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Performance statement – agency direction five

Uphold the reputation of the AEC

As an independent statutory body, the AEC supports an impartial electoral system – a core aspect of the agency’s purpose. Under the Electoral Act the AEC also provides international electoral assistance in cases approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Intended result and
performance criteria in AEC corporate plan*

Link to purpose


Explanation of result

5.1 Timely, accurate information and advice on electoral administration that supports the direction of the AEC.

Timely, quality information and advice is provided to relevant ministers, secretaries, Senate Estimates, the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, other Parliamentary committees and key agencies.



In 2018–19 productive working relationships were maintained with the Minister, Parliament, key committees and agencies by:

  • providing the Minister’s office with 41 submissions and 117 items of correspondence that met required timeframes and standards
  • providing timely and quality responses to two Parliamentary committees, for four inquiries, which included providing seven submissions and attending two public hearings
  • preparing 44 Question Time Briefs, attending three Senate Estimates hearings, and responding to 33 Senate Estimates Questions on Notice. This was achieved within the timeframes allocated by the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee
  • receiving no complaints from Parliamentary committees on timeliness or quality of AEC responses
  • responding to requests for information to support various government agencies

*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2018–2022, p. 13.

What we did

Throughout 2018–19 the AEC was required to provide timely, accurate information and advice on electoral administration and operations to a range of stakeholders. This included identifying opportunities and risks in the electoral environment by engaging with:

  • the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM)
  • Department of Finance
  • other government agencies
  • state and territory electoral commissions

Activities included:

  • implementing technical amendments to the Electoral Act as agreed with JSCEM, including making the nominations checklist compulsory, electoral authorisations and foreign donations
  • maintaining partnerships to enhance and promote understanding of the electoral environment in Australia and internationally. This included ongoing engagement through the Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand (ECANZ) to explore collaboration and knowledge sharing including through:
    • the Indigenous Electoral Participation Working Group, which works to share knowledge, best practice, resources and opportunities to improve electoral participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at federal, state and local levels
    • creation of a temporary election staff working group which focuses on greater cooperation and opportunities to harmonise the way temporary election staff are employed across federal, state and local elections

In 2019–20 we are:

  • supporting a JSCEM inquiry into the conduct of the 2019 federal election
  • working to maintain electoral integrity from electoral fraud or non-compliance with the Electoral Act
  • working with relevant Commonwealth agencies and stakeholders to mitigate threats to electoral integrity from malicious cyber activity, physical means, foreign interference or disinformation
  • maintaining engagement with other electoral management bodies to explore opportunities for collaboration, improve systems, security and services, and share knowledge
  • undertaking strategic engagement with developing countries and emerging democracies on electoral administration that is consistent with the Australian Government’s national interest and foreign policy objectives