The fall and rise of AEC: how Tom Rogers got out the vote

Public agency reform watchers should add the Australian Election Commission’s Senate Estimates hearing tomorrow to their diary. Commissioner Tom Rogers will outline how he’s turning the place around.

Electoral commissioner Tom Rogers will arrive at Additional Estimates tomorrow with a reform plan already underway and the agency back on track after, arguably, the most troubled year of any public body.

Offered a tabula rasa and political will to make ambitious reforms, Rogers is seizing the opportunity. There’s no time for rest — the next federal election is around the corner, there can be no do-over, and no excuses if the Prime Minister makes an early call.

In the 12 months since former commissioner Ed Killesteyn resigned over the bungled 2013 Western Australian Senate election, Rogers has led the agency through a series of very public autopsies of its local mistakes, systemic failings and Rumsfeldian unknown-unknowns. Behind the scenes, Rogers has been building a reform program the likes of which few agency heads get an opportunity to pursue. In December, he was appointed to a five-year term in the commissioner role, a sign of the government’s confidence in this direction at the agency.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers

Tom Rogers

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