The Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) is an assurance entity created through the reform of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements in 2014.
Established on 1 July 2014 by the Emergency Management Act 2013, the IGEM works with its emergency management partners and the community to strengthen emergency management arrangements and community safety in Victoria.
IGEM’s primary role is providing assurance to government and the community regarding the emergency management arrangements in Victoria and fostering their continuous improvement.
IGEM undertakes objective reviews, evaluations and assessments of Victoria’s emergency management arrangements and the sector’s performance, capacity and capability.
Through reliable, evidence-based information, IGEM identifies what is working well and where improvements can be made in the state’s emergency management arrangements. This includes monitoring the implementation of recommendations and actions identified through reviews to ensure they are effective and sustainable in the long-term.
IGEM strives to give Victorians confidence that the emergency management arrangements are effective and are actively helping to keep communities safe.
The IGEM strategic objectives for 2015-19 are to:
develop and implement IGEM strategy and process
- consolidate processes under the Monitoring and Assurance Framework for Emergency Management
- undertake assurance activities
IGEM is supporting its emergency management partners in creating an environment where all Victorians are confident in the state’s emergency management arrangements.
The commencement of the Emergency Management Act 2013 in July 2014 implemented many government reforms to emergency management arrangements - including the establishment of the IGEM to provide assurance to the government and the community regarding Victoria’s emergency management arrangements.
The 2013 Act defines key elements of Victoria’s emergency management structure, assigns significant roles and responsibilities, and provides clear accountability regarding the management of major emergencies. The operational roles of most of the organisations that participate in emergency management are detailed in specific legislation and plans.
Under the 2013 Act, IGEM’s key functions include:
- developing and maintaining a monitoring and assurance framework for emergency management, including measures for assessing the capacity, capability and performance of the emergency management sector
- undertaking system-wide reviews, including reviewing the emergency management functions of responder agencies and departments in relation to the monitoring and assurance framework
- at the request of the Minister for Emergency Services, providing advice to, or preparing a report for, the minister on any matter relating to the IGEM’s functions
- evaluating statewide training and exercising arrangements to maintain and strengthen emergency management capability
- monitoring and reporting to the Minister for Emergency Services on the implementation of the Victorian Emergency Management Strategic Action Plan by:
- responder agencies
- the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA)
- Emergency Management Victoria
- monitoring, reviewing and assessing critical infrastructure resilience at a system level
- monitoring and investigating the performance (in non-financial matters) of ESTA regarding the provision of services to emergency services and related organisations
- making recommendations to the minister regarding matters arising from monitoring and investigating ESTA.
In performing its legislated functions and making recommendations, IGEM must have regard to the resources that agencies have to implement such recommendations.
The introduction of the 2013 Act also effected the discontinuation of the position of Emergency Services Commissioner established by the Emergency Management Act 1986.
It is proposed that the 1986 Act will be repealed pending future amendments to the 2013 Act. Currently, the 1986 Act and 2013 Act are to be read and construed as one Act.
The Emergency Management Act(s) and all Victorian Acts can be accessed through Victorian Law Today.
Victoria’s emergency management arrangements
The Emergency Management Manual Victoria describes the emergency management arrangements in Victoria, and provides details about the functions and responsibilities different organisations play in the implementation of these arrangements.