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Performance statement – agency direction two

Continue to improve and modernise the delivery model for electoral events

Our intended state:

  • the model for delivering electoral events and services is robust, nationally consistent and built for continual evolution through all phases of the electoral cycle–maintaining the electoral roll, election planning, readiness and delivery
  • we are always driving efforts to improve our enrolment and election management systems. This is designed to ensure we are planning for, and delivering, modern and safe enrolment and polling services into the future

Intended result and
performance criteria in AEC corporate plan*

Link to purpose


Explanation of result

2.1 Maintain a cycle of continual improvement through the election readiness framework

Lessons and actions from 2018–19 election delivery are identified, resourced and implemented


Partly met

In September 2019, lessons identified from delivering the May 2019 federal election were released. Four lessons were identified through an agency-wide process of staff observations, workshops and insight reporting.

These lessons are supported by actions and areas of focus so learnings can be applied at the next federal election. At June 2020 all areas of focus were on track or completed. There will be continuing work in 2020–21 to embed lessons management capability across the agency.

2.2 Continued investment and momentum in the modernisation agenda

Progress modernisation of election and enrolment systems

Further mature our Election Ready Road Map and associated planning and assurance processes



Developed a second pass business case for the Election Systems Modernisation Program focused on modernising ageing election and enrolment systems in line with the AEC’s ICT Strategic Plan. This is being progressed for Government’s consideration.

In November 2019 a new outcomes-based Election Ready Road Map (the planning pathway to the next federal election) was released. Monthly updates and reviews ensure the roadmap accurately reflects the election readiness work program.

A new centrally led election forecasting process is being developed for the next federal election. This assists polling place management, staffing and materials estimates and planning.

*Source: AEC Corporate Plan 2019–2023, p.12.

What we did in 2019–20

We identified important lessons from the 2019 federal election through our lessons management approach. This ensures we continue to improve the reliability and consistency of election delivery. Successful lessons management relies on AEC staff being involved and empowered to contribute to continuous improvement. Efforts to embed lessons management capability into non-election activities were limited in 2019–20. Lessons and actions from the 2019 election will continue to be implemented into 2020–21 to support the planning and delivery of the next federal election.

Our focus on modernising our delivery model for electoral events continued. We developed a second pass business case and undertook baseline work to modernise our core election and enrolment systems. Resilient, modern and secure systems are critical to election delivery: as the AEC’s existing systems continue to age and are costly to maintain.

We matured our Election Ready Road Map and election planning capabilities. Our focus on delivering efficient polling services to voters can disguise the legislative, planning and logistical complexities underpinning the delivery of large and complex federal elections. In 2019–20 a new outcomes-based roadmap was released. This synchronises election preparation across the agency to meet the Directed Levels of Election Readiness determined by the Electoral Commissioner. A new centrally led election forecasting process commenced. This new approach was informed by polling place metrics and other data collected from the 2019 federal election. To understand the introduction of COVID-19 safety measures, polling place data was also collected at the Eden-Monaro by-election.