RIA does not have funds to implement e-election workgroup's proposal

State's Information System Authority (RIA).
State's Information System Authority (RIA). Source: Nelli Pello/RIA

News portal Geenius writes the Information System Authority (RIA) does not have enough money to implement a suggestion of the e-election workgroup to involve more people in the process and hopes to rely on volunteers and expert help instead.

The workgroup proposed to increase the number of people who participate in e-elections, Geenius wrote, as it is thought the circle of people currently involved in e-elections is too small which does not increase the public's confidence in the system.

Margus Arm, head of RIA's eID department, said the agency has no money to hire new staff and instead sees volunteers and external experts as a solution: "At the moment, RIA is not able to hire additional people, nor does it have the resources to do so."

Arm said RIA shared the view that the development and maintenance of election-related information systems should be better and more sustainably funded. He thought the workgroup was a good initiative: "It provided an opportunity for experts to discuss face-to-face the security and organization of e-elections, especially during the electoral period," he said. "In our opinion, a similar broad-based format of cooperation could continue, because in this way, dissenting professionals can explain their views to each other." 

The e-election taskforce completed a report which includes 25 proposals for supplementing Estonia's e-election system, improving its reliability and managing risks last week.

Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Kaimar Karu said the report provided a useful overview of the issues surrounding e-elections.

"The current e-election system has been in development and use since 2005 already, and, as with any other complex system, it requires continued further development and improvement," Karu said last week.

The report by the taskforce, which was launched by previous IT minister Kert Kingo (EKRE), will agree on further steps in cooperation with other involved ministries and agencies.

Over a period of six months, the e-election task force analyzed all submitted proposals for improvement, and the finished report highlights 25 of the most important assessments and suggestions.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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