Chapter Three - People > Effectiveness of Investigations and Complaints Handling > page 5 of 12
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Effectiveness of Investigations and Complaints Handling

Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force

Development

Presentations were made to pre-command and legal officer's courses and to the Administrative Law Conference hosted by Defence Legal.

A number of policy issues were identified during investigations and audits, including the need to develop an ADF investigative capability to deal with serious offences that occur on operations overseas and the correct use of the quick assessment process to facilitate administrative inquiries.

Arrangements were made for the Inspector-General of the ADF to visit Canada early in the new financial year to compare the operation of key parts of the Canadian Forces military justice system to that of the ADF military justice system. Visits were received from the Inspectors-General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Netherlands during the period.

At the end of the financial year legislative amendments had been prepared to convert the position of Inspector-General of the ADF from a contract to a statutory appointment. It is expected that this will be introduced at the first available opportunity as part of a Defence Legislative Amendment Bill.

The Redress of Grievance Review conducted jointly by Defence and the Defence Force Ombudsman during the year recommended that the Inspector-General of the ADF assume additional oversight, training, information systems and performance management functions in relation to the grievance system.

During 2004-05, two additional staff were approved for the office. The use of Reservists on a part-time basis to undertake inquiries, and assist with audits and training, has resulted in the development of an as yet small, but important, pool of expertise to deal with the specialised area of military justice. A further review of staff resources will be necessary in the coming year to allow the increasingly significant audit task to proceed independently of the inquiry function and to cope with any additional responsibilities that may arise from the outcome of the Senate Inquiry into the Effectiveness of the ADF Military Justice System.

Awareness of Inspector-General of the ADF has increased and indications are that the existence of the office continues to have a positive impact on the administration of the military justice system. Confidence in the Inspector-General of the ADF as an impartial office has increased as the outcomes of inquiries have become known and the audit process has matured. It is expected that the oversight and review functions of the office will become more prominent in future as improvements in the visibility and reporting of components of the military justice system become better established.

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