IsDons information management systems (databases)

Experience and achievements

I've been building database systems for over 20 years. I'm in the rare position of having been on both sides - both as a user and a programmer - which helps me to build an effective system for you.

Listed below are some of the systems I've built:


The Information Gateway to Electoral Resources (TIGER) - ACTEC

I was the database and IT applications administrator, manager, programmer and developer for the ACT Electoral Commission from 1997 to 2005. I designed, developed and maintained TIGER - a series of linked Microsoft Access databases, which covered all aspects of election management as well as the Commission's administrative functions. The various parts of the system are described below.

Polling places

This system maintains details of polling places, including premises, addresses, contact details, cost and any special requirements. It enables the official legislative appointment of the polling place. The system provides the official polling place lists for the media, candidates, the public and for posting on the website. It is also used to manage hospital mobile polling team schedules.


A large number of casual staff are required to work in polling places. This system maintains details of staff, including contact details, experience and skills. It manages the legislative processes required to appoint staff to positions. The system provides a number of printed reports, including staff lists for the officers in charge and polling place attendance records. It enables the reconciliation of payments, a vital function with staffing being one of the highest costs of the election. It also enables the management of the variety of training sessions required to ensure the staff are able to perform their duties and is also used to manage the evaluation of training and polling procedures.

Forms and materials

This system contains details of the variety of forms and materials required to conduct polling and other miscellaneous electoral and administrative procedures. It contains all the details of each item, including stock on hand, stock required for the election, and it uses functions to calculate polling place requirements based on the estimated number of voters.


After each election, those eligible electors who did not have their names marked off the roll in the polling places are sent a notice asking them either for a valid excuse or to pay a penalty. This system is used to manage this process. It imports the data from rolls that have been through a scanning process, it is then used to send out notices and process replies, including recording those with valid excuses, processing payments and issuing receipts, and eventually sending summonses to those who do not reply.


Details of party and non-party candidate are recorded in this system, which then provides a variety of reports required for various election functions, including result sheets and candidate lists for the media and the internet. It also has functions required to fill casual vacancies.

Election results

The Election Results System is used to record and publicise the results of the election.

Party registration and financial disclosure

This system maintains details of political parties as well as other groups who participate in the election process and are required to lodge returns of financial expenditure. It manages the process of receiving, checking and publicising details of returns, including cross-matching between parties and donors.

Non-parliamentary elections

The Commission runs a number of non-parliamentary elections, with the details recorded in this system, including the dates associated with the election (close of nominations, close of rolls, polling day, etc), contacts, results, candidates, etc. It has a variety of reports, is used in some instances to print ballot papers, and includes the required forms and procedures.

Vote estimating

This system is used to estimate numbers of voters at each polling place, by comparing the voters per polling place at past elections with current enrolment statistics. These estimates are vital as they're used to estimate staffing numbers and material requirements.

Records management

New legislation required the Commission to comply with record keeping procedures. This system controls the process, ensuring staff comply with the requirements when creating, closing or archiving files.


The finance system enables budgeting, preparation of estimates, recording of expenditure and revenue, and reconciliation of estimates versus actuals. It provides a number of reports used for a variety of purposes, including for the Commission's annual report.

Other systems

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Management of ACT Legislative Assembly school visits

The ACT Legislative Assembly's education officer required a system to enable her to manage the visits of school groups to the Assembly. I designed and built a database system that enabled her to manage the process of booking sessions, and to maintain contact details and report on the number and types of visits.

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Database-driven websites

I've created a number of database-driven websites. These are described in the web design section of this site under the following links:

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Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)

Over a long period of employment with the AEC I performed a number of roles associated with database design and development, from participation in user groups to actually designing and developing systems.

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Sporting systems

Payroll system

I created a payroll system for the local football umpires. This was used to enter details of matches performed each weekend by each umpire and calculate the amount of pay based on the grade umpired. It then enabled the payment of amounts into each umpires bank account as well as printing taxation group certificates (payment summaries).

Match programming system

The local indoor cricket and netball centre required a scheduling system, which I created to enable the programming of matches for the different sports and grades, taking into account the time preferences of each team and ensuring a balanced draw.

Football tipping competition

Football tipping competitions are very popular in work places. I created a system that enabled staff in a geographically-diverse organisation to enter their tips into a database on the organisation's network. This system was able to determine the weekly and overall winners.

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Other relevant experience

Your database system does not stand alone from the rest of your business, it should be an integral part of it. I have a range of experience that helps me to tie your system into your organisation.

Website management

Databases and websites go hand-in-hand. I can build you a website that is driven by your database, or a simpler site of static html pages.

Editing, formatting, writing, graphic design...

I can assist you with the creation and development of a range of publications for your needs, either electronic or print, or both.

I played some role in most, if not all, of the publications produced by the ACT Electoral Commission from 1998 to 2004. (Have a look at the publications page of the Commission's website.)

My roles ranged from writing, formatting, editing, proofreading, designing, liaising with printers, converting to web format (HTML and/or PDF)...


I can train your staff to effectively use and maintain your systems. Or perhaps your staff require training in other IT systems, or operational procedures.

I've had twenty years experience with training staff.

Staff: polling officials, casuals, temporary and permanent staff...

Tasks: writing, editing, formatting, designing...

Items: manuals, workbooks, presenter's guides, course notes, surveys, evaluations...

Subjects: a range of IT applications, polling procedures, office procedures, operational procedures, train-the-trainer...

Presenting: sessions from half an hour up to several days, from one-on-one up to 30-40 participants...


I have a range of management experience, enabling me to effectively manage your systems upgrade for you.

Finance and administration manager for the ACT Electoral Commission from 1997 to 2001, where I managed a budget of $2.5m in the election years.

Staff management, including recruiting, training and supervising casual, temporary and permanent staff.

Project management, including managing non-Parliamentary elections, managing various projects for parliamentary elections, a number of IT projects and a range of operational projects.

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