Each year, the Ombudsman undertakes about 40 formal investigations. Some investigations are announced publicly. Others are conducted in private.
Ombudsman Deborah Glass has announced investigations into the three matters outlined below.
When each investigation is finished, Ms Glass will table a report in the Victorian Parliament and publish her findings on this website.
Investigation into allegations of branch stacking, misconduct and other matters.
We are undertaking this investigation in collaboration with the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
This investigation will look into allegations of serious misconduct and corruption involving Victorian public officers.
Complaints about financial grants for small business
We have received more than 550 complaints about financial grants to support small business during the pandemic. These grants are managed by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
Given the large number of complaints, the Ombudsman has decided to investigate to see if the Department has made errors. We may also be able to assist the Department in improving its practices and procedures for receiving and managing applications for grants.
Investigation into how councils are responding to ratepayers in financial hardship
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass has begun investigating how Victoria’s 79 local councils are responding to ratepayers in financial hardship.
The investigation is considering issues including:
- whether information about councils’ financial hardship assistance is easily accessible for ratepayers
- whether councils’ financial hardship assistance is fair and reasonable, and whether councils apply that assistance appropriately
- how councils’ hardship assistance schemes compare with best practice, for example in electricity, gas and water hardship schemes and State Government schemes
- what councils can learn from COVID-19 relief schemes to improve responses to financial hardship in future.