Tabling Petitions: Call for VEC to be held to account

A petition calling for the Victorian Ombudsman Act to be amended so as to subject the Victorian Electoral Commission to scrutiny and review by the Office of the Ombudsman has been tabled in the Victorian State Parliament (Wednesday July 28, 2010)

Currently the Victorian Electoral Commission and the Chief Electoral Commissioner is exempt from review by the State Ombudsman. Complaints related to the administration of the Victorian Electoral Commission can not be reviewed by the State Ombudsman.

A similar request to have the Ombudsman Act amended was made in a submission to the Victorian State Parliament Electoral Matters Committee. The Committee has to date failed to address this issue. Any amendments to the State Ombudsman Act is the responsibility of the Attorney General Rob Hulls who also oversees the Victorian Electoral Commission.

To the Legislative Assembly of Victoria

The Petition of Residents of the State of Victoria

We the undersigned wish to express concern at the lack of accountability and potential for misuse and abuse in administration by the Victorian Electoral Commission and its staff, further we express concern that the Victorian Electoral Commission is not subjected to independent review, investigation or oversight by the Office of the Victorian State Ombudsman.

The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Assembly of Victoria amend the Victorian Ombudsman Act 1983 by deleting part III s13(3) (ca) of the Act which excludes the Victorian Electoral Commission from being investigated by the Office of the State Ombudsman.