The Local Government Inspectorate is the dedicated integrity agency for local government in Victoria.
The Inspectorate handles complaints related to breaches of the Local Government Act 1989 and plays an integral role in monitoring governance in councils across the state. To achieve this the Inspectorate has the broadest remit and powers under the Act to examine any matter related to council operations or investigate and prosecute offences.
Led by the Chief Municipal Inspector, the Inspectorate is responsive to issues which impact the sector and is focused on promoting best practice and encouraging the highest levels of accountability and transparency.
During council elections the Inspectorate is the agency responsible for receiving, assessing and, where appropriate, investigating matters and offences provided for under the electoral provisions of the Act. The Inspectorate is strengthening the relationship with other Victorian integrity agencies, including the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), Victorian Ombudsman and Victorian Auditor-General (VAGO).
The Inspectorate maintains confidentiality when dealing with all cases but is unable to provide protection under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012. IBAC and the Ombudsman can. IBAC is responsible for the prevention of broader public sector corruption.
The Ombudsman investigates administrative actions or the conduct of staff in government departments, statutory authorities and local government. VAGO’s role in auditing the public sector includes financial and performance audits of local councils.
Other integrity agencies
Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
IBAC is Victoria’s independent anti-corruption agency. IBAC investigates and exposes corruption and misconduct, with priority given to serious and systemic matters.
IBAC also informs the public sector and the community about the detrimental effects of corruption and how to prevent it.
IBAC can conduct an investigation as a result of a complaint, or initiate its own
enquiry. Following an investigation, IBAC may make recommendations to the employer, government or Parliament.
The Victorian Ombudsman is an independent officer of the Victorian Parliament who investigates the action, decisions or conduct of the public sector and staff and local government in line with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
The Ombudsman may investigate a complaint made by the public, or the public sector, or can start her own investigation.
Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO)
The Auditor-General provides independent assurance to Parliament and the Victorian community on the state’s financial reporting and performance.
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office conducts two types of audit:
- Financial and other attestation (independent written reports) audits assess whether the information contained in the financial statements and performance statements of public sector organisations is presented fairly and in accordance with Australian accounting standards and relevant legislation.
- Performance audits assess whether public sector agencies are achieving their objectives effectively and doing so economically and efficiently, and in compliance with relevant legislation.
The Auditor-General tables reports in Parliament on the results of these audits. Reports may include findings about risks to integrity such as on the probity in purchasing, management of major contracts, fraud prevention strategies and the accuracy of public reporting.
Reviewed 20 November 2019