Governance and accountability
The AEC maintains transparency, accountability and integrity through a clearly defined internal governance framework complemented by a range of external scrutiny mechanisms through which the AEC is accountable to parliament, government and the public.
The AEC’s governance framework is characterised by clear lines of accountability, decision making and reporting; and defined planning and performance management. Defined management committees, a planning, operating and performance framework and risk management strategies all support the AEC to:
- meet the objectives for which it is funded
- demonstrate accountability to federal parliament and other stakeholders
- identify responsibility for the management of resources
- develop, maintain and use information on the full accrual costs and values of producing deliverables.
The AEC is accountable to the federal parliament and to other bodies under specific legislation. AEC decisions and processes can also be the subject of review through the courts. The AEC also maintains systems and processes to manage direct enquiries and complaints from the public.
In 2013–14 the AEC:
- continued to implement recommendations from the 2012–13 internal review of governance to ensure arrangements reflect best practice
- strengthened internal audit procedures
- implemented a consistent framework for risk management
- updated the AEC Fraud Control Plan
- completed nine internal audits of business and operational areas
- introduced a revised Internal Audit Charter and associated protocols
- provided technical submissions and evidence as requested to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters as part of its inquiry into the conduct of the 2013 federal election
- provided legal services and participated in judicial scrutiny on a range of electoral matters brought before Australian courts
- dealt with over 600 000 public enquiries during the 2013 federal election.