Organisational structure and leadership
At 30 June 2017, the National Office in Canberra consisted of eight key functional areas:
- Legal and Procurement
- Education and Communications
- Election Planning, Policy and Operations
- Roll Management
- Disclosure, Assurance and Engagement
- Finance and Business Services
- Information Technology
- People Services.
The smallest federal electorate is Grayndler in NSW – 32km2. The largest is Durack in WA – 1,629,858km2
The AEC’s state offices are located in each state capital city of Australia. The Northern Territory office is in Darwin. Divisional offices in the Australian Capital Territory office are managed by the NSW State Manager, except during election periods, when an Australian Electoral Officer for the Australian Capital Territory is appointed.
Divisional offices and electoral divisions
Divisional offices are responsible for electoral administration within each of the 150 electoral divisions. Each division is represented by a member of the House of Representatives. Divisional offices administer the conduct of electoral events, manage the electoral roll and carry out public awareness activities. Australia’s electoral divisions as at 30 June 2017 are shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Australia’s 150 electoral divisions
The Electoral Commissioner, Mr Tom Rogers, as the Chief Executive Officer of the AEC, both leads and is responsible for day-to-day management of the organisation. He is also the accountable authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
The Commission is appointed by the Governor-General and comprises the Chairperson, who must be an active or retired judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the Electoral Commissioner and a non-judicial member.
The functions of the Commission are set out in sections 7 and 7A of the Electoral Act. The Commission has various powers under the Electoral Act that can only be exercised by the Commission, particularly in relation to electoral redistributions, and political party funding and disclosure. Otherwise the Commission acts through the Electoral Commissioner, who is the CEO of the AEC (section 18 of the Electoral Act).
As at 30 June 2017, the members of the Commission were:
- Chairperson: Hon. Dennis Cowdroy, OAM QC
- Electoral Commissioner: Tom Rogers
- Non-judicial member: David Kalisch.
The AEC’s organisational structure and leadership are shown in Figure 2. Assisting the Electoral Commissioner are the Deputy Electoral Commissioner, two First Assistant Commissioners, seven Assistant Commissioners, the Chief Finance Officer and the Chief Legal Officer.
They are supported by the State Managers, who also hold statutory appointments as Australian Electoral Officer for their respective state or territory (with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory).
The First Assistant Commissioners are each responsible for a division. These are:
- Network and Election Operations Division – the Australian Electoral Officer/State Manager and Divisional network, Election Planning, Policy and Operations, Education and Communications, Roll Management, and the Industrial and Commercial Elections Program. The First Assistant Commissioner also performs the role of National Election Manager.
- Capability Division – Finance and Business Services, Information Technology, Disclosure Assurance and Engagement, and People Services.
Figure 2: Organisational chart and leadership structure at 30 June 2017