The former principal of Bendigo South East college abused his position by employing and promoting his wife and son and by facilitating benefits being channelled to companies owned by another son. The Department of Education's regional office failed to act on complaints about the principal's conduct.
A parliamentary committee asked the Ombudsman to investigate allegations made by a former principal of Parkville College. The principal alleged senior Department of Education staff had tried to influence evidence he was to give in court. The Ombudsman found the allegations were 'not substantiated'.
This casebook includes 13 summaries of real-life complaints that were able to be resolved promptly by the Ombudsman's office. These include unfair fines being withdrawn and overpaid council rates being refunded.
This report looks into the implementation of recommendations the Ombudsman made to public organisations between April 2016-March 2018. The Ombudsman made 125 recommendations. Nearly one third had been implemented in full, while 68% were being progressed.
The Ombudsman found people in positions of power at Puffing Billy and other Victorian railway groups protected the reputation of their organisations at the expense of children who were sexually abused. She recommended the victims receive a public apology. The government formally apologised in 2019.
This investigation found taxi and hire care licence holders were given the "bureaucratic runaround" when seeking payments from the Fairness Fund. The Ombudsman said much better planning and communication, including managing expectations, would have avoided many of the complaints.
Maribyrnong Council treated disadvantaged people harshly by refusing to cancel parking fines in cases where exceptional circumstances applied. The Ombudsman found the council's practices were lacking in fairness and discretion when compared with five other metro councils.
This investigation found Wodonga Council collected at least $18 million in extra revenue from its waste management levy over the previous decade. The surplus was used to fund other council services. The Ombudsman said the council's practice undermined the public's trust in how their money was spent.
The Ombudsman found 21 Labor MPs breached Parliament's Members' Guide by certifying payments to electorate officers used for party political campaigning. This occurred in the lead up to the 2014 State Election. The Labor party agreed to pay back the public funds that had been misused.
Kinship carers were not receiving the financial support to which they were entitled, the Ombudsman found. Members of a child's family or social group who took in a child were receiving far less support than foster carers. As a result of the investigation, more than $170,000 was back-paid to carers.
Female prisoners in Victoria's main women's prison were being routinely strip searched, the Ombudsman found. She described the practice as "humiliating, degrading and undignified". She was also concerned about a high incidence of force and restraint being used at the prison.
This investigation found disadvantaged Victorians were being charged thousands of dollars for the repair of damaged public housing, even when there was no evidence they had caused the damage. The department accepted all 18 of the Ombudsman's recommendations for improvement.