IEC’s (Independent Election Commission) Secretariat
The secretariat is a very important and executive part of the Independent Election Commission. In accordance with article 22 of the electoral law, and with the agreement of the majority of the members of the IEC, three most eligible persons shall be proposed to the President for the position of Chief Electoral Officer, and the President shall appoint one of them to the mentioned position. The IEC secretariat has the responsibility of executing and implementing all decisions from the early stages of planning to the final stages of the elections taken at the policy level by members of Commission. The affairs of the Secretariat shall be led by the CEO and three of his deputies (Strategics Communication Deputy, Operational Deputy and Financial and Administrative Deputy).
Strategics Communication Deputy
Strategics communication deputy is within the framework of IEC’s, is responsible for managing, directing, monitoring and controlling strategics communication programs at HQ and provincial levels. Directorates of Public Outreach, External Relations, Information and Media Relation departments, and stockholder’s engagement unit are working under his supervision.
Operational deputy is within the framework of IEC’s, is responsible for coherence and development of technical affairs and electoral operations. Directorates of Planning and Policy, Information Technology, Field Operations and Electoral Trainings departments are working under influence of operational deputy.
Financial and Administrative Deputy
Financial and Administrative Deputy, is within the framework of IEC’s, is responsible for arranging financial and administrative affairs of the Commission. Directorates of Finance, Human Resources, Gender, Logistics and Procurement departments are under his supervision.
IECs has a total of 13 departments at HQ office and these departments are responsible for different electoral activities. IECs has permanent structure at the reginal and provincial level, these offices manage by provincial directors.
1. Legal Directorate
In accordance with the laws of the country, the IEC Secretariat’s legal directorate is responsible to establish accurate and comprehensive legal framework, as well as presenting opinions, suggestions and necessary consultations to the members of the Commission and the different directorates of the Secretariat in relation to various issues. Moreover, the legal directorate has the responsibility to prepare drafts, procedures, codes of conduct, Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs), and prepares other legal documents, which are presented to the Commission for approval. The legal directorate has also the responsibility of accreditation issuance to the national and international stakeholder’s institutions and candidates during the electoral operations period.
2. Finance and budget directorate
Finance and budget Directorate develops financial plans and is responsible for its oversight. This directorate plays an important and vital role in the provision, process, and defending of annual budget proposal of the Commission. The Finance directorate monitors and evaluates the performance and progress in relation to the implementation and improvement of functional affairs, in accordance with the approved budget. It prepares and presents regular reports on the financial situation of the organization at different times period. One of the responsibilities of this department is managing the core and sub-projects of the Commission, which funds are paid by donors. The monetary and financial activities, including the execution of cash payments, arrangement of salaries, the adjustment of expenses and other check or receipts for the transfer of the money and purchases, are also controlled and monitored by this directorate.
3. Planning and Policy Directorate
The Planning and Policy Directorate is in charge of arranging the election plan and procedures related to different phases. According to the approved guidelines by the Commission and, in cooperation with the various directorates of the Secretariat, the Directorate is responsible to determine the framework for the different electoral activities. This Directorate also coordinates various activities in the course of the election, which are carried out through different directorates, and prepares different reports. The Planning and Policy Directorate, in co-operation with the Finance and budget Directorate, arranges the annual budget plan, and is responsible for presenting it to the Ministry of Finance for approval. Also, in line with the goals of the National Strategy documents, the Directorate ensures regular contact with different government agencies linked to IEC activities.
4. Training and Capacity Building Directorate
The Training and Capacity Building Directorate has the responsibility of all training related activities during the different electoral processes and capacity building of IEC staff. In order to prepare for the elections and ensure that all election staff are fully aware about their activities and responsibilities in different phases, this Directorate prepares and implements training activities and develops materials. Training and Capacity Building Directorate is also in charge of setting up specific programs and oversees their implementation, in line with the improvement of the academic and professional capacities of the IEC staff as well as their introduction to different training programs both inside and outside the country. Another responsibility of the Training Directorate is to archive all election related documents at various phases at the IEC library for capacity building purpose and to allow access of all staff to electoral materials and affairs related.
5. Information and Technology Directorate
The IT Directorate has the responsibility to provide technical services related to information technology at IEC HQ and provinces level and oversees communication networks. The IT Directorate is responsible for IEC database, website and the network system.
The department has also the responsibility to manage the National Tally Center (NTC) for Data Entry as well as training IEC staff on voter registration forms and process elections results. The IT Directorate at provincial level is in charge of information technology affairs at provincial level.
6. Public Outreach Directorate
Information and Public Outreach Directorate (IPOD) is responsible for awareness raising campaign to inform potential voters and people of Afghanistan on the importance of the elections and encourage them to play an active role in the electoral process. When conceiving awareness messages, IPOD takes into considerations religious and cultural aspects.
IPOD is also in charge of the provision of informative material related to elections and the implementation of public awareness programs throughout the country. IPOD has permanent staff members in each province, the latter is responsible for public awareness issues in the respective provinces.
IPOD is also in charge of the Election Education center at IEC HQ, that provides electoral information to school students, universities, women and other people. This directorate organizes also simulation on the election process for better awareness of Afghanistan people regarding electoral process.
7. External Relations
External relations department liaises with national and international stakeholders, candidates, political parties, observers, and other stakeholders who are somehow engaged in elections process. The department keeps these groups informed about all implementations and developments as well as during electoral process is responsible to have communication with stakeholders and provide necessary facilities for national and international observers.
The department is also responsible to arrange Protocol issue for commission member. During election operational temporary structure at provincial level carries out related activities of External Relation department.
8. Field Operations
Field Operations Department is responsible for communication and liaising with IECs provincial offices in cooperation with other IECs departments by sending guidance and instructions. The department is in charge to monitor the activities and its implementation process at provincial offices and report based on. During election operations has temporary field staffs, who are responsible to communicate, organize and monitor the activities between IEC HQ office and provincial offices. The center for electoral Affairs and administration is also works under the structure of this department which carries out and monitors electoral operational activities. Heads of provincial offices are in permanent structure of field operations department and are in charge electoral activities at the provincial level.
9. Human Resources Directorate
Human Resources department is responsible for managing and supervising recruitment process of employees in HQ and provinces, in charge of planning, recruitment, arranging proposals for appointments, transfers, dismissals, promotions and resignations of employees in accordance with laws and regulations of the country and approved regulation and procedure of the Commission. The department is also responsible to have continuous communication with the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission to ensure relevant activities carried out in accordance with objectives and programs of public administration reform at national level.
10. Logistics Directorate
Logistics department is responsible for managing the IEC's basic and subsidiary projects, funded by donors, performs affairs related to reviewing and analyzing the timetable and work progress according to the budget and plan, issue necessary instructions to relevant departments for maintenance and caring construction facilities, supervising, arranging and fixing process of vehicles in order to keep them active and useable. Also, some other major tasks such as, controlling and supervising all administrative activities to ensure its timely implementation, communicate and executive with relevant departments in order to expedite the implementation in the relevant departments, supervising and controlling the cleanliness and hygiene of office environment and is one of the key departments of IEC’s.
11. Information and Media Relations department
In accordance with Article (89) of Election Law, the department provides reports through social media for public, the information approaches based on the second and fifth article of Access to Information Law and some other laws and legal documents. As, in current ages the media has an influential force, therefore the department is responsible to preserve communication among domestic and foreign media and convey IEC messages as well as informed the public about IEC activities.
Stakeholder’s engagement unit
Stakeholder’s engagement unit, based on the structure reform was established in 2013, under the direct . Its major tasks are to provide, develop and strengthen relations with registered political parties of the Ministry of Justice and civil society institutions. This department, collects the opinions of the mentioned institutions by holding national election meetings and coordination meetings and shares them with the officials. It also informs mentioned institutions from progress of electoral process.
Gender unit acts under the framework of IECs. This unit is responsible for, outlining gender mainstreaming policies and procedures regarding raising gender’s awareness in election, capacity building to improve gender’s status, gender equality, including gender in plans, implementations, policies, laws, regulations, and election related programs.
Increasing women's participation in electoral process as voters, candidates, representatives and observers, ensures gender equality and equal opportunities in the IEC human resources system, as well as monitoring from the implementation of policies of increasing women's participation in civil services and professional development of women’s are the main goals of the Gender unit.
The IEC provincial offices are located in the centers of each 34 provinces of Afghanistan's on a permanent basis. Each provincial IEC offices has four permanent staff, temporary staff recruits during various election processes. Provincial offices are responsible for planning, implementing and supervising various election activities in their provinces in accordance with the guidance of IEC HQ office. Permanent structure of IEC’s provincial offices includes the Head of provincial office, public outreach officer, information technology officer, finance and administrative officer and a clerk.