A sharp rise in complaints during 2020-21 was revealed in our latest annual report, released in December. Our outlines our work to strengthen the integrity, accountability and transparency of local government in Victoria during the last financial year.
During 2020-21, we assessed 1164 complaints and completed 51 investigations. The increase in complaints was due to the 848 complaints during general council elections. In the 2016-17, reporting period, which covered the 2016 elections, we assessed 576 complaints.
During 2020-21, our office:
- issued 139 warnings in relation to the council elections
- issued 25 warnings on non-election matters
- used coercive powers on 50 occasions to obtain documents or interview people
- interviewed 28 individuals – with most being done voluntarily.
Chief Municipal Inspector Michael Stefanovic AM said COVID-19 and COVIDSafe work practices continued to challenge the Inspectorate.
“The restrictions on movement forced the cancellation of planned face-to-face interviews and restricted our ability to visit councils and conduct legal proceedings.”
The report includes case studies of some of the work we completed during 2020-21.
Reviewed 10 February 2022