THE SNP has privately admitted its electoral computer systems are “out of date” and in urgent need of renewal as it heads into the general election.

A leaked report prepared for delegates to the party’s annual conference in Aberdeen reveals the problem is one of many facing SNP HQ after years of inadequate management.

Others include a backlog of complaints about members’ conduct, poor communication with the membership and a lack of financial accountability.

It says a new Campaigns Committee should, as a priority, “oversee the renewal of the electoral IT systems, which are out of date”.

The general election is expected to be within 12 months, possibly as early as next spring.

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When Humza Yousaf became SNP leader after Nicola Sturgeon in the spring, he ordered a transparency and governance review to address the party’s money and management issues.

A report going to delegates in a private session this afternoon sets out the findings of that exercise and recommends a series of sweeping changes.

It admits the party has let down its membership after failing to scale up its operation to cope with the influx of 100,000 new recruits after the No result in the 2014 referendum.

The report also reveals a series of problems with the party’s culture and office bearers, its ruling boidy, disciplinary procedures and candidate selection.

The report recommends the creation of a Campaigns Committee chaired by the depute leader - currently Keith Brown - which would “organise and have oversight of all political and electoral campaigning - short, medium and long-term - and all issues related to it”. 

It goes on: “This would include assessment of candidates, the production and dissemination of materials and the development of electronic and IT tools for campaigning.”

While internal IT, data and communications would be run by a separate committee, “electoral IT should be the responsibility of the new Campaigns Committee and one of its priorities should be to oversee the renewal of the electoral IT systems, which are out of date.”

With a common complaint in the SNP being a lack of looking back at defeats, the Campaign Committee would also conduct autopsies of election results.

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The report goes on: “The committee will also analyse each election and electoral event, post-facto, and report on implications for the achievement of the strategic objectives.

“The committee will seek ways to improve inter-branch and constituency communication, with the aim of combined campaigning by branches and constituencies in their area to improve and intensify electoral activity and, in particular, the campaign for independence.

“The committee will establish a candidate assessment process, with a register of approved candidates and will institute a relevant appeals process using experienced party members and former parliamentarians. The group agreed that appeals in these circumstances must be seen as appeals against process and not re-hearings of the original assessment.”

The SNP has been asked for comment.