The ability of Victoria’s integrity agencies to investigate corruption and misconduct in Victoria has been hampered due to lack of government funding, a state Parliamentary committee has heard this afternoon.
Speaking to the Victorian Parliament’s Integrity and Oversight Committee, IBAC Commissioner the Hon Robert Redlich said despite the “significant growth in IBAC’s workload” over the years, “IBAC has never had any increase in its recurring funding since it commenced in 2013.”
Commissioner Redlich detailed that IBAC “will not be able to maintain current services” and “not be able to meet the expectations of the community or Parliament.”
Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass said that the Ombudsman has “never had ongoing sustainable funding”, “runs on a deficit” and that funding was an annual request through the budget.
Ms Glass stated that she “can’t plan and can’t invest” with the current funding for the integrity office.
Comments attributable to Deputy Chair of the Integrity and Oversight Committee, Brad Rowswell:
“Today’s evidence confirms that the Andrews Labor Government has starved integrity agencies of funding certainty, which means allegations of serious public sector misconduct have gone without investigation.
“Over the past six years, Daniel Andrews has never increased IBAC’s recurring funding and stalled to bring forward previous identified legislative reforms to strengthen IBAC’s powers.
“Why is the Andrews Labor Government starving our integrity agencies of their capacity to investigate corruption? What are they hiding?”
Comments attributable to the Shadow Special Minister of State, Kim Wells:
“IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman play the most important role in exposing corruption and misconduct in the public sector and in government.
“It may have been Daniel Andrews’ intention to under-resource IBAC and the Ombudsman, but Victorians deserve better. They deserve integrity agencies that have enough funding to investigate corruption, without the government reducing funding.”