Since the 2017–18 annual report, the way the agency directions are presented in the AEC corporate plan has changed. While the agency directions remain the same, they have been reordered so that agency direction one covers the AEC’s key functions.
The AEC’s performance is measured against the agency purpose, the six agency directions in the AEC Corporate Plan 2018–2022 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:
- Deliver high quality electoral services
- Continue to improve and modernise the delivery model for electoral events
- Govern the organisation for quality and assurance
- Professionalise the workforce
- Uphold the reputation of the AEC
- Build an agile and responsive organisation
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 better reflect the outcomes the AEC is aiming to achieve, each agency direction includes an intent statement and the AEC’s performance is measured against intended results.
To achieve the AEC’s purpose, agency directions and expected performance, the AEC manages two performance cycles. The:
- Public Governance Public Accountability Act 2013 performance cycle
- 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
Through the Election Ready Road Map, each phase directs the activities to be undertaken. Throughout 2018–19 the AEC continued in the ‘implement change’ phase and moved into ‘mobilisation’ to deliver the 2019 federal election. ‘Implement change’ was guided by lessons learnt from the 2016 federal election, and the resulting work program priorities. These priorities were completed before or implemented at the 2019 federal election.
During 2018–19 the AEC also delivered six by-elections—including five on one day—and 906 industrial and commercial election events.
As lessons are identified from these events, the AEC will further define and shape future organisational capability to continue modernising the model for delivering elections.