Ombudsman exceeds objectives in debut audit

4 July 2024 Read the report

The Victorian Ombudsman met and exceeded its agency objectives, according to a report tabled out of session this week.

The independent performance audit of the Victorian Ombudsman from O’Connor Marsden was prepared for the Integrity and Oversight Committee (IOC).  

The IOC is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the performance of a number of agencies, including the Victorian Ombudsman.

‘The inaugural performance audit of the Ombudsman’s office provides an important review of whether the agency achieved its objectives effectively, economically and efficiently. The audit report clearly demonstrates that the Ombudsman not only met these objectives but exceeded them,’ said Committee Chair, Dr Tim Read. 

The report, which covers the period from July 2020 to June 2023, makes 22 recommendations regarding the performance of the Victorian Ombudsman’s principal and other statutory functions, as well as its corporate governance and planning, business processes, and workforce suitability and capability. 

The Victorian Ombudsman has three core functions: resolving complaints, investigating corrupt conduct, and investigating public interest complaints.  

It also has three key preventative functions: reviewing practices and procedures of authorities, providing education and training to the public sector about matters relating to the functions of the Ombudsman, and promoting improved public sector administration. 

The report considers four domains: performance of principal and other statutory functions; corporate governance and planning; business processes and performance; and workforce suitability and capability. 

The review finds that the Victorian Ombudsman 'has a strong integrity culture, effective communication channels between staff, management, and executive, sound systems policies and procedures for handling complaints and public interest disclosures by staff, and fair and equitable recruitment processes.’ 

It also finds there is a need for the Ombudsman to improve its outcomes-based performance measures and strategic workforce management planning, and for the agency to develop a technology roadmap for its complaints management system. 

The full report can be downloaded from the Committee’s website