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Performance statement – agency direction six

Build an agile and responsive organisation

Our intended state:

  • our organisation quickly adapts and responds with agility and flexibility
  • we have the people, processes and systems to respond to changes in the electoral cycle and stakeholder and community expectations, while continuing to improve our election delivery and systems

Intended result and
performance criteria in AEC corporate plan*

Link to purpose


Explanation of result

6.1 Maintain an appropriate level of readiness to conduct a federal election event

Directed Level of Electoral Readiness (DLER) determined by the Electoral Commissioner

Assessment of progress against the Election Ready Road Map

Efficient delivery of polling services



A new electoral cycle commenced in 2019–20 and new Directed Level of Election Readiness (DLER) targets were established for this cycle following consideration of environmental factors.

DLER dates were used to establish operational planning through the AEC’s election planning tool, the Election Ready Road Map (the planning pathway to the next federal election).

The AEC moved through the ‘lessons’ phase of election readiness and is now ‘implementing change’.

At June 2020 progress against the Election Ready Road Map was assessed as appropriate, with the agency balancing election planning and readiness alongside risk and cost.

6.2 Invest in and deliver strategies that increase organisational capability

Maintain an organisational structure that supports modernisation

Continue to leverage new approaches, technology and data to increase organisational capability



In 2019–20 the AEC:

  • established and implemented a new design for delivering industrial elections and ballots
  • planned for a realignment of the AEC’s National Office, informed by:
    • lessons from the 2019 federal election
    • modernisation efforts and the AEC’s current operating environment.

A future structure for the AEC’s divisional offices has been deferred. Continued to pursue initiatives to increase capability and Deliver improvements to our service delivery or election processes, for the next election. This includes:

  • supply chain management
  • increased use of electronic certified lists
  • polling place metrics
  • recruitment and onboarding our temporary election workforce

What we did in 2019–20

During the year we entered a new cycle of election planning through the Election Readiness Framework. This allows the AEC to comprehensively prepare for an election through three designated preparation phases:

  • Lessons
  • Implement change
  • Mobilisation

We continued to evolve the AEC’s organisational structure, including:

  • implementing a new design for the AEC’s Industrial Elections and Ballots program to undertake non- Parliamentary elections and ballots on behalf of the Commonwealth
  • planning to improve alignment of functions within our National Office to better achieve the AEC’s vision and strategic direction. Realignment supports:
    • continuing efforts to modernise and transform the agency
    • a service orientation focused on the design and delivery of our services to over 16.6 million electors and other key stakeholders
    • grouping our important regulatory functions to further professionalise this capability

We focussed on leveraging technology and data to deliver greater organisational capability by:

  • continuing to improve the processes and operation of polling places—and the positioning of staff and materials— from metrics and data obtained at the 2019 federal election.
  • increasing efficiencies in the distribution planning and delivery of election materials to polling places, through our centrally led supply chain management capability. The quantity of most materials is now being determined using formulas that are integrated with the AEC’s broader election forecasting activities
  • maintaining—and being ready to build on—the number of Electronic Certified Lists (ECLs) used at the next federal election. Over 4500 ECL devices were deployed at the 2019 federal election. These improve polling place operations and meet voters’ expectations of more efficient polling place services. ECLs enable polling officials to more efficiently search the list of eligible electors and record electronically that an elector has been handed a ballot paper, in accordance with the Electoral Act
  • using the AEC operational-level data, metrics and analysis from our systems, help desk and a survey of temporary election workforce staff to improve the end-to-end planning and process for recruiting and onboarding our temporary election workforce for the next federal election