26 September 2023

Powers combine to investigate stacks

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The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) and the Victorian Ombudsman are to join forces to investigate alleged serious misconduct and corruption involving Victorian public officers.

Announced by the Commissioner of IBAC, Robert Redlich and Victorian Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, their respective offices are to take a coordinated approach to a joint investigation into a range of matters concerning allegations of ‘branch stacking’.

The Commissioner and Ombudsman said the investigation would look into matters aired in recent media reports as well as related complaints made or referred to IBAC, and the Ombudsman from the Parliament.

Commissioner Redlich said the conduct of a thorough and efficient investigation was a shared priority for IBAC and the Ombudsman in response to significant public concern about the potential misuse of scarce public resources and the subversion of appropriate Parliamentary standards and processes.

“What Victorians need from us is an independent investigation,” Ms Glass said.

“Together with IBAC we will examine these allegations including whether, and if so to what extent, public funds were misused for party-political purposes,” she said.

“Commissioner Robert Redlich and I have agreed to share our expertise to get to the bottom of these issues for the Victorian public.”

The Commissioner and Ombudsman said it wasn’t possible to predict at the outset how long the investigation would take, as it would depend on what evidence emerged.

They said that at the end of the investigation however, there would be a public report on the findings, the timing of which may be subject to legal and other requirements.

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