Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation
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Quality Management and Certification Against ISO Standards
The implementation of Quality Management Systems (QMS) allows organizations in both the public and private sectors to meet both domestic and international standards that substantially improve productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. Key benefits to such implementation include: the improvement of processes and procedures, management of information in the decision making process, and the shift to an organizational culture focused on continuous improvement.

DECO provides technical support to electoral bodies in the implementation of quality management systems and certification against ISO standards. In February 2014, thanks to the efforts of the OAS, the first-ever ISO International Electoral Standard, ISO / TS 17582: 2014 was published.

Creating an International Electoral Standard, ISO / TS 17582: 2014

Given the benefits of implementing Quality Management Systems in the electoral arena, in 2010 the OAS began an effort to develop an ISO electoral standard against which electoral bodies in the Americas and across the world could pursue certification. The new Electoral ISO International Standard, ISO / TS 17582: 2014, was published in February 2014.

ISO/TS 17582 defines specific requirements for eight processes that are fundamental to any election: voter registration; registration of political organizations and candidates; electoral logistics; vote casting; vote counting and declaration of results; electoral education; oversight of campaign financing; and resolution of electoral disputes. The standard creates the framework for an electoral quality management system that will help organizations provide more reliable and transparent electoral services. It also contemplates a certification system against which electoral bodies can be assessed, based on clear expectations and objective criteria for evaluating performance

Ongoing projects
Implementation of an Electoral Quality Management System (ISO/TS 17582) in the National Electoral Council of Ecuador
Estimated Duration: June 2013 to present
Partner: National Electoral Council of Ecuador
Donor: Ecuador, Spain

In June 2013, OAS/DECO sent an expert mission to assess the feasibility of certifying the National Electoral Council of Ecuador against ISO / TS 17582: 2014. Key processes that were evaluated included: voter registration; registration of political organizations and candidates; electoral logistics; suffrage; voting and counting; voter education; oversight of political finance; and right to the opposition (dispute resolution). In September 2013, the results of the diagnostic were presented to the leadership of the National Electoral Council.

The implementation phase of the quality management system began in July 2014. It is expected that certification will be obtained in the first semester of 2015. The principal objective of implementing the electoral quality management system is to strengthen the transparency and efficiency of the CNE, and promote more public confidence in the institution.



Projects Implemented
Diagnostic of Feasibility of Implementing an Electoral Quality Management System (ISO/TS 17582) in the National Office of Electoral Processes in Peru 
Estimated Duration: July 2013 to August 2013.
Partner: National Office of Electoral Processes of Peru
Donor: Spain

In July 2013, DECO initiated a diagnostic for the implementation of an electoral quality management system in the National Office of Electoral Processes (ONPE). The assessment involved a series of meetings with the different areas and officials of the institution to identify the gaps between current practice and the requirements of the standard. In October 2013, the OAS team presented the results of the diagnostic to the head of ONPE, Dr. Mariano Espinoza Cucho, the press and various officials of the organization. It was concluded that certification under ISO electoral will be viable within 4-6 months from the beginning of the implementation phase. The office is currently pursuing an independent implementation of the system.



Implementation of an Electoral Quality Management System (ISO 9001, ISO/DIS 17582) in the Central Electoral Board of the Dominican Republic
Estimated Duration: June 2012 to February 2014
Counterpart: Central Electoral Board of the Dominican Republic
Donor: Canada and Spain

DECO accompanied the Central Electoral Board (JCE) in its certification under ISO 9001 and the draft electoral standard, ISO / DIS 17582. The certification was applicable to certain processes: electoral registration and certification; recognition of political parties; electoral logistics; the voting process; vote counting; electoral education and the National School of Electoral Training and Civil Status (EFEC), among others.

In July 2012, an assessment was conducted to identify compliance gaps between JCE processes and the requirements of ISO/DIS 17582 and ISO 9001. Based on the results of this diagnostic, the OAS/DECO team designed an implementation and certification plan.

In February 2014, the JCE received certification against ISO/DIS 17582 and ISO 9001. Implementing the system of electoral quality management within the JCE will allow the organization to more adequately meet the expectations of voters, candidates and political organizations.


Implementation of an Electoral Quality Management System of (ISO 9001: 2008) in the National Electoral Board of Peru
Estimated Duration: October 2009 to December 2011
Partner: National Electoral Board
Donor: Canada

DECO provided technical cooperation to the National Electoral Board in the implementation of ISO 9001: 2008 in the following substantive processes: audit processes, citizen services, civic education, citizen registration, and the regulation of political organizations. The implementation also covered the following support processes: logistics, human resources and records, statistical and technological development, and planning, among others. The implementation of a quality management system within the National Electoral Board has not only allowed the electoral body to improve its services but also to identify which functions could be performed by third-parties to improve efficiency. The JNE obtained certification in December 2011.


Strengthening the Electoral Process and Registration Systems in the Electoral Tribunal of Panama: Implementation of a Quality Management System
Estimated Duration: January 2008 to May 2011
Counterpart: Electoral Tribunal of Panama
Donor: Spanish Agency for International Cooperation

DECO provided cooperation to the Electoral Tribunal of Panama (TE) in the process of implementing a Quality Management System (QMS) based on the requirements of ISO standards. The QMS was applied to four key areas of the electoral body: Civil Registry, Distribution of Identity Cards, Electoral Organization, and Information Technology. The process culminated in May 2010 with certification against ISO 9001:2008, making the Electoral Tribunal of Panama the first national electoral body in the region to obtain certification for the implementation of a QMS.


Implementing a Quality Management System in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Costa Rica
Estimated Duration: June 2009 to February 2010
Counterpart: Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Costa Rica
Donor: Canada

The OAS provided accompaniment to the Electoral Tribunal (TE) of Costa Rica in a diagnostic of the feasibility of implementing a Quality Management System applicable to two of its key processes: Civil Registry and the Electoral Process. The diagnostic identified the key requirements of ISO 9001 and the actions required to meet these requirements in the TE. The product of this technical cooperation was an implementation feasibility study, a gap analysis, a detailed work plan, and an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).

Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation

1889 F St., N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20006
E-mail: deco@oas.org
Phone: (202) 370-4526
Fax: (202) 458-6250