The new system will help General Election Commission to better manage the voter information, improving government transparency and accountability. By Wibisono Sastrodiwiryo, E-government Laboratory, University of Indonesia
After eight months of hard work since September 2011, the Contributing to Voter Register Reform (CVRR) eventually delivers their project to the General Election Commission (KPU) of Indonesia.
The new system is called SIDALIH, an acronym for “Sistem Informasi Pendaftaran Pemilih”, which means “Voter Registration Information System”. In Indonesia, the general election and presidential election take place once every five years, during which local elections are also held to select legislative candidates and head of government offices in 33 provinces and 497 regions.
The project was initiated to resolve a voter register problem plaguing the KPU since 2009. A steering committee (SC) was established to supervise the development of a new system and a group of experts was engaged to undertake the design.
The problem was the absence of a centralised database, integrated applications and mandatory standards. Regional offices used over 80,000 spreadsheet files in silo’ed applications, which rendered business processes difficult to manage and control.
The stakeholders are the KPU, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), political parties, NGOs, and public at large. The MoHA is responsible for the population data, which is the foundation for the national ID Card (KTP). Citizens usually don’t change the address information stored in their KTP when they move to another residence. As a result, it is often found that one’s KTP contains inaccurate information of the holder’s address of residence. The case would become worse when people apply for a new KTP without reporting to cancel the old card.
Meanwhile, the voter registry will need accurate address of residence of the voters in order to correctly arrange polling station at the lowest level of government administration. This is critical for the management of the logistical budget and distribution. Negative public attention will increase for every inaccuracy occurring within the KPU conduct, and when these problems are not quickly solved, the situation may end up becoming a national-scale political disaster.
The centralised database under the new system can be partially copied into the applications that are run in disparate locations. The sysam enable the applications to store changed made by local officers until the beginning of synchronisation process, which will be undertaken over the internet.
For local offices, internet access is only required when they synchronise the data with the central database, which the developers say is a fast and painless process. As everything will be synchronised into the central server, the authorities expect better vote registry delivery process to stakeholders.
This preliminary release of the system will be perfected over time as a sustainable process. From one election to another, necessary improvement will be undertaken.
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