Performance report

The AEC’s performance is measured against the agency purpose, the six agency directions in the AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021 and the performance criteria in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS). The agency directions and PBS performance criteria are aligned, and both work towards the purpose as shown in Figure 1.

The AEC’s six agency directions are medium to long-term objectives:
1
   Continue to improve and modernise the delivery model for electoral events.
2
   Govern the organisation for quality and assurance.
3
   Professionalise the workforce.
4
   Uphold the reputation of the AEC.
5
   Build an agile and responsive organisation.
6
   Deliver high quality electoral services.

The agency directions guide the AEC’s activities and priorities and promote continuous improvement, enabling the agency to effectively deliver its purpose. The performance measures under each direction deliver the AEC’s purpose directly or through enabling activities.

To achieve the AEC’s purpose, agency directions and expected performance, the AEC manages two cycles; the Public Governance Public Accountability Act 2013 performance cycle and the three-year federal electoral cycle. Using the Election Readiness Framework, the AEC comprehensively prepares for federal elections, and other electoral events. The Election Readiness Framework gives assurance to the Electoral Commissioner that the agency is at a ‘level of readiness’ to conduct an election.

The framework encompasses the three phases of election readiness: evaluate and learn, implement change, and mobilisation. Through the Election Ready Road Map, each phase directs the activities to be undertaken. Throughout 2017–18 the AEC has been in the ‘implement change’ phase. This phase has been guided by lessons learnt from the 2016 federal election, and the work program priorities that resulted. All of these priorities will be completed by, or implemented at, the next federal election in 2018–19.

During 2017–18 the AEC also delivered three by-elections, 1300 industrial and commercial elections and supported a number of other events. The AEC is looking beyond the next federal electoral cycle to begin defining and shaping future organisational capability and to further modernise the model for delivering elections.

Annual performance statement

The annual performance statement details the AEC’s performance against each of the six agency directions. They include a result per criterion—either ‘not met’, ‘partly met’ or ‘met’—and an explanation.

The performance statements for 2017–18 are signed off by the Accountable Authority.

Statement by the Electoral Commissioner

I, as the Accountable Authority of the Australian Electoral Commission, present the 2017–18 annual performance statements of the Australian Electoral Commission as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. In my opinion, these annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the entity, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the Act.

Tom Rogers
Electoral Commissioner
30 August 2018

Figure 1: Performance criteria from the AEC Portfolio Budget Statement mapped against agency directions
Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS) Corporate plan

Maintain an impartial and independent electoral system for eligible voters through active electoral roll management, efficient delivery of polling services, and targeted education and public awareness programs.

Outcome in the PBS

Purpose in our corporate plan

One program: 1.1 To deliver electoral events

Six agency directions

Performance criteria

1
2
3
4
5
6

Elections, by-elections and referendums

  • Federal electoral events are successfully delivered.
  • Maintain ability to conduct a federal electoral event within a timeframe.
  • Timely conduct of redistribution activities.
  • Industrial elections, protected action ballots, and Torres Strait Regional Authority elections are delivered in accordance with the relevant legislation and rules.
1
2
 
4
5
6

Electoral roll management

  • High level of confidence in the electoral roll.
 
2
 
4
5
6

Party registrations and financial disclosure

  • Party registration processed in accordance with the Electoral Act.
  • Financial disclosures obtained and placed on the public record in accordance with the Electoral Act.
 
2
3
4
 
6

Public awareness

  • Deliver communication, education and public awareness activities to inform all Australians of electoral matters.
 
 
3
4
5
6

Performance statement – agency direction one

Continue to improve and modernise the delivery model for electoral events

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met

Performance measure in AEC corporate plan*

Link to purpose

Result

Explanation of result

1.1 Maintain the ability to conduct a federal election event within required timeframes

Efficient delivery of polling services

 

At June 2018, election planning governed by the Election Readiness Framework was broadly on track in relation to the Directed Level of Election Readiness set by the Electoral Commissioner.

Ongoing planning efforts for the next federal election were balanced with the delivery of three federal by-elections, seven Senate special counts and support for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey (see Conducting successful electoral events).

1.2 Operational planning is integrated through the national Election Ready Road Map

Efficient delivery of polling services

 

An integrated operational planning framework, linking all layers of election planning (national, state and divisional), was developed and associated election plans were assured. This follows lessons from the 2016–17 election.

Divisional and state office staff participated in learning programs designed to develop consistent planning skills and test this capability.

1.3 Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of election delivery through enhanced coordination and consolidation of electoral business processes

Efficient delivery of polling services

 

The AEC’s two largest work priorities – Counting the Senate and Supply Chain Management – focus on implementing nationally consistent, streamlined processes to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of election delivery.

At June 2018 Counting the Senate is on track to deliver an effective ongoing model for counting Senate ballot papers and embedding this work for multi-election use.

At June 2018 a centrally-led and coordinated supply chain model had been trialled at a by-election. This capability is designed to supply, distribute and return election materials and equipment to and from multiple areas of the AEC during an election event.

This performance measure is assessed as partly met, as neither capability will be fully tested until the next federal election.

1.4 Clear two-way internal communication channels enable timely exchange of information at all levels

Enabling

 

The AEC made incremental improvements to support effective internal communication following lessons from the 2016 federal election. These improvements are designed to enable staff across the AEC’s Australia-wide network to access the right information, at the right time, during an election event.

They include a communication blueprint to guide AEC internal communication, an enhanced intranet homepage, a new service management tool to support internal service desks, and an operational issues management protocol to communicate with officers in charge during polling and with staff in out-posted centres following polling.

These approaches will be implemented at July 2018 by-elections and at the next federal election.

1.5 Industrial elections, Protected Action Ballots and Torres Strait Regional Authority elections are delivered in accordance with legislation and rules

Efficient delivery of polling services

 

The AEC conducted 1300 industrial and commercial election events in 2017–18.

The number of industrial and commercial elections increased by 60% from 2016–17. Compliance with legislation and rules was consistently monitored with two per cent of events reporting an issue requiring further management. This met the AEC performance target.

An important element of this performance measure is the ongoing commitment to continually improve and modernise our delivery of industrial and commercial elections. As a result, this performance measure is assessed as partly met.

During 2017–18 the AEC released a new event management system and updated policies and procedures to support nationally consistent delivery of industrial and commercial elections.

The future operating model for delivering industrial and commercial elections will be finalised following the next federal election.

One Torres Strait Regional Authority casual vacancy election was also conducted in accordance with legislation and rules.

* Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021, p. 9.

What we did:

Throughout 2017–18 the AEC focused on continually improving and modernising delivery of electoral events. This included:

  • maintaining an appropriate level of election planning and readiness using the Election Readiness Framework. The Election Ready Road Map (planning path for federal elections) was in the ‘implement change’ phase throughout the year
  • implementing targeted enhancements to election planning, delivery and voter services through the 13 work priorities identified following the 2016 election. Key focus areas included planning, coordinating and consolidating, communication and information management, and training and recruiting.
  • implementing legislative and procedural change, while maintaining ongoing planning efforts for the next federal election. This included implementing changes to electoral authorisation requirements as a result of the Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017, and changes to the nomination process for people wishing to stand as candidates in elections. A qualification checklist was introduced as a result of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Eligibility) Regulations 2018
  • delivering elements of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey on behalf of the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • standing ready to deliver election events as they arose. Three by-elections provided opportunities to pilot and trial key work priorities in an operational environment, and to collect data and evidence to continue improving election delivery and voter services

In 2018–19 we are:

  • maintaining an appropriate level of election readiness
  • conducting assurance checks, reviewing key activities, and rehearsing and training staff before mobilisation to deliver a federal election expected in 2018–19
  • implementing work priorities at the next federal election. As we move into an ‘evaluate and learn’ phase (depending on the timing of the federal election), a new set of priorities based on lessons from election delivery will then be determined

Performance statement – agency direction two

Govern the organisation for quality and assurance

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met
Performance measure in AEC corporate plan* Link to purpose Result Explanation of result

2.1 The governance framework is effective in supporting business outcomes

Enabling

 

In 2017–18 AEC governance committees remained focused on business improvement and assurance (see corporate governance)

Overarching frameworks and reporting support these committees, and were maintained and enhanced throughout the year. Performance, risk and project management were a focus.

An annual survey of governance committee members was undertaken to confirm committees are working effectively and supporting agency directions.

2.2 High level of confidence in the electoral roll

Active electoral roll management

 

At June 2018 electoral roll completeness—measured through the enrolment rate—remained at a historic high rate of 96.3%.

Accuracy and integrity of the electoral roll—at the divisional and individual address level—remained high at 96% and 93% respectively.

In 2017–18 the AEC’s target of 95 per cent for enrolment processing over five days was achieved, with the 30-day processing rate falling 0.2% under the 99.5% target.

Enhancements to the AEC’s Online Enrolment System saw an average of 44.3% of enrolment transactions automatically approved through this system in 2017–18.

2.3 Timely conduct of redistributions

Active electoral roll management

 

In 2017–18 the AEC supported five federal redistributions in Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Redistribution timeframes were met in accordance with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The Tasmanian redistribution was determined in November 2017 and Queensland in March 2018 and all legislative requirements were met (see Appendix F for redistribution data).

* Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021, p. 10.

What we did:

Throughout the year we emphasised quality assurance and continued to increase the maturity of agency-wide governance arrangements. Work included:

  • undertaking a comprehensive review of the AEC’s risk management function
  • updating the AEC’s project management processes including a new project management engagement model
  • reviewing our approach to performance reporting following the last Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 reporting cycle. This included redeveloping the AEC Performance Reporting Framework
  • managing the Commonwealth Electoral Roll to ensure public and stakeholder confidence in roll completeness, accuracy and integrity. The enrolment rate stands at 96.3 per cent with 16,136,122 Australians enrolled at June 2018. This high level of enrolment is supported by the Federal Direct Enrolment Update Program and Online Enrolment System, alongside increased enrolment activity through the 2016 federal election and the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. High accuracy and integrity measures were reported through the Annual Roll Integrity Report (ARIR) at the divisional and address-level. These high rates of accuracy are also associated with a high enrolment rate and improved enrolment processes
  • processing over 3.3 million enrolment transactions, with 97.7% completed within five days and 99.3% in 30 days. This exceeds the agency target of 95% for five day processing and is just short of the target of 99.5% for 30 day processing
  • enhancing the AEC Online Enrolment System to improve services for electors and increase the accuracy and efficiency of enrolment processing. In 2017–18 an average of 44.3% of transactions were approved automatically, slightly below the target of 45 per cent. In July 2017, 49.1 per cent of transactions were approved automatically, increasing to 60.3 per cent in June 2018. Transaction processing figures were slightly below target in August and September 2017 due to increased enrolment activity around the marriage law survey
  • supporting the timely conduct of five federal redistributions. Redistributions were determined for Tasmania in November 2017 and Queensland in March 2018. Redistributions for Victoria, South Australia and the ACT were determined in July 2018 with all legislative requirements anticipated to be completed by October 2018

In 2018–19 we are:

  • reviewing the AEC’s funding model to better align agency resources with priorities and functions
  • preparing a risk appetite statement to define the level and type of risk that the AEC is willing to accept to meet agency objectives and day to day operations
  • continuing to actively manage the electoral roll to ensure the public and stakeholders retain a high level of confidence in the roll. With the current high rate of enrolment, community engagement efforts will focus on Australians that may face barriers to enrolment

Performance statement – agency direction three

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met
Professionalise the workforce
Performance measure in AEC corporate plan* Link to purpose Result Explanation of result

3.1 Staff are role capable and have a clear understanding of expectations and accountabilities

Enabling

 

In 2017–18 the AEC made significant investment in face-to-face training for staff at all levels across the national, state and divisional office network. Programs were designed to support critical operational and leadership capabilities and included:

  • the Election Readiness Program
  • the Australian Electoral Officer Capacity Building Program
  • divisional and state election planning and learning programs
  • the Election Experience Program
  • design of large scale rehearsals of critical election processes, to be delivered in 2018–19
  • enhanced online and face-to-face training for the temporary election workforce
  • The AEC also supported broad based eLearning, with:

  • 95% of identified divisional and state office staff completing election-specific eLearning
  • 92% of identified AEC staff completing mandatory corporate online training on core public service skills and knowledge

Completion rates met the 90 per cent targets set for this training.

3.2 Regular use of human resource analytics supports current and future workforce planning

Enabling

 

Established human resource metrics are reported monthly through the Human Resources Scorecard, including targeted approaches to excess recreation leave, higher duties, mandatory corporate training and unscheduled absences.

This indicator has been partly met as the current approach is not yet supported by business intelligence systems and approaches that can inform broader workforce planning efforts. As part of the AEC’s new organisational design, a dedicated business intelligence capability is being established with tools to support further development of analytics in this area.

*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021 p. 10.

What we did

The AEC‘s core and temporary workforce is critical to the successful delivery of electoral events and services, and enables the AEC to deliver its purpose. The AEC workforce surges to around 80,000 on polling day for a federal election.

Throughout 2017–18 the AEC continued its significant investment in learning programs, approaches and tools. These are designed to build the core capabilities of staff and supports the temporary election workforce. Face-to-face training and development programs help develop professional, skilled and knowledgeable staff who understand their roles and accountabilities, and who can perform their role effectively during an electoral event (see developing people). These programs included:

  • the Election Readiness Program—the AEC’s flagship professional development program was delivered to 240 AEC staff undertaking the role of Divisional Returning Officer and other critical operational roles at the next federal election. A training facility at Essendon Fields has been established with learning spaces replicating key election environments. The program’s objectives are:
    1. building and enhancing critical operational and leadership capabilities that underpin election readiness
    2. building peer networks
    3. providing participants with a ‘realistic preview’ of election period activities and a simulation of key election activities
  • the Australian Electoral Officer Capacity Building Program—delivered to 25 AEC senior leaders
  • divisional and state election planning and learning programs—a holistic approach to planning and learning activities for divisional and state office staff which was delivered as part of election readiness
  • the Election Experience Program—delivered to 51 staff with little or no election experience to build their knowledge and understanding through participation in an electoral event
  • designing large scale rehearsals of election critical processes—for delivery to AEC staff nationally. These rehearsals were postponed and rescheduled to 2018–19 due to by-elections and impending legislative change regarding nominations. A declaration exchange rehearsal will commence in October 2018 and a nominations rehearsal date is yet to be determined
  • reviewing and enhancing eLearning and face-to-face training programs for the temporary election workforce to be delivered before the next federal election. Eleven videos were produced to complement self-paced online and face-to-face training, and are also a stand-alone learning aid for just-in-time training

In 2018–19 we are:

  • assessing the benefits and lessons to be learnt from our training and development programs before and after delivery of the next federal election. This will help guide longer-term approaches for the next electoral cycle

Performance statement – agency direction four

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met
Uphold the reputation of the AEC
Performance measure in AEC corporate plan* Link to purpose Result Explanation of result

4.1 Productive relationships with the Minister, Parliament, key agencies and other stakeholders are maintained

Maintain an impartial and independent electoral system

 

In 2017–18 productive working relationships were maintained with the Minister and Parliament by:

  • providing the Minister’s office with 70 submissions and 63 items of correspondence that met performance targets
  • receiving no complaints from Parliamentary committees on timeliness or quality of AEC responses to requests for information or submissions, including Questions on Notice

A key feature of AEC engagement over the reporting period was informing political stakeholders of changes to legislative requirements that would apply to by-elections.

This was supported with briefing scripts for candidate and political party information sessions to be held in the by-election divisions.

4.2 High quality reporting and advice supports the future direction of the AEC

Maintain an impartial and independent electoral system

 

In 2017–18 the AEC provided timely information and advice on electoral management and delivery of electoral services:

  • to three parliamentary committees for six inquiries, which included providing 10 submissions and attending eight public hearings
  • in response to requests for information to support various government agencies
  • by attending three Senate Estimates hearings and responding to 48 Senate Estimates Questions on Notice within the timeframes allocated by the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee
*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021, p. 10.

What we did

The AEC is required or invited to provide accurate and timely technical information and advice on electoral management and operations to a range of stakeholders. This includes to the government, the Parliament, government agencies, political parties and the public. As an independent statutory body, the AEC undertakes this role to support an impartial and independent electoral system, a core aspect of the agency’s purpose. In 2017–18 this included:

  • engaging regularly with key stakeholders and providing information and services that allow them to carry out their obligations and responsibilities under the Electoral Act 1918. This included providing information on:
    • the requirements for political party registration
    • maintaining the funding and disclosure scheme for political parties
    • the supply of electoral roll products and services to state and territory electoral commissions
    • providing clear information to political stakeholders on changes to legislative requirements that applied to by-elections. This included formal correspondence from the Electoral Commissioner and developing briefing scripts for candidate and political party information sessions
    • achieving a positive response to the quality of the AEC’s contributions to key committees. This included comments from the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters who noted the significant breadth of work undertaken by the AEC on modernisation and reform since the 2016 federal election

In 2018–19 we are:

  • developing a digital portal (online self-service solution) to more efficiently engage with political parties as they carry out their legislative responsibilities and obligations
  • engaging and collaborating with national and international electoral management bodies to improve systems, services and learning through knowledge sharing
  • transitioning to the Parliamentary Document Management System, which will enhance tracking and reporting of indicators under this agency direction

Performance statement – agency direction five

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met
Build an agile and responsive organisation
Performance measure in AEC corporate plan* Link to purpose Result Explanation of result

5.1 Create an environment to encourage innovative practices to support the AEC and the conduct of electoral events

Enabling

 

In 2017–18 the AEC continued to use the lessons learned framework to enhance the way it operates and to foster greater innovation. The current suite of 13 agency work priorities embody this approach.

The Polling Place Operations work priority (including the modelling of key election metrics) is an important example of how innovation can be used to integrate lessons and data back into AEC election planning and delivery.

5.2 Define a vision of future organisational capability

Enabling

 

In 2017–18 a new organisational design structure was implemented for non-election periods, in both national and state offices.

This result is only partly met. While the resources and capabilities for the new structure for election periods is close to being finalised, the organisational structure for AEC divisional offices and the delivery of industrial and commercial elections will be implemented after the next federal election.

The AEC also pursued a nationally coordinated whole-of-agency approach to staff training and development including:

  • an agreed funding model
  • the launch of an online ‘learning hub’
  • oversight by the Learning Governance Committee established in June 2017

Following a strong operational emphasis, the focus is now moving to developing a long-term strategic approach to AEC training and development.

5.3 Ability to identify and respond to emerging opportunities and risks

Enabling

 

In 2017–18 the AEC began developing a business case to modernise the agency’s main election and enrolment systems. A dedicated team has been established and the business case is progressing in accordance with agreed milestones.

*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021, p. 11.

What we did

Throughout 2017–18 the AEC invested in its people and systems to build organisational capability and support responsiveness and agility. This included:

  • continuing to use the AEC lessons learned framework to foster innovation and enhance the way the AEC operates. The framework standardises the way we gather observations on AEC operations, including processes, procedures, systems, materials and policies. These observations are then reviewed and analysed, and actions defined. AEC staff continued providing their observations at by-elections throughout 2017–18
  • improving the voter experience, in particular queuing, which was identified as a lesson to be learned following the 2016 federal election. Through the Polling Place Operations work priority (including the Modelling Key Election Metrics Project) the AEC engaged Deakin University to simulate polling place operations and capture key data to improve the voter experience for the next federal election. The Bennelong by-election also enabled us to validate some of this data in a live polling environment. The data collected by Deakin University using time and motion studies, and modelling and process design, was used to develop computer based models to improve polling place processes and the positioning of staff and materials.
  • implementing a new organisational design. The AEC was allocated funding in 2017–18 through the Department of Finance’s Public Sector Modernisation Fund. Building on work undertaken in 2016–17, this funding was received to review how the AEC will:
    • provide the necessary capability and organisational agility to deliver AEC functions within average staffing levels
    • respond to the increasing complexity of electoral operations and plan for future demands on the agency
    • The review will be finalised following the next federal election
  • engaging with key stakeholders – including the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the Department of Finance and a range of government agencies – on the need to modernise core electoral systems. The AEC is developing a business case to modernise election and roll management systems. The business case is being prepared in line with milestones set by the ICT investment approval process and is expected to be delivered in August 2018

In 2018–19 we are:

  • exploring opportunities to use and augment business intelligence and data to support effective decision-making and electoral operations
  • finalising the organisational structure for the network of divisional offices, delivering industrial and commercial elections, and delivering the Indigenous electoral participation program after the next federal election

Performance statement – agency direction six

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met
Deliver high quality electoral services
Performance measure in AEC corporate plan* Link to purpose Result Explanation of result

6.1 Staff apply the AEC service charter and its principles, and legislative requirements are embedded in the design and delivery of services

Enabling

 

In 2017–18 up-to-date public engagement policies and procedures were in place to help staff respond to public enquiries and complaints in a manner consistent with the AEC Service Charter.

By-election service plans were published following the issue of writs for the divisions of New England, Bennelong, Batman, Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. These plans outlined services the AEC would provide in accordance with the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. A service plan for the next federal election is being developed.

Work to leverage data and technology to improve the design and delivery of electoral and voter services, including in polling places, was also undertaken.

6.2 Information provided to the public is timely and accurate, uses appropriate technology and channels, and meets accessibility standards

Targeted education and public awareness programs

 

Accurate and timely information was provided to the public about electoral matters. This included converting the 2016 federal election public information campaign, which referenced the ‘new Senate voting rules’ theme introduced in 2016, into a standard campaign for future federal elections. Proposed changes were subject to qualitative market research to re-test elements of the formality advertising and the official guide. Following analysis of the latest census data, key aspects of the public information campaign will be expanded from 28 to 30 languages.

To inform the public and stakeholders—and ensure the AEC’s information campaign materials are compliant—up-to-date communication channels were maintained (website, publication media and social media) for the:

  • Australian Marriage Law Survey
  • three by-elections
  • legislative change through the Electoral and other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 and the Electoral (Authorisation of Voter Communication) Determination 2018

6.3 Support electoral participation through communication, education and public awareness activities that inform all Australians of electoral matters

Targeted education and public awareness programs

 

A targeted approach to engagement and education was undertaken during the year including:

  • establishing an integrated approach to community engagement with those who may experience barriers to electoral participation, and trialling a range of initiatives
  • integrating evaluation outcomes from the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program (delivered at the 2016 federal election), and working in partnership to trial programs in Indigenous communities that address electoral participation
  • working with schools, teachers and school children to deliver a range of engaging electoral education experiences and materials

The majority of performance targets for AEC education were met.

The National Electoral Education Centre continued operating at capacity, with 90,563 visitors in 2017–18. Attendance and customer satisfaction targets were met.

The AEC online platform – AEC for Schools – had 76,368 visits, and the number of professional development opportunities for electoral educators increased.

*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2017–2021, p. 11.

What we did

In 2017–18 the AEC introduced a sixth agency direction to maintain our focus on providing high quality electoral services including:

  • reinforcing the role of service delivery through internal communication to staff before and after electoral events, and by communicating the role of the agency directions
  • examining and anticipating trends in enquiries to enhance the services and information provided to the public through the website, our 13 23 26 national enquiry line, frontline staff and social media channels
  • managing a significant increase in the AEC’s public engagement associated with the marriage law survey. The AEC managed the close of the electoral roll and maintained a help desk for silent electors
  • developing public engagement materials for:
    • constitutional disqualifications and candidate eligibility
    • overseas enrolment
    • the marriage law survey
    • federal redistributions
    • Senate special counts
    • by-elections
    • new rules for electoral communications and authorisation requirements
    • new candidate nominations processes
    • working at the next federal election
  • producing and publishing by-election service plans outlining the services and standards that underpin the AEC‘s delivery of electoral events. The commitments outlined in these service plans embody the AEC’s values of quality, agility and professionalism, and reflect our four AEC service standards:
    1. voters and candidates receive timely and accurate information
    2. the AEC delivers a high quality service
    3. votes will be counted in accordance with the Electoral Act, and the public and stakeholders will have confidence in the result
    4. the public and stakeholders have confidence the electoral process is well managed
  • seeking opportunities to leverage technology and data to enhance delivery of our electoral services. Capturing data through the Polling Place Operations work priority allows data-driven decisions to be made on polling place resourcing to improve service delivery and working hours for polling officials
  • developing and delivering targeted public awareness and education activities to support electoral participation. This includes establishing an integrated community engagement approach for people who experience barriers to electoral participation. Based on evidence, activities targeting Indigenous communities, young people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disability and the homeless, will be in place for the next federal election. Some of these initiatives include:
    • developing partnerships that support engagement with homeless electors
    • a trial to build electoral awareness and enrolment targeted at young people
    • working with national and regional Indigenous organisations, community partners and other government agencies to address:
      • electoral participation by partnering with the Indigenous Mayor Councils and the Indigenous Education Centres to trial education programs
      • electoral education, low enrolment and participation in remote communities by delivering the Northern Territory Remote Community Engagement Project

In 2018–19 we are:

  • Delivering electoral events in accordance with legislation, the AEC’s event strategy and the election service plan
  • Developing a centralised complaints management model and a new complaints management system to provide greater consistency and improve response times and governance
  • Looking for opportunities to increase technology use to gather evidence and data, and enhance enrolment and polling services. This will also help support groups or communities that may experience barriers to electoral participation
  • Expecting to more than double the number of electronic certified lists used at polling places during the next federal election. Device numbers will increase from approximately 1500 at the 2016 election to 3900

Other performance

The regulator performance framework

As a regulatory body the AEC aims to reduce the regulatory burden for electors through more efficient enrolment and voting services.

In line with the Australian Government’s commitment to reducing the cost of unnecessary and inefficient regulation on individuals, business and community organisations, the AEC’s performance is measured against the regulator performance framework.

The AEC reports against six mandatory key performance indicators as set by the Australian Government. The AEC’s performance for 2017–18 is outlined in Table 1. Results are cross-referenced with the agency directions reported earlier in this section.

Result key for the performance table; Conditions are: Met, Partly Met and Not met
Table 1: AEC performance against the regulator performance framework
Mandatory key performance indicators under the regulator performance framework AEC performance criteria – what the AEC does to ensure performance indicators are met Result

Regulators do not unnecessarily impede the efficient operation of regulated entities

Support electoral participation through communication, education and public awareness activities that inform all Australians of electoral matters

 

See performance under agency direction six

Communication with regulated entities is clear, targeted and effective

Information provided to the public is timely and accurate, uses appropriate technology and channels, and meets accessibility standards

 

See performance under agency direction six

Actions undertaken by regulators are proportionate to the regulatory risk being managed

Maintain the ability to conduct a federal electoral event within required timeframes

 

See performance under agency direction one

Compliance and monitoring approaches are streamlined and coordinated

The governance framework is effective in supporting business outcomes

 

See performance under agency direction two

Regulators are open and transparent in their dealings with regulated entities

Productive relationships are maintained with the Minister, Parliament, key agencies and other stakeholders

 

See performance under agency direction four

Regulators actively contribute to the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks

Create an environment to encourage innovative practices to support the AEC and electoral events

 

See performance under agency direction five