the creation of legal regulations, supervision and provision of e-services. Therefore, the Ministry must select a contractor.

government Microsoft

The Minister of Digitization has at his disposal the “government Microsoft”, i.e. the Central Information Technology Centre, which currently employs about 1,100 people, including programmers and IT specialists. According to our unofficial information – confirmed by independent sources – it is supposed to deal with only one element necessary for the application to work. It is a module that will allow trustees to authorize themselves in the application using a trusted profile. So who will build the entire application?

– Negotiations with the strategic state-owned company PWPW are in progress [Państwową Wytwórnią Papierów Wartościowych – przyp. red.]which is responsible for printing documents and banknotes. This, however, is supervised by the Minister of the Interior and Administration, who has little desire to take part in a possible failure – says our interlocutor associated with the government.

We asked officially MIAwhether it gave consent to the PWPW printing house to participate in the work on the application. We have not received a response until the publication of the text.

Critically short of time

Films from the commission’s work, shot by shop stewards, are to be uploaded to servers that will guarantee the security of the transmitted data. This task was also entrusted by the deputies to Minister Janusz Cieszyński. So we asked the minister if he had already decided who would take care of it. – We will be able to provide information after signing the contract with the contractor. We are currently considering both commercial solutions and the use of the Government Cloud Computing – the minister’s communication office wrote back to us.

Our interlocutors are alarming that there is critically little time left to build and test the operation of the application, cloud, and, for example, the state of communication in the electoral commissions themselves. – There are many more questions than answers. I wonder how they will test the application in New Zealand or in Chilewhere commissions will also be established – says one of our interlocutors. Another adds: – No one knows yet how many shop stewards there will be, and they will have to be trained in the operation of the application.

Main photo source: Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

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