In 2018, the Ombudsman received 605 complaints about Fines Victoria. This report looks at the emerging themes from these complaints and the efforts of Fines Victoria to address them. It includes a number of complaint case summaries. The names of all complainants, related parties and other identifying information have been changed to ensure anonymity.
The Ombudsman’s purpose is to ensure fairness for Victorians in their dealings with the public sector, and to improve public administration. The Ombudsman has a number of functions; resolving complaints and investigating matters received from the public is a central function.
In a majority of cases, complaints can be resolved by Ombudsman staff informally without the need for a formal investigation. An informal resolution may involve:
- referring a complainant back to the authority to seek to have their complaint dealt with internally
- making enquiries with an authority and relaying the response to the complainant
- facilitating an appropriate solution which is accepted by a complainant and the authority.
Ombudsman complaints tell a story about the public’s interaction with government. They assist in identifying whether there may be a problem with how a government authority is operating. Analysing a body of complaints can help identify systemic issues in the operation of the agency or government authority.
Fines Victoria had a challenging year in 2018. Those challenges are detailed in this report. This report aims to share the experiences of Victorians affected by these challenges, along with providing commentary on themes arising from the complaints.