CEO and General Counsel

As CEO and General Counsel, Cathy Cato is responsible for leading the legal, corporate, integrity, operations and policy functions at the VI. She is supported by the General Manager, Integrity Operations and Policy and the General Manager, Corporate Services.

About Cathy Cato

Cathy commenced her legal career in 1995 at the Australian Government Solicitor. After 8 years working across a broad range of litigation, she developed and co-managed a small business. Cathy became an in-house regulatory lawyer in 2007, and worked as State Director Legal at the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) from 2011.

Cathy commenced as a senior executive in the Victorian public sector in 2012 in the Department of Treasury and Finance, helping to establish the Construction Code Compliance Unit. She became the unit's Director in 2013, leading a multi-disciplinary team undertaking regulatory activities across the construction industry. Cathy also developed, advised on and implemented public sector construction procurement policy. Cathy served on a number of committees, including as chair of the whole of Victorian government Construction Contracts Advisory Panel.

In 2015, Cathy returned to the ABCC as National Manager, Building Code and served a statutory appointment as a Deputy ABC Commissioner from 2017 to 2018.

With over 20 years as a government lawyer and in regulatory management roles, Cathy has developed expertise in regulatory compliance and in managing and advising on investigations, including the exercise of coercive powers. Cathy is an experienced public speaker and trainer, who promotes education as a key component of oversight and regulation. 

Cathy is responsible for the following functions.

Integrity, Operations and Policy Unit 

This is a multi-disciplinary team that delivers the full range of oversight functions under the VI Act and other legislation.

The team’s activities include:

  • Complaints
  • Receiving and assessing certain public interest disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012.
  • Monitoring the use of coercive powers by integrity, accountability and investigatory bodies and officers.
  • Conducting an annual program of inspections at law enforcement and government departments exercising covert and intrusive powers.
  • Conducting own motion or complaint driven investigations, including public interest complaint investigations.
  • Advising on compliance methodologies, protocols and practice.
  • Providing authoritative compliance reports to each body after we conduct inspections of their records relating to using intrusive powers. 

The Legal Services team works flexibly and collaboratively across the VI, supporting the  delivery of our statutory functions and corporate requirements.

Legal services functions include:

  • Advising on the scope and exercise of statutory powers.
  • Advising on draft legislation relevant to the Victorian integrity system.
  • Advising on submissions to parliamentary committees.
  • Supporting the integrity operations and policy functions in a multidisciplinary setting.
  • Supporting corporate functions including advice on contracts, procurement and governance. 

Corporate Services 

The Corporate Services team delivers our corporate strategy, manages our strategic business improvement initiatives and provides our corporate support services, including:

  • Strategic and business planning
  • Corporate governance
  • Finance and budget management, reporting and compliance
  • Procurement management and reporting
  • Communications and media
  • Human Resources
  • Records management and support
  • ICT management
  • Building and facilities management