open Secondary menu

Technology and the Voting Process

Appendix A: Project Mandate and Study Team

1. Our mandate

Under contract to Elections Canada (contract #05005-97-1001) KPMG and Sussex Circle's mandate was to identify the forces and factors that have changed, or threaten to change, the environment in which elections are conducted in Canada, notably:

  • changes in the attitudes, perceptions and voting habits of Canadians; and,
  • the effects of information and communications technology, and the opportunities offered therein to enhance Canadians' accessibility to the voting process.

Two factors in particular help define the strategic context for this study.

  • The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has been sharing information, data and experience with provincial governments and other jurisdictions, with a view to reducing costs and enhancing the capacity of all partners to fulfill their respective mandates. This trend is likely to continue and represents an opportunity for the CEO to play leading roles both in Canada and abroad.
  • While new information and communications technologies are beginning to change how elections are conducted in Canada, the full possibilities and implications of "electronic democracy" have only begun to be explored. This is an area where the CEO is uniquely positioned and qualified to provide advice to Parliament.

In his February 1994 report after the 35th General Election, the CEO suggested Parliament may wish to undertake a careful review of the implications of the new technologies for electoral democracy in Canada. And in his 1994 Strategic Plan, the CEO identified the emerging trends and challenges facing the Office. In addition in 1997, following the 36th General Election the CEO reported on electoral system innovations to Parliament particularly the Register of Electors, and the CEO undertook a preliminary study of electronic democracy representing the Office's first step in exploring the use of technologies to facilitate the voting process in Canada at the federal level.

It is the responsibility of the CEO to advise Parliament on what he and his Office should be doing, to fulfill this mandate in the most efficient and effective fashion.

The chief benefit of our study, therefore, will lie in its articulating a clear, well-grounded vision of how technology can be used to enhance the voting process in Canada, and a rigorous analysis of the issues and options that will face Parliament and the Canadian electorate with respect to the voting process into the 21st century.

2. Study team

Ian Clark is a Partner in the KPMG Centre for Government. A former Rhodes Scholar, scientific researcher and policy analyst, Mr. Clark's 24 years of experience in the federal government and International Monetary Fund have made him one of Canada's experienced implementers of, and commentators on, changing management and decision-making practices in the public sector. Mr. Clark most recently represented Canada, Ireland and ten Caribbean countries as an Executive Director at the IMF. Prior to that he was Secretary of the Treasury Board and Comptroller-General of Canada.

Rainer Beltzner is a Senior Partner in the Strategic Technologies Group of KPMG. Mr. Beltzner is a recognized expert with 25 years experience in the fields of business system and technology evaluation, strategic planning for technology driven business systems, information systems security, business process re-engineering, project management and system certification. Mr. Beltzner is a graduate of Acadia University. Mr. Beltzner is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

James R. Mitchell is a founding partner of Sussex Circle, an Ottawa consulting firm that provides strategic advice on policy and organization to government and the private sector, both in Canada and internationally. Mr. Mitchell is a former Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Machinery of Government), in which capacity he was responsible for providing advice to successive Secretaries to the Cabinet and Prime Ministers on matters related to the organization of government, the reform and renewal of the Public Service and a host of other issues related to governance and change in Canada. He was a principal advisor on the 1993 reorganizations of the federal government. Mr. Mitchell holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Colorado.

Kathleen Barret is a Manager in KPMG's Strategic Technologies Group and has extensive experience in Information Technology consulting, specifically in the assessment of data centres and voice and data communications environments and call centres, designing network charge back systems, evaluating outsourcing alternatives, defining metrics for cost performance measurements and evaluating vendor strengths and weaknesses. She has also headed up a number of research initiatives, focusing on the voice and data communications markets in Canada. Ms. Barret holds a degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Alec Taylor is a Senior Consultant in the KPMG Centre for Government. Mr. Taylor is a former member of the federal government's Management Trainee Program with experience at Treasury Board Secretariat, CIDA, and Public Works and Government Services. Mr. Taylor holds a masters degree in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics.