The Victorian Ombudsman has today tabled her report into matters concerning the 2014 election campaign.
In her observations, the Ombudsman notes that the Members of Parliament involved in the staff pooling arrangements acted in good faith and derived little or no personal benefit from the use of parliamentary funds in this way.
She makes no recommendations that action be taken against anyone involved in these arrangements.
The Government accepts the Ombudsman’s view that there are competing interpretations of the relationship between Section 30 of the Parliamentary Administration Act 2005 and the Members Guide, and that any confusion should be resolved swiftly.
In the interests of public confidence, the Premier requested that the State Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party reimburse, in full, funds expended through the staff pooling arrangements.
The Ombudsman recommends that the Parliament consider giving greater clarity to the role of electorate office staff and improve transparency around the expenditure of MP allowances.
The Government is already taking a number of steps to make the Parliamentary allowance system for MPs more transparent and accountable – something the previous Liberal Government refused to do.
We support all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations and will ensure the Parliament is provided with all the support required to implement them.
Reviewed 19 August 2020