The Ombudsman has today tabled a report in Parliament — Investigation into three councils’ outsourcing of parking fine internal reviews. The report makes recommendations for the State Government and for the three councils subject to the review — including Glen Eira City Council.
One of the recommendations is that Glen Eira City Council refund infringements where Council does not have evidence that an appropriately delegated officer read the application and exercised their own discretion. The applicable time period covers from the commencement of the Infringements Act 2006 until changes to council internal review practices were made in late 2016.
Last night, Council considered a report outlining how we intend to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations.
Following further analysis and cleansing of our infringements data we anticipate that there could be up to 22,000 infringements subject to further review, with a combined value of $2.37m.
I am pleased to announce that as from today, those who unsuccessfully challenged parking infringements between 1 July 2006 and 17 November 2016 can apply to Council for review. Council will assess each claim and refund those found to be eligible under the scheme.
Individuals who believe they have an infringement that qualifies and falls within the 2006–2016 timeframe are encouraged to visit Council’s website to submit an application.
The Ombudsman’s second recommendation was to amend the signature of the decision-maker to an anonymised identifying reference. Council has already changed its processes to be in-line with this recommendation.
Since 17 November 2016 all reviews have been conducted internally by Council officers. The community can have confidence that we are fully compliant with the requirements of the Infringements Act 2006.
We were pleased to see that the Ombudsman also recommended that Fines Victoria provide better communication with councils and enforcement agencies regarding the intent of the legislation and has also recommended that the Department of Justice and Community Safety seek amendments to the legislation’s drafting for the avoidance of doubt. We look forward to the State Government providing this further clarity as a priority, bringing resolution to this matter.