IEC scoops prestigious award

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is one of the 2010 award winners of the Centre for Public Sector Innovation (CPSI).

IEC spokesperson Lydia Young said the Commission received the award for its "innovative use of information communication technology for effective service delivery."

For the 2010 CPSI awards, entries are made in the following categories: Innovative Partnerships in Service Delivery; Innovative Use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Effective Service Delivery; Innovative Service Delivery Institutions and Innovative Enhancements of Internal Systems within Government.

She said the IEC won the award for its results slip scanning project implemented during the 2009 general elections.

It was the first time the process had been used in the history of the IEC.

More than 38 000 result slips were printed with barcodes and scanned at the results capturing sites in order to provide a visual image paired to an electronic result.

The use of barcodes enabled the automation of linking the scanned image with an electronic record of the captured results.

The new functionality implemented for the 2009 elections was made available to all IEC staff at national office, the nine provincial offices and more than 300 municipal offices.

Innovation was achieved by using the latest image scanning and custom application development technologies to support the South African democratic process.

The solution utilised a combination of new scanner hardware, integrated packaged and custom developed software to scan, index, store and display the result slips.

"Transparency is especially important in ensuring that votes captured in the electronic Results System can be easily verified against the votes as reflected in the results slip signed by the presiding officers and political party representatives in each voting station," said Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Mosotho Moepya.

The Annual CPSI Public Sector Innovation Awards promote and encourage best practice in the public sector and celebrate the successes of individuals, teams and departments in the quest for a more effective and efficient government.

"The awards also serve as a tool for sustainability. When the innovative efforts of individuals and teams are recognised, we believe that it will motivate them to improve their projects even more and advance the projects' viability in the long run, thus contributing towards sustainability," said Moepya.

The awards have become an important conduit for entries into prestigious international awards programmes such as the UN Awards, CAPAM International Innovation Awards, the All African Public Sector Innovation Awards and the African Association for Public Administration and Management Awards.