Appendix 4

Appendix 4

Previous recommendations of the committee and government response

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that Defence prominently display, and commemorate, the apology by the Minister of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force to victims of abuse in Defence.

Government Response - Agree

The apologies delivered by the Chief of the Defence Force and the then Minister are accessible to all Australians on the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce website and on Defence's internal and external websites. Defence referred to the apologies in its Annual Report.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that Defence formally respond to the systemic issues and findings of the DLA Piper Review in its public reporting on the progress of the implementation of the Pathway to Change Defence cultural reforms.

Government Response – Agree

Noting that Pathway to Change is Defence's response to the Reviews initiated in 2011, Defence will consider the systemic issues and findings of the DLA Piper Review in this context.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that Defence actively encourage senior officers to participate in the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce's restorative engagement program with victims of abuse.

 

Government response – Agree

Defence has affirmed to the Chair of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce...its commitment to supporting and participating in the Restorative Engagement Program.

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce and Defence are working collaboratively to establish arrangements for implementing the program, including a framework underpinned by the best practice principles and values of restorative practice and mediation.

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that Defence provide a waiver of any confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement which could prevent a person from engaging with the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.

 

Government response – Agree

Defence, in consultation with the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, has prepared a 'limited waiver of confidentiality and deed of release and indemnity' so that persons who have previously settled a claim against Defence involving allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse by Defence personnel are not prevented from having their matter dealt with by the Taskforce

Recommendation 5

The committee recommends that, following the conclusion of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce's operation, the Minister for Defence facilitate the productive use of the Taskforce's depersonalised statistical database of information regarding reported incidents of abuse in Defence.

 

Government response – Agree

Defence and the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce have agreed the value of providing an appropriately depersonalised database. Work is underway to achieve this outcome.

Recommendation 6

The committee recommends that the Australian Government commission an independent review to determine whether any of the functions of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce's should continue and how to ensure these functions can continue to be performed effectively. This independent review will report its findings and make recommendations to the Minister for Defence, the Attorney-General and the Minister for Veterans Affairs.

The committee recommends that, at the conclusion of this independent review, the Minister for Defence, the Attorney-General and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, should assess whether any of the functions of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce should continue in another form.

Government response – agree in principle

The Australian Government notes that the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce is independent of Defence and it has advised that it sees value in some form of review taking place toward the end of its outcome delivery phase. Such a review could then be assessed by the Minister for Defence, the Attorney-General and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, to decide if any of the functions of the Taskforce should continue in another form.

While the Australian Government is supportive of a review taking place, it considers that it is too early, at this time, to form a clear view on exactly what form the review should take. The Taskforce is currently approved to operate to the end of November 2014 and the terms and scope of any review should be reconsidered at a later stage

Recommendation 7

The committee recommends that Defence implement recommendation 19 of the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force's review—that the appointment of case officers to support complainants and respondents should be required in all cases.

Government response – Agree

This recommendation was agreed as part of Pathway to Change and is being implemented.

Recommendation 8

The committee recommends that Defence assess whether additional support services for victims of non-sexual forms of abuse should be included within the Pathway to Change cultural reforms.

Government response – Agree

The Australian Government notes action by Defence in Pathway to Change that will, through sustained effort to implement practical measures, corrective processes and structure and support, achieve Defence's cultural intent.

Recommendation 9

The committee recommends that Defence engage in dialogue with associations which represent the interests of victims of abuse in Defence.

Government response – Agree

Defence will examine, in conjunction with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, avenues for dialogue.

Recommendation 10

The committee recommends that, at the completion of the implementation of the Pathway to Change strategy, the Australian Government conduct an independent review of its outcomes and an assessment of the need for further reform in Defence.

Government response – agree in principle

Noting existing mechanisms of reporting and oversight of Pathway to Change by Government and the Parliament, the Australian Government will consider the necessary activity for evaluating Defence's efforts to achieve cultural change and measures of success.

Navigation: Previous Page | Contents

Top