The AEC’s performance is measured against the agency purpose, the six agency directions in the AEC Corporate Plan 2019–2023 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 Deliver high quality electoral services
2 Continue to improve and modernise the delivery model for electoral events
3 Govern the organisation for quality and assurance
4 Professionalise our workforce
5 Uphold the reputation of the AEC
6 Build an agile and responsive organisation
The agency directions guide our activities and priorities, and promote continuous improvement. The directions enable the AEC to effectively deliver its purpose. The AEC’s performance is measured against intended results. Since the 2018–19 annual report, our performance criteria and measurement have been further refined to ensure we are focused on achieving our outcomes.
The AEC manages two performance cycles, the:
- four-year, Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 performance cycle
- three-year federal electoral cycle
Internally, we are focused on a three-year electoral cycle encompassing the three phases of election readiness used in our election readiness framework. The three phases of election readiness are:
- implement change
The AEC comprehensively prepares for federal elections—while balancing other agency priorities—through the Election Ready Road Map. Each phase directs the activities to be undertaken and provides a path towards delivering the next federal election. These phases synchronise election preparation across the agency to meet a Directed Level of Election Readiness. The framework gives the Electoral Commissioner assurance that the AEC is at an appropriate ‘level of readiness’ to conduct a federal election when required.
In 2019–20 the AEC moved through the ‘lessons’ phase following the May 2019 federal election and then into ‘implementing changes’ to be delivered at the next federal election.
The rapidly changing operating environment we have experienced over the past year added further complexity to electoral administration. Events in Australia and internationally, in particular COVID-19, required an agile response to successfully deliver electoral events. In line with the broader government response, the AEC made significant changes to how electoral services and events were delivered, and to how the AEC workforce was managed.
Within a changing operating environment, the AEC continues to balance and adjust operations and services while maintaining electoral integrity and compliance with legislation. To conclude the year, the AEC prepared to deliver a by-election in Eden-Monaro on 4 July 2020—the AEC’s first electoral event during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lessons identified from delivering the event will inform the AEC’s future event planning. This ensures we maintain organisational agility, and are ready to deliver electoral services to the public and our stakeholders.
Annual performance statements
The annual performance statements detail the AEC’s performance against each of the six agency directions. They include a result per criterion—either ‘met/on track to be met’, ‘partly met’ or ‘not met’—and an explanation.
The performance statements for 2019–20 are signed off by the Accountable Authority.
Statement by the Electoral Commissioner
I, as the Accountable Authority of the Australian Electoral Commission, present the 2019–20 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.
28 September 2020