Office of the Electoral Commissioner
We will be guided by the following principles and values in addition to the Public Service Code of Conduct:
> Maintain the confidence of electors/voters, candidates, political parties and parliament in the integrity of the electoral process by being legally and in practice independent of all political parties and interest groups; and
> are individual and collectively subject to the Electoral Act in carrying out our statutory functions
> Carry out our statutory functions in a politically neutral and non-partisan manner; and
> treat all voters, candidates and political parties fairly and impartially and in accordance with the law.
> Provide electoral services to voters, candidates and political parties in ways which are easily understood as simple as possible, consistent with the law and minimise compliance costs;
> Ensure that all sections of the community have ready access to the electoral process in accordance with their needs;
> Provide an effective service to electors and voters;
> Make information on our activities readily available to the public and the media;
> Have transparent and fair procedures in place to deal promptly with complaints of impropriety;
> Maintain a commitment to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process in accordance with the law;
> Carry out our statutory functions in a fair, accurate, secure and timely manner;
> Ensure that our employees behave in their public and private lives in ways which are consistent with the highest standards of independence and political neutrality;
> Keep electoral registration under review and report to Parliament through the responsible Minister on desirable changes to electoral legislation;
> Continually evaluate our provision of electoral services and internal and external procedures to ensure they are in accordance with the law, are meeting user’s needs, are as simple, efficient and effective as possible, and use appropriate information technology; and
> keep up to date with best information democratic electoral practice.
TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE
> Make efficient and effective use of financial and other resources to carry out our, statutory functions;
> Have clear financial and operational responsibilities and accountabilities under appropriate governance structure;
> Set budgets according to objectives and regularly measure performance against objectives;
> Are prudent with the use of public money;
> Undertake regular independent auditing of financial and operational performance; and
> Provide Parliament with comprehensive, accurate and timely reports on our activities, including our capacity to conduct electoral events.
> Are innovative and open to ideas;
> Share ideas for improvement; and
> Ask “why” we do things the way we do.
ETHIC OF CARE
> Show respect for individual uniqueness, diversity and privacy.
> Respond promptly and accurately to requests for information about electoral matters;
> Are responsive to those who use our services;
> Are open to different perspectives;
> Are open to change; and
> provide public information without judging the person asking for it.
> Care primarily about outcomes being achieved, not who does the work;
> Will work with others and share ideas; and
> are pragmatic in prioritizing projects and use of resources
In order to live up to our values and progress towards our mission and address our strategic focus, we have identified four broad goals to guide our annual planning over the next five years. The goals provide the planning framework. Resources will be focused on projects which help us to meet these goals. Risks to meeting this goals will be assessed and managed.
Goal 1 – An enhanced Registration Services based on reliable information and research.
Goal 2 – An enhanced Returning Services based on reliable information and research.
Goal 3 – To provide adequate and quality support to the administration of the electoral system and execution of the electoral process
Goal 4 – To ensure the progressive evolution of the electoral system and its administration
Based on the analysis of our environment, we have identified the following key strategic focus and goals and associated risks that we need to address in our plan
> Our work has to be, and be perceived to be, independent of political control. The ways in which independence is understood and guaranteed has a significant impact on how we operate. We need to have the capacity to work towards ensuring the independence of the Office of the Electoral Commissioner in every sense of the word.
> Legislation prescribes our role and details of how we perform certain tasks. There are a number of areas where we may want to suggest change. We need to ensure that we have the capacity to effect this in a useful and effective manner.
> We need to establish and effectively manage a range of relationships with the other government agencies, and with our other stakeholders. Poor or ineffective relationships with any of these entities can severely hamper us in meeting our goals.
> Staff, time and money are all finite and: the resources that we have need to be managed as efficiently as possible to meet our overall goals.
CAPACITY TO RESPOND TO DIVERSE NEEDS:
> As a small organization with a broad role and an effective five year operational cycle, we need to ensure that we have the capacity amongst our staff to deal flexibly with the full range of work that we cover.
IDENTIFYING OTHER TARGET AUDIENCES:
> We do not have a good information on the level of society who need our services most and thus we need research before we can design projects.
> There is little good, research: based information available on reasons for non registration of qualified electoral /voters and reasons why registration is low during non election years. There is also little research based information on voters, understanding and attitudes towards Samoa’s system of government. We need this information to confidently design and deliver effective education campaigns.
> We need to ensure that our education role is widely understood and accepted and the output well received. We want to be the first port of call for information on electoral matters