Current Investigations

Some of the investigations being undertaken by the Victorian Ombudsman are listed below.
 
In addition, the Ombudsman is also conducting investigations resulting from Protected Disclosures. Investigations in response to Protected Disclosures are confidential until and if a report is tabled in the Victorian Parliament.

Treatment of a woman found unfit to stand trial

This investigation concerns the treatment of a Victorian woman who has a significant developmental disorder but spent 18 months in jail awaiting final orders.
 
We are investigating whether her conditions in prison were humane and met her complex needs, and whether appropriate steps were taken by authorities to find her more suitable accommodation.
 
We are also examining whether the issues raised by this case are isolated or systemic. The Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic) provides that a court must not remand or commit a person who has been found unfit to stand trial to custody in a prison unless it is satisfied there is no practicable alternative in the circumstances.
 
For more information, see media release: Ombudsman investigates treatment of a woman found unfit to stand trial.

Insurers’ handling of workers compensation claims and WorkSafe oversight

This is a follow up investigation to the Ombudsman’s 2016 Investigation into the management of complex workers compensation claims and WorkSafe oversight.
 
In 2016, the Ombudsman found cases in which WorkSafe agents were working the system to delay and deny seriously injured workers the financial compensation to which they were entitled.
 
This re-investigation is examining whether the situation has improved for workers with complex injuries and conditions. It is looking into whether WorkSafe’s implementation of the Ombudsman’s 2016 recommendations has changed agent practices and decision making, and improved the effectiveness of its oversight.
  
Our office continues to receive a large number of complaints from the public about WorkSafe and its agents.
 
For more information, see media release: Ombudsman to re-investigate insurers’ handling of workers compensation claims and WorkSafe oversight.

State Trustees’ treatment of vulnerable people

This investigation is into whether State Trustees is acting in the best interests of its vulnerable clients. It is examining State Trustees’ role as an administrator for people who are unable to manage their financial and legal affairs due to disability, illness or injury.
 
It was prompted by a sustained increase in complaints to the Ombudsman about State Trustees, with complaints having increased by 37 per cent in the year to 30 June 2017 and remaining at the same high level since. This year, an increasing number of complaints have warranted enquiries and file inspections.
 
People have complained that State Trustees did not consult them about decisions or take their wishes into account. There have been complaints that State Trustees did not pay bills or other expenses in a timely way. Others have said communication with State Trustees is difficult.
 
For more information, see media release: Ombudsman investigating State Trustees’ treatment of vulnerable people

Invoices certified by Liberal and National MPs 

In early August 2018, the Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament referred a matter to the Ombudsman for investigation and report. 

The referral requires the Ombudsman to investigate matters concerning invoices current and former Liberal and Nationals MPs certified for payment by the Department of Parliamentary Services.

For more information, see media release: Ombudsman confirms Victorian Parliament has referred new investigation to her.