[E-voting] Powervote goes into liquidation - Joe McCarthy on Pat Kenny RTE1 at 10:30

Joe McCarthy joe.mccarthy at arkaon.com
Fri Feb 2 10:26:09 GMT 2007

  E-voting machines company goes into liquidation

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

Fri, Feb 02, 2007

The company that won the Government's EUR50 million contract to supply 
electronic voting machines, which will have to be upgraded before they 
can be used, has gone into voluntary liquidation.

Powervote Ireland Ltd has nearly EUR1.9 million in cash in the bank and 
EUR2.6 million worth of assets, according to its latest returns filed in 
the Companies Office up to September 30th, 2005.

Last night the Department of the Environment insisted the liquidation 
would not affect its efforts to get the Powervote/ Nedap e-voting 
machines into use in the State, following the Commission on Electronic 
Voting's questioning of the security of its software.

In a statement the department said it had been advised by the company 
last September that it was about to carry out a "technical 
restructuring" of the Powervote group.

This involved the transfer of all obligations and rights under the 
contract with the department from Powervote (Ireland) to Powervote Services.

However, the company said in a statement that it had been envisaged "at 
the outset of the project that on completion of the system supply 
phases, that Powervote (Ireland) Ltd would be wound up on a solvent 
basis and that future development and support would be transacted 
through Powervote Services Ltd".

It said the company went into voluntary liquidation on January 26th last.

The department said that after consulting with the Attorney General's 
office "and on receipt of a written undertaking that Powervote Services 
will accept and assume the obligations and liabilities of Powervote 
(Ireland) under the terms of the relevant contract, the department wrote 
to Powervote (Ireland) on November 16th, 2006, stating that it had no 
objection to the proposal on the express condition that this undertaking 
is fully adhered to. Accordingly, there are no implications for 
electronic voting in Ireland."

It added that Powervote (Ireland) "has been the company principally 
involved in providing electronic voting services in Ireland and, 
therefore, most payments for these services have been made to the company".

The most recent payment was for EUR3,702, in December last.

Paul McCann of Grant Thornton has been appointed liquidator.

The company statement added: "The rights, liabilities and obligations of 
Powervote (Ireland) Ltd have been assigned and, as necessary, novated to 
Powervote Services Ltd."

© 2007 The Irish Times
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