Uncertainty over cyber security funding for NSW electoral systems means it is already too late to apply some fixes in time for the state election in 2023, the electoral commissioner has revealed.
John Schmidt expressed his frustration at what is now four failed bids for funding to protect electoral systems against threats.
Schmidt described the process as “Kafkaesque” and a “circle of hell” at budget estimates last week.
He warned that even with the money, fixes are “impossible” to implement before delayed local council elections due to be held on December 4, and that the funding door is rapidly closing for future polls.
Schmidt first raised the alarm about the commission’s precarious cyber security posture in April 2021, saying that more than 50 electoral systems required “urgent” fixes to be compliant with the government’s cyber security policy.
At the time, he said lack of funding for systems and personnel meant the commission “does not comply, and cannot comply in the immediate future, with … mandatory cyber security policies”.