The findings of the Commission on Electronic Voting, published today, have been seized on by all sides in the debate as proof of the validity of their position. The opposition parties attack Government incompetence while representatives of the administration claim that upgrades to the software are a credible and affordable solution.
To my mind, the only thing this whole debacle conclusively demonstrates is the void in accountability of civil service management across a whole range of activities.
While the Government must take political responsibility for the e-voting debacle, who in the ranks of civil service managers is taking operational responsibility for the mess? No-one expects a Government minister to personally check the system software, but highly paid senior civil service managers would have been directly involved in the day-to-day management of the e-voting project and the necessary decisions which led to this outcome.
Yet the political furore has deflected any flak from the people with operational responsibility for delivering this system.
Someone was asleep at the wheel and civil service management heads should definitely be rolling. Instead they're lining up for phase 2 of benchmarking.
Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Independent & the Irish Examiner.
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