12.1 Constitution Act 1975

The Constitution Act sets up the structure for Government at state level and provides the foundations for the Victorian Parliament, courts and government.

Further information: www.parliament.vic.gov.au.

12.2 Public Administration Act 2004

The Public Administration Act provides a framework for good governance in the Victorian public sector and for public administration generally. The Act:

  • establishes the Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • provides a framework for good governance in the Victorian public sector;
  • defines values to promote the highest standards of integrity and conduct;
  • outlines principles to underpin public sector employment; and
  • provides for the employment of ministerial officers, parliamentary advisers and judicial employees.

Further information: www.vpsc.vic.gov.au

12.3 Financial Management Act 1994

The Financial Management Act administers the use of public money and specifies the accountability processes and secondary legislation with which government entities must comply.

Further information: www.dtf.vic.gov.au.

12.4 Ombudsman Act 1973

The Ombudsman Act provides for the appointment of an Ombudsman and details the Ombudsman’s role and functions in relation to the investigation of complaints.

Further information: www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au

12.5 Audit Act 1994

The Audit Act prescribes the auditing and reporting powers of the Auditor-General. The Act empowers the Auditor-General to audit the state’s consolidated financial report, and the financial reports of individual departments and other public sector organisations. The Act also authorises the Auditor-General to conduct performance audits and review the Government’s estimated financial statements published in the budget papers.

Further information: www.audit.vic.gov.au.

12.6 Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act protects the human rights of all people in Victoria. The Charter requires all public authorities and their employees to act compatibly with human rights and to consider human rights when making decisions. This includes public service employees, Victoria Police, local councils and Ministers, as well as non-government organisations performing public functions on behalf of government.

The values and employment principles in the Public Administration Act and the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees also require the public sector to respect human rights.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission undertakes specific functions in relation to the Charter including providing information and education, conducting reviews and reporting annually on the operation of the Charter. The Ombudsman considers whether administrative actions are consistent with the Charter. This includes providing an independent assessment of how well state and local government comply with the Charter and investigating particular human rights issues and concerns.

Further information: www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au, www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au.

12.7 Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

The Privacy and Data Protection Act sets standards for the way Victorian government organisations, statutory bodies and local councils collect and handle personal information. Ten information privacy principles are at the core of the Privacy and Data Protection Act. With limited exceptions, all Victorian government organisations, including local councils, must comply with these principles or have an approved code of practice.

The Information Commissioner and the Privacy and Data Protection Deputy Commissioner have a wide range of functions including promoting an understanding of the information privacy principles, receiving complaints relating to alleged breaches of privacy by public sector organisations and other functions related to protective data security.

Further information: www.ovic.vic.gov.au

12.8 Freedom of Information Act 1982

The Freedom of Information Act gives a person the right to obtain documents held by Ministers; State government departments, local councils, most semi-government agencies and statutory authorities; public hospitals, community health centres, universities, TAFE institutes and schools.

A person can apply for documents that are held by an agency which is covered by the Freedom of Information Act. This includes documents created by the agency or documents supplied to the agency by an external organisation or individual. Some documents may be exempt from the Act such as Cabinet documents. Agencies have 30 days to respond to requests under the Act. In some instances the 30 day period may be extended.

Further information: www.ovic.vic.gov.au

12.9 Public Records Act 1973

The Public Records Act has a number of functions. This includes establishing the Public Record Office Victoria and improving standards for the efficient management, security and preservation of public records. The Public Record Office Victoria supports best practice records management across the public service through training and advice on records management.

Public records include any records made or received by a person employed in a public office in the course of his or her duties. A public record can take many forms, including a document, email, file, picture, register, plan, book, film, recording or website. The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office has released a Records Management Checklist to improve the management of government records and help agencies fulfil their obligations under the Public Records Act.

Further information: www.prov.vic.gov.au, www.audit.vic.gov.au.

12.10 Protected Disclosure Act 2012

The Protected Disclosure Act encourages the disclosure and investigation of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies. It also provides protection for individuals who make a disclosure or who may suffer reprisals in relation to a disclosure.

Further information: www.ibac.vic.gov.au.