​AEC to host websites in the cloud with AWS

The Australian Electoral Commission will be migrating all of its public-facing websites, which collectively receive over 100 million hits on election night, onto Amazon Web Services.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has made the decision to move its websites across to Amazon Web Services with the help of SMS Management and Technology (SMS).

While it did not disclose the value of the contract, AEC will work with SMS to migrate all of its public-facing websites into the AWS cloud. According to AWS, its websites collectively receive over 100 million hits on election night.

Under the agreement, SMS will also provide ongoing cloud operation managed services to AEC, following the implementation of the services.

Murray Rosa, SMS director of managed services, said AEC will be able to take advantage of AWS' 'as-a-service' offering.

"AEC's digital services are perfectly suited to a public cloud platform because of the varying demand. SMS, together with AWS, were able to provide a highly secure, scalable and flexible solution that responds rapidly to the peak capacity demands required during an election period," he said.

In November, the latest audit report into the AEC revealed that more needed to be done to improve information transparency and accuracy on electoral enrolment.

The audit carried out by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) assessed how adequate and effective the AEC was at implementing the recommendations the ANAO had initially made in April 2010 to improve the accuracy and completeness of the electoral roll.

The ANAO tabled nine recommendations as part of the initial performance audit report on the AEC's preparation for, and conduct of, the 2007 federal election.

In the audit, the ANAO highlighted that since the 2013 election, the AEC has commenced an extensive reform program to deliver long-term changes and improvements in the AEC's policies and procedures, which is expected to be in place prior to the next federal election.

The audit came subsequently after 1,370 Western Australian Senate ballot papers were lost in the 2013 federal election, which resulted in the election of six WA Senators being voided and another election held in April 2014.