Corporate is a chapter in the Local Government Inspectorate's Annual report for 2021–22. The chapter looks at the people, challenges, gifts and freedom of information requests for the year.

Our people

The Inspectorate had 12 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions filled as at 30 June 2021. We also employed two contractors for part of this period and had one full-time equivalent position vacant.

Challenges and opportunities

Recruiting qualified and experienced staff has continued to be challenging during 2021–22. However, we were successful in recruiting two new staff members with the right skills and experience for their roles.

Complaint volume has been increasing on the same gradual annual trend since our creation in 2009 but budgetary constraints continue to limit our ability to expand our team to meet increased demand.

We continued to explore other avenues, such as issuing fines to candidates for not submitting campaign donation returns, and to councillors and senior staff for non-compliance with interest return requirements. This is a lengthy process that we are hopeful of completing in the next financial year.

Freedom of information

The Inspectorate received and responded to four Freedom of Information (FOI) requests in 2021–22. FOI requests are handled in accordance with guidelines and processes set down by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.

Gifts and benefits

Our staff were not offered and did not accept any gifts or benefits during this financial year. We publish the gifts and benefits for this and previous years on our website under the policies and registers section.

Financial information

Under the Public Administration Act 2004, the Inspectorate is an administrative office hosted by the Department of Justice and Community Safety and the Inspectorate uses corporate services, including finance, from the department. Financial information is incorporated into the Department of Justice and Community Safety’s 2021–22 Annual Report.

Witness welfare

We released our Witness Welfare Guidelines and Witness Welfare Policy in June 2022. The documents formalise many existing Inspectorate practices in relation to welfare.

The guidelines and policy will help our staff support the welfare of people they encounter while exercising their duties and powers. This includes witnesses who may appear voluntarily or be compelled to appear before us.

These documents set out how we will support the welfare, including physical health, mental health, wellbeing, and safety, of all people we deal with in the course of our work, including complainants, witnesses, subject persons, and stakeholders.

The guidelines set out how our staff should take welfare into account when communicating, conducting interviews, and using the reasonable assistance provisions.