A sharp rise in complaints during 2020-21 was revealed in our latest annual report, released in December. Our 2020-21 Annual Report 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.
You can read the full report on our website.