On October 27, 2011, the U.S. Commercial Service of the American Embassy in Romania participated in the closing ceremony of the USTDA funded “Feasibility Study for a Romanian Electronic Electoral Management System (EEMS)” project, organized at Palatul Parlamentului in Bucharest.
The Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA) received from United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) a grant in the amount of US $344,422. This funding was for a feasibility study for an integrated automation-based solution with the objective of improving the accuracy of voting and reducing the possibility for electoral fraud.
On March 2011, Texas based Cooper Consulting Company was awarded the grant by the PEA to develop this comprehensive roadmap for the systematic deployment of a fully operational Electronic Electoral Management System (EEMS). This system will be capable of automating vote authentication and the vote casting/counting processes for Romanian elections. It will also impact, and automate where possible, the electoral administrative processes.
The scope of the Romania EEMS Feasibility Study project is limited to the legally granted span of control and guidance of the PEA for elections in Romania.
Based upon Cooper Consulting’s experience and their local partner’s, CCT Consultants, all that was learned in this study is an integrated approach, utilizing the processes and functions of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) and custom development software. This will provide significant value-added benefits to the overall EEMS software development life cycle.
The full execution of the EEMS project will improve the technical and institutional capability of the PEA, leading to significant efficiency and effectiveness gains in the electoral process. It will enable further capabilities for prevention of fraudulent and other illegal voting, create a faster and more reliable tabulation process, improve administrative and technical capacities, and will allow for real-time monitoring of the election process and results.
Development of an IT-based election management system and improvement of the electoral process is also being driven by Romania's European Union requirements. The PEA is fully committed to the EEMS project and has demonstrated that it has the technical and administrative capacity to implement it effectively.
The U.S. technology enjoys a very positive image in Romania and USTDA support of the proposed EEMS will continue to develop a mutually beneficial business opportunity. The EEMS project will also benefit from the competitive playing field of the U.S. manufacturer’s computer hardware (including PCs, optical scanners, readers, printers, black boxes, etc.), specialized software applications, telecommunications equipment, database management and operating systems, and advanced security solutions.
The implementation of the EEMS system, based upon all of the research from this study, will also be beneficial in terms of the developmental impact, of the documented financial profitability and sustainability, and in closing the gaps in institutional, managerial, political, or legal factors.
Improvement of the election management process has been a priority of the Government of Romania and was a specific pledge of President Basescu to the Romanian public. He pledged, after the 2009 presidential election, to have an improved system before the next presidential election in 2014.
U.S. Commercial Service Bucharest