We'd like to get your feedback about the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)
Tell us what you think using our submission form.
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About this audit
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) is currently auditing the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA)’s delivery of guardianship and investigation services for vulnerable adults.
Our call for submissions
As part of this audit, we are accepting submissions from:
- people with lived experience of OPA guardianship and/or investigations
- family members, carers, friends and support people of OPA clients.
How can I participate?
What can I write about?
Our audit is looking at whether OPA’s guardianship and investigation services promote and protect the rights and interests of vulnerable adults. You may wish to tell us about your experience with OPA, including:
- what OPA does for you or the represented person
- whether OPA asked you what you want
- the timeliness of your interactions with OPA
- engagement with guardians or investigators
- the process of lodging a complaint
- things OPA did well or could have done better.
Submissions will be accepted from Thursday, 9 November 2023 until Friday, 15 December 2023.
What we will do with your submission
Submissions will help us understand what is going well and what OPA can do to improve its services. Once we have completed our audit work next year, we will publish a report on our findings and make recommendations to OPA.
Submissions will be de-identified (made anonymous) in our report.
VAGO is committed to protecting your privacy and we take our information security responsibilities very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about the call for submissions, please contact the audit team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Auditor-General is an independent officer of the Victorian Parliament, supported by around 185 staff, to provide assurance to Parliament and the Victorian community about how effectively public sector agencies are providing services and using public money. It achieves this through an annual program of financial and performance audits of state and local government public sector entities. Further information regarding VAGO's role can be found on our website.
We plan to determine whether the Office of the Public Advocate provides effective and efficient services that support the rights of vulnerable adults.
Why this is important
The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) acts as a guardian of ‘last resort’ for people unable to make decisions about their lives due to disability, mental illness or dementia.
Each year OPA handles approximately 950 new guardianship matters and makes several thousand decisions. OPA has recently experienced challenges meeting its performance targets. In 2021–22, the waitlist prior to being allocated to a guardian was 42 days, as compared to Budget Paper No. 3 Service Delivery target of 15 to 19 days.
People that require a guardian are a vulnerable cohort and there may be serious consequences if they do not receive timely support.
Several factors are impacting OPA’s service delivery, including:
- WorkSafe Victoria's cap on guardian case loads
- the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which has increased demand
- the complexity of cases.
What we plan to examine
This is a reasonable assurance engagement.
We will assess if OPA is providing effective and efficient services that support the rights of vulnerable adults.
Who we plan to examine
DFFH, DJCS and OPA