Corporate Publications - Strategic Plan 2009-14

Updated: 15 February 2011
Download Strategic Plan 2009-14

Strategic Plan 2009–14

The AEC launched a new, five year strategic plan in August 2009 to guide the organisation in ensuring that we continue to deliver the franchise: our right to vote, through a high integrity electoral roll and efficient, accountable and credible mechanisms for conducting ballots. Our approach focuses on the three key themes of modernisation, collaboration and investing in our people.

Message from the Electoral Commissioner

Since becoming the Electoral Commissioner, I have reflected on the history of democratic process in Australia; a long journey from the first European settlement to the system we enjoy today. Much has been achieved since the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) was formed in 1984 and everyone should take pride in our significant contribution to the stability of government in Australia. Our 25th Anniversary is therefore an ideal time to celebrate our past achievements and build on this foundation to secure a successful future.

I ask myself: "What will they say of us at the 50th Anniversary? How will they judge the custodianship of our years at the helm?" I invite you all to ask yourselves the same questions and continue to deliver the franchise: our right to vote, through a high integrity electoral roll and efficient, accountable and credible mechanisms for conducting ballots.

Our environment is becoming less predictable. Australia's demographic is changing, people's expectations are evolving and the spread and penetration of the Internet provides new opportunities and challenges. We have to balance the best of the past with a more up-to-date approach. This will be a demanding journey and one that we all must take.

So what will be our approach over the next few years? Following my discussions with our many stakeholders and, most importantly, our people, I intend to focus on three themes:

  • Modernisation
    We will need to look at our legislation, governance, policies, systems, and processes, as well as other aspects of the way we do business in the AEC.
  • Collaboration
    We will look for and develop opportunities to collaborate at all levels with all our stakeholders and especially with the state electoral bodies.
  • Investing in our People
    We need to recognise that we are part of the Australian Public Service and that it is changing. If we wish to stay competitive to attract and retain high quality people and to be seen as a high performing organisation, we must invest in and develop the professional, managerial and leadership skills of our people.

I look forward to working with you.

Ed Killesteyn
Electoral Commissioner

June 2009

Why we are here

To deliver the franchise: that is, an Australian citizen's right to vote, as established by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

Franchise Delivery

What we do

We implement the Parliament's directives on electoral policy as embodied in the legislation. We have three primary outcomes for which we are funded, namely:

  1. Voter entitlement for Australians and support for electoral events and redistributions through maintaining an accurate and up-to-date electoral roll.
  2. Access to an impartial and independent electoral system for Australians through the provision of election services.
  3. Informed Australians through the provision of information services on electoral matters.

This means we:

  • manage the federal electoral roll
  • conduct elections, referendums, including fee-for-service and industrial elections
  • educate and inform the community about electoral rights and responsibilities
  • provide research, advice and assistance on electoral matters to the Parliament, other government agencies and recognised bodies
  • provide assistance in overseas elections and referendums in support of wider government initiatives
  • administer election funding, financial disclosure and party registration requirements, and
  • support electoral redistributions.

For whom we do it

Our services are used by a wide range of customers including electors, political parties, the Parliament, the Government and organisations requiring electoral services. The pursuit of high standards in each of these areas ensures all Australians have a say in the government of the country.

AEC Community

What we value

As an independent statutory body we embrace the values of the Australian Public Service in the high standards of behaviour we display on a day-to-day basis. In particular, we:

  • conduct our business in a non-partisan manner with fairness and impartiality
  • maintain high standards of integrity and ethical behaviour
  • respect and uphold the law
  • are tolerant of difference, sensitive to special needs and show respect for one another
  • are open, transparent and accountable in what we do, and
  • respect and listen to our clients and stakeholders and each other.

We abide by the following principles:

  • We act to serve the Australian people and the Federal Parliament.
  • We strive for excellence.
  • We never knowingly mislead anyone.

The environment in which we operate

The AEC operates in a complex environment with many stakeholders. We constantly scan for opportunities and threats so we can act accordingly to ensure we continue to provide a world class electoral service. Key issues expected to influence the AEC's operations in the next five years are:

  • Australia's changing demographic profile
    • age profile, ethnic mix, generational mix
  • changing community expectations
    • need to keep the elector central to service delivery
    • nationally consistent service delivery through standard processes and systems
    • interactive means of communicating with the elector
    • legislation revised to enable enhanced service delivery
  • spread and acceptance of the internet and online access to services
    • continuing drive for efficiency in delivery of Government services
  • increasing need to embrace a whole-of-government approach to policy development and service delivery
  • a changing work force, both inside the AEC and the pool from which we recruit
  • the continuing reviews conducted by the government and the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which could significantly reshape the way we do our business

Our strategic focus

There is evidence of a decline by Australians in electoral matters, as measured by the number of eligible Australians not enrolled to vote and the number of enrolled voters who choose not to cast a ballot during elections. To address these trends the work of the AEC over the next five years will be shaped by a number of activities centred around three strategic themes: modernisation, collaboration and investing in our people. By focussing on these areas the AEC will improve how it does business and best position itself to meet future challenges.


Modernise our products and services, and our organisation:

  • legislation, governance, policies, systems, and processes:
    • Consider how electoral law may be amended to facilitate modernisation and assist with informing lawmakers
    • improve our methods of accountability
    • ensure our policies and processes are aligned
    • review and improve our committee structure
    • ensure our organisational structure is optimised for our outputs and allows us to achieve efficiency and effectiveness
  • review our methods for interacting with electors to increase accessibility:
    • adopt modern technology to streamline processes and increase accessibility
  • other aspects of the way we do business in the AEC:
    • our selection and promotion processes will be based on merit using selection procedures that encourage wider participation
    • our default approach will be elector centric.

Collaborate with stakeholders:

  • identify and pursue efficiencies through collaborating with other electoral bodies on:
    • roll management
    • national standards for elections and electoral officers
  • give greater emphasis to the Electoral Council of Australia
  • share best practice with electoral bodies in other western democracies, for example Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand

Invest in and develop our people:

So that we remain competitive in the labour market and recruit and retain high quality people, we will:

  • embrace APS best practice in all human resource activities
  • commit to addressing concerns expressed by staff in the State of the Service survey and improving the overall health of the organisation
  • develop the professional, managerial and leadership qualities of our staff
  • institute a new performance management program to inform staff development and career planning by July 2010
  • recognise good leadership skills as an essential capability for all managerial staff.
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