IGEM conducts performance monitoring to proactively identify emerging performance issues, risks and trends. In doing so, IGEM leverages the data gathered through organisations’ existing risk and performance information.
This function is closely linked with implementation monitoring in that consideration will be given to the status of planned improvement actions in assessing performance with the sector.
Where IGEM has a monitoring function for a specific organisation, it works collaboratively with its people.
These organisations assist IGEM by providing notifications of incidents that may have had adverse consequences. IGEM then applies its risk-based assessment process to determine if it needs to undertake any form of IGEM led review or whether it is appropriate for IGEM to monitor the organisation’s own internal review or investigation.
When undertaking detailed monitoring activities, IGEM applies and promotes the use of a root cause analysis approach to ensure that it identifies not only the causal factors but also the underlying causes of performance issues. This ensures that any proposed treatments are more likely to be effective in reducing risk.
All IGEM’s assurance activities are guided by the Assurance Framework for Emergency Management which provides the foundation for a coordinated and collaborative approach to sector-wide assurance.
IGEM's performance monitoring activities:
Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) - non-financial performance
IGEM has legislated assurance responsibilities relating to Victoria’s Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (External link) (ESTA). The Inspector-General reports on these responsibilities - and all their assurance responsibilities - direct to the Minister for Emergency Services.
ESTA handles the call-taking and dispatch system for more than 7000 emergency (Triple Zero/000) and non-emergency calls daily - or a call every 12 seconds. This is in addition to other communications for Victoria’s emergency management organisations and agencies.
Under the Emergency Management Act 2013 IGEM conducts year-round assurance activities to assess ESTA’s emergency call-taking and dispatch services. This includes monitoring and investigation of adverse events, and assessment against established performance standards for ESTA’s delivery of services to the emergency services organisations under the Emergency Services Telecommunications Act 2004.
IGEM also provides assurance of ESTA’s annual report by reviewing it prior to tabling in Parliament. This ensures the annual report accurately reports ESTA’s performance against the standards.
The Inspector-General also prepares reports into individual adverse events.
These are confidential reports due to the legislated requirements to maintain confidentiality under the Emergency Management Act. However the Inspector-General provides them to the Coroner’s Court of Victoria (External link) to assist with their investigations. The Coroner may then opt to include elements of IGEM’s report within their coroner’s finding.
Concluded monitoring activities
Monitoring of planned burns which breach control lines
Assurance of breaches of planned burn control lines is now provided by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (External link)(OBRM) - a part of the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action.
IGEM’s previous assurance reports on breaches of planned burn control lines covering the period November 2015 to June 2021 are provided below.
Assurance of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning breaches of planned burn control lines 2020-21 (published 20 July 2022)
Assurance of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning breaches of planned burn control lines 2019-20 (published 8 February 2021)
Assurance of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning breaches of planned burn control lines 2018-19 (published 18 January 2021)
Summary of Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning bushfire fuel management 2017–18 (published 4 September 2019)
Summary of investigations into Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning breaches of planned burn control lines 2016–17 (published 16 January 2018)
Summary of investigations into breaches of planned burn control lines (1 January to 30 June 2016) (published 15 December 2016)
Fire services' response time data
On 30 October 2017 the government announced response time data, held by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA), will be published every quarter.
As a complementary activity, and to provide government and the community with confidence, the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) conducted an independent assurance process on the integrity of response time data. IGEM undertook this role in accordance with its legislative assurance functions and in close consultation with the fire services.
On 31 August 2018 IGEM provided government its report on the key risks associated with how fire services’ response time data is created, interpreted and used.
Read the government's announcement: Fire services response data published for the first time
In December 2020, the Victorian Government appointed the inaugural Fire Services Implementation Monitor (External link).
The Monitor publishes quarterly reports in response to fire services quarterly data and an annual report that focuses on the broader Fire Services Reform agenda being rolled out across the state.
Visit the implementation monitoring page to find which agreed actions and recommendations IGEM tracks for implementation and effectiveness.