Member for Ripon Louise Staley one of 40 MPs relevant to Victorian Ombudsman invoice investigation

Member for Ripon Louise Staley is one of 29 sitting members relevant to the investigation. Picture: PENNY STEPHENS

Member for Ripon Louise Staley is one of 29 sitting members relevant to the investigation. Picture: PENNY STEPHENS

VICTORIAN Ombudsman Deborah Glass will investigate invoices current and former Liberal and Nationals MPs certified for payment.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley is among 29 sitting members relevant to the investigation, along with 11 former members.

They include former Premiers Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine, and Donna Bauer, Nick Kotsiras, Andrew McIntosh, Elizabeth Miller, Terry Mulder, Clem Newton-Brown, Geoff Shaw, Ken Smith, and Lorraine Wreford.

Ms Glass today announced she had received a letter from the Victorian Legislative Assembly referring a matter for investigation and report.

She was asked to examine all invoices rendered by Melbourne Mailing and submitted to the Department of Parliamentary Services for payment.

The ombudsman will scrutinise whether goods or services were provided in connection with the invoices, and evidence goods and services provided fairly reflected the value and description of items as outlined in the invoices.

The investigation will also examine how much the members certifying the accuracy of the invoices knew about the goods and services referred to in the invoices, including whether they were provided at a fair commercial rate.

The electoral district of Ripon. Picture: SUPPLIED

The electoral district of Ripon. Picture: SUPPLIED

Ms Glass will investigate any kickbacks and levies received by members of Parliament, or by or on behalf of Liberal Victoria, associated with Melbourne Mailing and the deal struck by convicted criminal and former Liberal Victoria state director Damien Mantach.

The Legislative Assembly also requested the following be examined:

“Any practice of falsification of invoices by members of Parliament endorsed as candidates by Liberal Victoria and the Nationals Victoria, in particular the current Member for Lowan, to obtain payment for goods, services or advertising, while circumventing Department of Parliamentary Services oversight rules and the Parliament of Victoria Members' Guide pertaining to payment of invoices submitted by members during the 2014–15 financial year, and from 1 June 2018 to the date of this motion.”

Ms Glass’s findings will be reported to Parliament.

While you're with us, did you know you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates direct to your inbox. Sign up here.