|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Part XVI of the Local Government Act 1958 (No. 6299) provided for the appointment of municipal auditors and inspectors, certified by a Municipal Auditors Board, who had significant powers in relation to the auditing of municipal accounts and who held office outside the Public Service Act.
The powers of inspectors and auditors under the 1958 Act were largely confined to the auditing of accounts. These were replaced by wide ranging powers bestowed on inspectors of municipal administration appointed under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 1989, which allowed examination or investigation of any matter relating to the Council's operations with a mandate to report relevant matters to the Minister.
The inspectors appointed under the 1989 legislation were appointed subject to the Public Service Act 1974, and it was not until 1997 that the Local Government Act 1989 was amended by the Kennett Coalition government to expressly exclude the office of inspector from the operation of the Public Sector Management Act 1992. The amendments came into effect on the date of Royal Assent, 27 May 1997.
Against this background, the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate (Inspectorate) (VA 5006) was established under section 11 of the Public Administration Act 2004 on 12 August 2009 by the Brumby Labor government as an independent administrative office. The main purpose of the Inspectorate was to assess compliance with the Local Government Act 1989. It was staffed by inspectors of municipal administration appointed in accordance with section 223A and exercising powers under section 223B of the Act as amended in 1997.
The Inspectorate was divided into teams of investigators and auditors who carried out the following functions:
- Investigating complaints of alleged breaches of the Act by councillors, senior council officers or a person with delegated responsibility within the Act
- Conducting audits of all Victorian local councils to assess compliance with the Act
- Monitoring the corporate governance of Victorian councils
- Monitoring electoral provisions
- Undertaking prosecutions for breaches of the Act
- Providing recommendations to councils for continuous improvement
- Advising the Minister for Local Government, through the Secretary of the parent department, where a serious failure of corporate governance has been found at council.
The Inspectorate was headed by the Chief Municipal Inspector who at the time of the agency's creation was responsible to the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) (VA 4838). On 9 April 2013 a restructure announced by the new Premier the Hon Dr Denis Napthine abolished DPCD and moved the Inspectorate to the new Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (VA 5003), with effect from 1 July 2013.