Asset confiscation is a tool that Victoria’s law enforcement and public prosecution agencies use in response to criminal activity. There are three key agencies that work together to achieve the objectives of the Asset Confiscation Scheme—Victoria Police, the Office of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Justice & Regulation.
This follow-up audit examined the progress the three agencies have made in implementing actions to address the 25 recommendations from our 2013 audit of the Asset Confiscation Scheme.
While all recommendations were accepted, this has not necessarily translated into timely implementation of business improvements.
The audit found that agencies were slow to address the 2013 recommendations. To some extent, agencies were hindered by leadership changes at two of the agencies, legislative reform and the inevitable challenges of seeking agreement across three independent organisations. We found that there has been recent progress in terms of the partner agencies agreeing to a new governance framework and strategic plan, with further work required on the operational plan and performance framework. With new leadership appointments at Victoria Police and the Office of Public Prosecutions, there is a new opportunity to ensure that various issues with the governance arrangements for the Asset Confiscation Scheme are addressed in a timely manner.