Current Investigations

Some of the investigations being undertaken by the Victorian Ombudsman are:
 
Insurers' handling of workers compensation claims and WorkSafe oversight
State Trustees' treatment of vulnerable people
Solitary confinement involving young people
Wellington Shire Council's managemement of matters affecting Ninety Mile Beach land owners
Invoices certified by Liberal and National MPs
 
We are undertaking the following enquiry:
Enquiry into how local councils handle complaints from the public
 
In addition, we are conducting investigations resulting from Protected Disclosures. Those investigations are confidential until and if a report is tabled in the Victorian Parliament.

 

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.
 
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.

For more information, see media release: Ombudsman investigating State Trustees’ treatment of vulnerable people

 

Solitary confinement involving young people

A multi-disciplinary, multi-agency inspection team led by the Victorian Ombudsman is inspecting Port Phillip Prison, Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct and Secure Welfare Services, looking at practices related to ‘solitary confinement’ on children and young people.
The inspections are occurring over March and April 2019 and will be carried out in line with the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
In an Australian first, the Ombudsman has established an advisory group comprised of leading oversight bodies and civil society organisations to assist her investigation. 
The Ombudsman is expected to table a report on the investigation in the Victorian Parliament before the end of 2019.
 
For more information, see the below media releases: 
 
 
 

Wellington Shire Council's management of matters affecting Ninety Mile Beach land owners

 
This investigation concerns whether the council has treated land owners fairly and reasonably.
 
It will examine several issues including the council's:
  • levying of rates and charges on lots that land owners are unable to build homes on and, in some cases, even access 
  • administration of a Voluntary Assistance Scheme
  • acquisition of land in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 or otherwise under the Ninety Mile Beach Plan
  • consideration of the land deemed to be surplus
  • communication with affected land owners.
 

 

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.