The “Office for Disability” is now within the power- base of the “Department of Human Services”!
The “Office for Disability” was set-up within the “Department of Planning and Community Development”, in 2006, independent of the “Department of Human Services”, with a mandate to put disability on the agenda across the Victorian Government.
The Office's role was to provide independent expert policy advice and support for the Minister for Community Services to implement a coordinated whole-of-government response to disability. And, to encourage all government departments, including the DHS, to have the right policies and practices for people with disabilities.
One of the main aims of the “Office for Disability” was to encourage and influence Victorian Government policy and activities to improve outcomes for people with a disability and to deal with barriers to participation in our communities.
Given there are few, if any watch-dogs over the DHS, it was refreshing to have the “Office for Disability”, isolated from the DHS, at the “Department of Planning and Community Development”, despite their gentle bark and no bite.
With the “Office for Disability” having no independent statutory, it was easy meat for the DHS to takeover this external voice - to tow the party-line from within their ranks.
Even so, those “Independent Statutory Bodies”, pseudo government departments, circle and protect the DHS from public scrutiny.
There is, therefore, only one person in the State of Victoria who can direct the DHS juganaught – “The Minister for Community Services”! It is, however, traditional government practice for Minister’s to defend their department from any form of customer or public scrutiny.