Agency information guide
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In this guide, the NSW Electoral Commission refers to the NSW government agency created under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (the GSE Act) to assist the NSW Electoral Commission (“the Commission”), the NSW Electoral Commissioner (“the Commissioner”) and the Electoral Districts Redistribution Panel (“the Redistribution Panel”) perform their various statutory functions.
The Commission is a statutory body established as an independent commission of three members under the Electoral Act 2017 (EA). Its members are:
a former Judge, as the Chairperson of the Commission, appointed by the Governor;
the Electoral Commissioner; and
a person appointed by the Governor who has financial or audit skills and qualifications relevant to the functions of the NSW Electoral Commission.
The Commissioner is a statutory appointee under the EA, responsible for delivering elections in New South Wales. The Commissioner is also the agency head of the NSW Electoral Commission under the GSE Act.
The Redistribution Panel is established by the EA, whose members are the Commissioner, the Surveyor-General and a current or former judge appointed by the Governor as Chairperson. The Redistribution Panel will determine the names and boundaries of the electoral districts in New South Wales when a distribution of electoral districts becomes necessary under the provisions of the Constitution Act 1902.
The NSW Electoral Commission exercises functions conferred on the Commission by the EA, the Electoral Funding Act 2018 (EFA) the Lobbying of Government Officials Act 2011(LOGOA) or other Acts, which include:
providing assistance for the conduct of elections by the Electoral Commissioner
instituting proceedings for offences against the EA, the EFA or the LOGOA
administering the election funding, expenditure and disclosure scheme under the and registering electoral participants for the purposes of that scheme
maintaining the Register of Third-Party Lobbyists and Lobbyists Watch List under the LOGOA
conducting and promoting research into electoral matters and other matters that relate to its functions
promoting public awareness of electoral matters and political donations
promoting compliance by parties, elected members, candidates, groups, agents, third-party campaigners and donors with the requirements of the election funding, expenditure and disclosure scheme.
Under the EA, the Electoral Commissioner is responsible for implementing the democratic principles of an impartial and fair electoral system in which elections are conducted at arm's length from government and in accordance with the law. The Commissioner reports on the exercise of his functions to the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
The NSW Electoral Commission performs functions conferred on the Commissioner in relation to the delivery of elections, including the registration of political parties, enrolment of electors, preparation of lists and rolls of electors, and the conduct of elections and referendums for the Parliament of NSW.
A local government council can also enter into an arrangement with the Electoral Commissioner for the Electoral Commissioner to administer elections, polls and referendums for the council in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993.
The Electoral Commissioner also conducts elections and polls for other organisations, including Aboriginal Land Councils (Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983), registered clubs (Registered Clubs Act 1976), certain statutory boards/authorities (e.g. Health Practitioner Regulation 2010) and State registered industrial organisations (Industrial Relations Act 1996).
The NSW Electoral Commission also supports the work of the Redistribution Panel.
The NSW Electoral Commission comprises the following four divisions:
Funding, Disclosure and Compliance Division
Information Services Division
For more information on organisational structure refer to the NSW Electoral Commission’s latest annual report.
How the NSW Electoral Commission's functions affect the public
The functions of the NSW Electoral Commission have a significant effect on the public in a number of ways. For example, a redistribution of electoral district boundaries will determine where an elector is enrolled to vote. Individuals may also be subject to the exercise of statutory powers by the NSW Electoral Commission. These include the power to require the production of documents or the giving of evidence and the issuing of penalty notices.
To assist the public in understanding how the NSW Electoral Commission’s functions affect them (both in terms of their rights and obligations) the NSW Electoral Commission has made available on its website, free of charge, detailed information (including fact sheets, brochures, handbooks, policies, search tools and public registers) concerning topics such as the election funding, expenditure and disclosure scheme, enrolment, State elections, Local Government elections, registered club elections and lobbying.
The NSW Electoral Commission also provides a number of information sessions throughout the year that relevant stakeholders may attend although it is always recommended that persons read the relevant Acts and obtain their own legal advice where necessary in relation to their particular circumstances.
The NSW Electoral Commission also provides the Election Reminder Service to the electors. This service allows electors to register for an email and/or SMS to be sent whenever a Local Government or State Parliamentary (not Federal Government) election event for which they are enrolled is pending. The information provided is also used by the NSW Electoral Commission to contact citizens as part of electoral enrolment and/or election event processes.
The NSW Electoral Commission maintains a facility to manage enquiries and feedback from the public. . The facility is available online, by post or telephone.
Stakeholder engagement and feedback
The NSW Electoral Commission upholds the principle of equal access to democracy for all NSW citizens and delivers high quality electoral services which are impartial, effective, efficient and in accordance with the law.
Members of the public can have input into the NSW Electoral Commission’s policy formulation process and the exercise of its functions via a range of consultative reference groups.
The NSW Electoral Commission consults with relevant stakeholders for the purpose of ascertaining their views and experience with election processes with the aim of improving our services, for example, after each State or local government election.
The NSW Electoral Commission welcomes feedback from electors, community organisations and government agencies regarding our services and publications. Should you wish to provide feedback, please email us using our feedback facility or write to the Electoral Commission at GPO Box 832, Sydney NSW 2001.
Any personal information obtained from subscriptions or feedback facilities are held by the NSW Electoral Commission Staff Agency in accordance with the PPIP Act. Please refer to our Privacy Management Plan for further information.
The type of information we hold
The NSW Electoral Commission holds a range of information, including:
policy and planning documents
documents prepared for submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee
correspondence with the heads and staff of NSW government agencies
correspondence with the public
guidelines, handbooks, forms and other information resources for the community (electors, candidates, members of parliament and parties)
information contained in public registers.
How to access our information and the types of information that will not be made available under the GIPA Act are discussed on Access to Information.