Sunday, 19 October 2008

IEC website only open to Internet Explorer users

With all the interesting things happening in South African poilitics just at the moment, I decided to check out the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) website, to find out how our constitution might impact the date of the elections and when they can be called and how a new political party would have to register for the 2009 Elections.

To my absolute horror I was confronted by an error page, politely informing me that
"the current website is only compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer V4 (and upward) on the Windows operating system."

Is it not my constitutional and democratic right to use whatever browser I should choose, and to access their website with this piece of software?

It is not that they are unaware of the browsers... They polite me inform me that
"Our server detected that you are using a browser or operating system (e.g. Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome etc.) which is currently incompatible with our website."

I certainly hope that this is rectified in the VERY near future!

They do however still allow me (even with my Firefox browser) to check if I am registered to vote.

I just may not have much information about the election I am registered to vote in!


Fred said...

You've got to be kidding me !!

That's a shocker...

Anonymous said...

I'm currently on contract with the IEC and, believe it or not, I'm the one who was asked to urgently make changes to the IEC public web site, so that certain pages can be accessed by browsers other then IE.

I've been on contract at the IEC for just over a year and I have NEVER in my entire life come across systems that are so badly designed.

Just this weekend I have asked myself if I should continue my contract with the IEC or not. In my numerous years working as an IT consultant, never once have I walked out of a contract, but the IEC has brought me close to walking out on numerous occasions.

So what is wrong with the IEC?

The problem, as I see it, is that the IEC isn't run by the IEC. I've no idea how an "independent" body got itself into this situation, but simply put, the IEC is run by Accenture. Accenture has managed to worm its way so deeply into the IEC, that even the IEC's IT manager (Not a contractor) is unable to be master of his own (As in the part of which that impacts IT systems at the IEC) destiny.

Of course Accenture's only interest, in my opinion, is to milk the IEC, and subsequently the South African tax payer, for as much money as possible. 90% Of the IT contract staff at the IEC are Accenture resources. All of them are very nice people, but the majority of them haven't got a clue!

In my year of contracting at the IEC, I have become convinced that the IEC is seen by Accenture as a "dumping ground." A place where they can dump resources that they are unable to place anywhere else within the IT industry, and of course make money out of those resources.

I have also become convinced that Accenture purposefully extend IEC projects. The longer a project runs the more money Accenture stand to make from it. Projects that should take no more than two months are skillfully stretched to six months.

A few weeks ago I complained about the fact that no one is able to make up their minds, and about the negative impact this has on projects. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was paid to do a job and that it wasn't my place to question.

There is a lot more, but right now I don't have the time.

Alex Comninos said...

The IEC site can be easily accessed by modifying the user agent string of the browser.

See my post on the matter at

ss_blog_claim=5e7179a4973389379cb587fd31ed69cd ss_blog_claim=5e7179a4973389379cb587fd31ed69cd