Go to top of page


The AEC's performance is measured against the agency's key activities, outlined in the AEC Corporate Plan 2020-21 and the performance criteria in the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS).

Our four key activities work towards achieving our purpose:

  1. maintain the integrity of electoral and regulatory processes
  2. prepare for and deliver electoral events
  3. engage with our stakeholders through education and public awareness activities
  4. maintain a capable and agile organisation and continue to professionalise our workforce.

Table 1: Performance criteria from the AEC Portfolio Budget Statements mapped against agency key activities and functions

Portfolio Budget Statements

Corporate Plan

Maintain an impartial and independent electoral system for eligible voters through active electoral roll management, efficient delivery of polling services, and targeted education and public awareness programs

Outcome in the PBS

Purpose in our Corporate Plan

One program: 1.1 To deliver electoral events

Key activities

Performance measures





Electoral roll management

Percentage of eligible voters enrolled (enrolment rate


Redistributions determined when planned in accordance with timeframes identified in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918


Elections, by-elections and referendums

The writs for a federal election event are issued and returned in accordance with legislation and timeframes




For industrial elections and ballots, the AEC meets timeframes for key delivery of election notices, ballot periods, declared results and post-election reports



Public awareness

Deliver public awareness and education products that target all Australian citizens aged 18 years and over


Party registrations and financial disclosure

The AEC maintains an up-to-date public register of political parties


Disclosure returns are published and regulated in accordance with timeframes in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918


The agency’s key activities guide our actions and priorities, and promote continuous improvement. Since the 2019–20 Annual Report, our performance criteria and measurement have been further refined to ensure we are focused on achieving our outcomes.

The AEC’s performance is managed in relation to two cycles, the:

Internally, we focus on a three-year electoral cycle encompassing the three phases of election preparedness used in our election readiness framework:

  1. lessons
  2. implement change
  3. mobilisation.

The AEC prepares for federal elections while balancing other 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 2020–21, the AEC moved through ‘implement change’ into the ‘mobilisation’ phase.

In difficult and unusual conditions, our people methodically delivered two electoral events this year. Lessons identified from the Eden-Monaro by-election on 4 July 2020 — the first federal electoral event held under COVID-19 conditions — informed planning of the Groom by-election on 28 November. Our teams implemented a range of safety measures for voters, our people and other participants, securing processes in polling places and at counting centres.

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. This ensures we maintain organisational agility and are ready to deliver electoral services to the public and our stakeholders.

Annual statements

The annual performance statements detail the AEC’s performance against each of the agency’s four key activities. They include a result and explanation for each criterion:

  1. met/on track to be met
  2. partly met
  3. not met.

The Accountable Authority signs off the performance statements for 2020-21.

Statement by the Electoral Commissioner

I, as the Accountable Authority of the Australian Electoral Commission, present the 2020–21 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.

Tom Rogers
Electoral Commissioner
28 September 2021