Investigation of a protected disclosure complaint regarding allegations of improper conduct by councillors associated with political donations

Political donations Government accountability Victoria
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It is remarkable that, as the Victorian Parliament Electoral Matters Committee said in April 2009, ‘Victoria, along with the Commonwealth, is amongst the least regulated jurisdictions in the western world in terms of political finance law.’ One of the consequences of this is not only the potential for undue influence to compromise the integrity of government decisions, but for allegations to be made, often publicly, that cannot easily be either proven or disproven.

The Victorian Ombudsman does not normally deal with election matters. They are usually outside my jurisdiction, which is about the administration of government, not the actions of elected officials. I do, however, investigate complaints about elected officials in two circumstances: a ‘protected disclosure complaint’ referred by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), or a referral from Parliament itself.

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