The majority of our work is to assess and potentially investigate conflicts of interest, the misuse of position by councillors, directing council staff and leaking of confidential information.
However, we receive many complaints we are not able to investigate. For example, we are not able to investigate complaints about rubbish disposal, rates, or disputes with neighbours about issue such as dog barking or fencing.
When we first receive a complaint, we conduct a preliminary assessment to determine if and how we are able to deal with it by a delegate of the Chief Municipal Inspector under Division4 of Part 7 of the Local Government Act 2020.
We can receive a complaint through an online form on our website, via email, post and telephone. We can also be referred complaints from another government body or agency or any of our staff can receive a complaint as part of their work.
We will accept a complaint, reject it or refer it to another agency. We will respond to the complainant within five business days to tell them what our decision is and why we made that decision. For more information on complaints we are unable to deal with, visit our complaints page.
Complaints that we accept are then assessed to determine the appropriate course of action. The complaint can be investigated, closed or reviewed to see if more work is needed to properly assess it.
A complaint can also be assessed as a public interest disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012.
We will always inform the complainant about the outcome of our assessment or seek authorisation if we want to refer a complaint to another agency. We work with other integrity and other agencies and we are able to refer complaints. We also get complaints referred to us to investigate.
Complaints about serious or systemic corruption are referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and complaints about an administrative action or decision of council are referred to the Victorian Ombudsman.
If appropriate, we also refer complaints to Victoria Police or the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission.