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GAO: Improve Standards for Testing Voting Machines

Posted by rjbiii on September 13, 2008

In a new GAO report (found here [pdf]), the NIST doesn’t come off so well:

NIST, which measures laboratories’ technical qualifications and then makes recommendations to [the Election Assistance Commission, or EAC], was the subject of many of GAO’s criticisms. Of particular concern, the watchdog agency said, was NIST’s reliance on generic international standards to ensure that the people conducting the assessments were qualified. NIST should have followed requirements in the 2002 voting law, the report said.

Recommendations included:

GAO recommended that NIST ensure assessors are qualified and trained properly, and that each laboratory review is well-documented. Similarly, GAO recommended that the EAC executive director make sure accreditation steps are documented thoroughly, requirements for the qualifications of accreditation reviewers are defined and appropriate records are maintained. The watchdog agency also suggested that EAC establish standards for determining laboratory financial stability.

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