Year in review

AEC overview

Report on performance: Outcome 1

Report on performance: Outcome 2

Report on performance: Outcome 3

Management and accountability



Financial statements

Summary of achievements

Updated: 25 November 2010
Outcome 1 – Voter entitlement for Australians and support for electoral events and redistributions through maintaining an accurate and up-to-date electoral roll
Enhanced understanding of electors' motivations The AEC undertook several research projects to improve its understanding of electors and identify ideas and actions to increase elector participation. Findings were used to redesign communication with electors.
Enhanced capacity for electors to engage with enrolment services electronically The AEC enrolment SmartForm was introduced in late September 2009, enabling electors to complete enrolment applications online. The online applications are subsequently printed, signed and returned to the AEC. A significant majority of electors who use the SmartForm complete all steps of this process.
Improved roll management system GENESIS (general enrolment, elections support and information system) became operational for all states and territories in September 2009, improving the AEC's capacity to process enrolment applications.
Effective support for electoral redistribution processes Support provided to the committees conducting electoral boundary redistributions for New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria allowed for the effective and timely conduct of redistribution activities in accordance with legislative requirements.
Outcome 2 – Access to an impartial and independent electoral system for Australians through the provision of election services
Successful conduct of the Bradfield and Higgins by-elections

By-elections were successfully conducted in the divisions of Bradfield and Higgins on 5 December 2009.

Ballot papers were produced and distributed to meet demand for early (pre-poll and postal) voting, as well as for use by mobile polling teams and on election day. Results were publicly announced within legislated timeframes and were made available on the AEC website on by-election night.

Checkpoint In response to feedback from AEC staff and polling officials following the 2007 election, a complete online training curriculum was developed, using modern instructional design techniques, for each of the 10 roles performed by polling officials employed during the voting period. The courseware and online delivery arrangements are well advanced in preparation for the 2010 federal election.
Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) In June 2010, BRIDGE won the 2010 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of 'Improving the delivery of public services', the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.
Successful delivery of the programs for industrial elections, protected action ballots and fee-for-service elections and ballots All industrial elections were completed within the required timeframes, legislation and organisations' rules. New policies and procedures reflecting significant legislative changes were successfully implemented for the conduct of protected action ballots, the demand for which increased almost threefold. A range of fee-for-service activities was undertaken to the satisfaction of clients.
Legislative changes arising from recommendations from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

Three pieces of electoral reform legislation were passed by the Senate in June 2010.

The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Pre-poll Voting and Other Measures) Bill will provide the basis for improvements to enrolment and voting services provided by the AEC, for the 2010 federal election. The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2010 and the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (How-to-Vote Cards and Other Measures) Bill will also introduce a range of measures to improve the efficiency and flexibility of enrolment and voting services.

Outcome 3 – Informed Australians through the provision of information services on electoral matters
National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC) In 2009–10, the NEEC's visitor numbers increased by nearly 7 500. The NEEC was awarded the Canberra and Capital Region Tourism Award for Best Education Tourism Program 2009.
School and Community Visits Program (SCVP) Outreach activities under the SCVP reached 227 567 participants, an increase of 65 percent from 2008–09. The online school and community activity reporting database (OSCAR), developed by the AEC, was launched on 1 July 2009.
Civics education The AEC firmly aligned itself with future directions for electoral education by contributing to the national agenda for civics education through the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Enrol to Vote Week Enrol to Vote Week was conducted in July–August 2009 and May 2010. In 2009, 1 791 secondary schools and colleges participated; in 2010, 1 685 secondary schools and colleges participated. In total, more than 35 000 enrolment forms were generated in 2009–10.
Mobilise the Franchise The Mobilise the Franchise project commenced in 2009–10 and examined ideas and actions aimed at increasing electoral participation. The project is ongoing, using social marketing principles to segment the electoral divisions by characteristics such as attitude, lifestyle, knowledge and skills.
Rock Enrol In May 2010, the Rock Enrol campaign was launched on the ABC youth radio station triple j, encouraging young people to enrol to vote in time for the next federal election.
Famous People Vote Too The Famous People Vote Too campaign, featuring a group of well-known Australians, was launched in June 2010. The campaign was designed to raise public awareness of enrolment and target 'missing voters', particularly among young Australians.
Market testing of letters Letters used for the Continuous Roll Update program were market tested, which determined that a new stepped approach would be more effective than the traditional letter format. New envelope and letter designs tested positively.
AEC website The AEC website had around 840 000 unique visitors and in excess of 5 million pageviews.
By-election official guide A booklet providing by-election information was produced and delivered to approximately 60 000 households in the Division of Bradfield and 69 000 households in the Division of Higgins. Due to the extremely high number of candidates contesting the Bradfield by-election, additional communication strategies were implemented to assist electors to cast formal votes.
Services supporting all outcomes
Gateway In response to staff feedback after the 2007 federal election, a new operational training strategy was developed, leading to the implementation of a new learning management system for AEC staff. The system has a strong focus on self-paced online learning packages, supplemented with targeted instructor-led training where appropriate. AEC staff are now able to undertake their election training at any point in the election cycle.
Internal communications

The AEC increased its internal communication activity and capability. A new team was established to build new communication tools and channels, and to increase the effectiveness of internal communication.

In February 2010, the AEC launched an upgraded intranet as the primary internal communication channel. The new intranet is delivered to staff when they log on each day and provides a daily news service with information and updates on AEC activities and achievements.

In 2009–10, the AEC also introduced vodcasting (video communication) to enable the Electoral Commissioner to communicate on significant issues to the AEC's dispersed workforce.