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Freedom of Information

Decision Making and Other Powers Affecting Members of the Public

It should be noted that many powers invested in the specific positions described in this section may be delegated formally to subordinate officers.

Table 7.18 Decision Making powers of Defence Officials
Secretary Under Clause J9 of the Defence Employees' Certified Agreement 2004-2006, the Secretary may authorise the payment of entitlements and benefits to the partner, dependants or legal representative of a deceased employee. Under Part 16 (sections 333-347) of the Telecommunications Act 1997, the Secretary may require a carriage service provider to supply a specified carriage of service for the use of Defence or the ADF and may enter into an agreement with a carrier or carriage service provider about planning for network survivability or operational requirements in times of crisis. Under regulation 101.065 and 101.430 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, the Secretary may give permission to a person to launch a rocket (including a model rocket) or to operate an unmanned aircraft in or over a prohibited area.
Vice Chief of the Defence Force/Chief of Joint Operations May make decisions relating to the planning and conduct of campaigns, operations and other activities to achieve national objectives within Australia and overseas; may make decisions regarding the planning and conduct of combined and joint training activities and major exercises at the operational and tactical levels; and oversees the provision of Defence assistance to the civil community at the operational level.
Commander Joint Logistics May issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender and evaluate tenders and recommend source selection.
Chief of Navy, Chief of Army and Chief of Air Force May exercise powers to prescribe conditions for entry or re-entry, however described (for example, appointment, re-appointment, recruitment, enlistment, re-enlistment, engagement, and re-engagement) to their respective Service; place names of officers and former officers on the retired list; grant to officers on the retired list military title or rank and authorise such persons to wear uniform and insignia; determine appointments in respect of cadets; approve the provision of Defence assistance to the civil community; authorise the use of words and letters protected under the Defence (Prohibited Words and Letters) Regulations; approve the wearing, manufacture or supply of protected Service emblems, crests and flags; determine who should be employed, reside or stay in a Service establishment; approve the possession, sale, supply and consumption of intoxicating liquor at gatherings of Service members and their guests; declare an area in or adjacent to Australia to be a firing or practice area; and grant licences to trade in an establishment of their respective Service.
Maritime Commander Australia May make decisions relating to public access to naval ships and military (Navy) areas; may provide assistance to civilian authorities in disaster relief or rescue situations; may make public comment in relation to visiting naval forces or ships; convenes Navy courts martial and Defence Force Magistrate trials, which may involve the summoning of civilian witnesses; and provides Defence assistance to the civil community when not managed by the commanding officer of the area.
Commander Australian Navy Systems Command May make decisions relating to public access to naval establishments and military (Navy) areas; may provide assistance to civilian authorities in disaster relief or rescue situations; may make public comment in relation to visiting naval forces or ships; convenes Navy courts martial and Defence Force Magistrate trials, which may involve the summoning of civilian witnesses; and provides Defence assistance to the civil community when not managed by the commanding officer of the area.
Director-General Navy Personnel and Training May authorise the release of serving and former Navy members' military records.
Land Commander Australia May make decisions relating to public access to military (Army) areas; select private, state or Commonwealth property for training exercises; provide Defence assistance to the civil community; may release Army personnel information; may approve local hire or lease of Army property; and may impose constraints on Army personnel which impinge on public enterprise.
Commander Training Command - Army May authorise the provision of Defence assistance to the civil community by any of the schools, colleges or training establishments within the Command; and may release information from the records of any member and ex-member who has undergone training by the Command.
Air Commander Australia May summon civilian witnesses to attend Air Force courts martial; and provide Defence assistance to the civil community.
Capability Development Group Delegates within Capability Development Group have the authority to determine the method of procurement; issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders; recommend source selection; and approve contracts.
Chief Finance Officer May provide instructions to legal providers on the Defence Legal Panel on the settlement of claims against the Commonwealth; declare surplus land, buildings, or land and buildings for disposal; approve exemptions and variations to application of interest on debt repayments; determine rates and charges for all supplies and services provided by Defence; delegate authority to waive the full cost recovery for supplies and services provided by Defence; write-off public money; delegate authority to issue a drawing right to make a payment of public money for a specific purpose and/or request the debiting of an amount against a particular appropriation and delegate authority to revoke or amend a drawing right; enter into agreements with any bank for the receipt, custody, payment or transmission of public money, or for other matters relating to the conduct of the Australian Government's banking business; and open and maintain official bank accounts in accordance with agreements under Section 9 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and/or request a local bank to provide an encashment facility.
Head Defence Health Services May authorise the release of serving and former members' medical and dental records.
Director-General Career Management Policy May authorise the release of serving and former ADF members' honours and awards histories.
Director-General Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions The Director-General Personnel Policy and Employment Conditions and the Director Defence Workplace Relations may exercise powers to approve claims against the Department brought by former employees in respect of the termination of their employment. These claims of unfair dismissal are made under Section 170CE of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 and are lodged with and heard by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The powers are exercised in accordance with the Attorney-General's Legal Services Directions.
Director Defence Force Psychology Organisation May allow the release of information from individual psychological records.
Director of Service Delivery May authorise the release of individuals' confidential counselling records to those individuals concerned.
Head Coordination and Public Affairs Division Has the authority to issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders; and recommend source selection in relation to contracts for the provision of public affairs services for Defence.
Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation May determine methods of procurement and approve contracts for major capital equipment and through-life support requirements, issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender, evaluate tenders and recommend source selection.
Heads of Maritime Systems, Land Systems, Aerospace Systems, Electronic Systems, Management Information Systems and Airborne Surveillance and Control Divisions May issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders; and recommend source selection for major and minor capital equipment. In specific cases, they have the authority to determine the method of procurement and approve major and minor capital equipment contracts.
Head Industry Division Accepts tenders and recommendations about quotations for the purchase of supplies and services.
Head National Operations Division May provide Defence assistance to the civil community; control public access to military areas; approve the loan, hire or purchase of defence stores and equipment and, in defined cases, determine the method of procurement; issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders and recommend or approve sourcing; approve contracts and the purchase of supplies and services; and grant remission of fees and impose charges payable under the Freedom of Information legislation.
Director of Classified Archival Records Review In accordance with an arrangement made between Defence and the National Archives of Australia pursuant to section 35 of the Archives Act 1983, the Director Classified Archival Records Review provides advice to the Director-General National Archives of Australia and the Director of the Australian War Memorial specifying which matter, if any, contained in Defence archival records requested by the public under the Archives Act, is considered to be exempt under sections 33(1)(a) and (b) of the Act.
Head Infrastructure Division May determine the method of procurement; issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders; recommend source selection; approve contracts for capital facilities, property transactions, and the purchase of services; and has responsibility for environmental issues within Defence. Head Infrastructure has the delegated authority for implementation of Defence (Areas Control) Regulations which are made under the Defence Act 1903 and to give the legal basis for restrictions to be placed by Defence on the height of buildings and other structures and introduced objects, such as trees, in the vicinity of Defence airfields and related facilities.
Chief Information Officer May determine the method of procurement; issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders; recommend source selection; and approve contracts.
Head Information Systems Division May determine the method of procurement; issue invitations to register interest and requests for tender; evaluate tenders; recommend source selection; and approve contracts.
Head Strategic Policy Division May issue approvals for the export of certain defence equipment and goods with dual civil and military applications.
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