We operate as an independent agency under the Electoral Act. We adhere to a range of major legislative provisions, as listed in Table 4. These provisions underpin our business processes, purpose, values and leadership capabilities, and help us to conduct our activities.

Table 4: Legislative framework
Legislative instrument AEC function

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005

Conducting Torres Strait Regional Authority elections.

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

Conducting federal elections.

Maintaining and updating the Commonwealth electoral roll.

Promoting public awareness of electoral and parliamentary matters through information and education programs.

Providing international electoral assistance in cases approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Conducting and promoting research into electoral matters and other matters that relate to AEC functions.

Registering political parties.

Paying public funding to election candidates and parties, and publishing financial disclosure returns of political parties and others.

Determining representation entitlements (redistributions).

Electoral and Referendum Regulations 1940

Conducting federal elections and referendums and providing voter information.

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009

Conducting industrial elections.

Fair Work Act 2009

Conducting protected action ballots.

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

Managing public money and property.

Freedom of Information Act 1982

Holding and releasing documents.

Privacy Act 1988

Storing, using and disclosing personal information.

Public Service Act 1999

Ensuring the effective and fair employment, management and leadership of its employees.

Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984

Conducting federal referendums.

Representation Act 1983

Establishing the number of Senators for the states and territories, which then determines the number of members of the House of Representatives for the states and territories.