Military Justice Reforms

Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration

The Defence Legal Division in Defence Support Group manages claims made under the Compensation for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration (CDDA) scheme. The Department of Finance and Deregulation has general oversight of the scheme. An explanation of how the scheme and other discretionary remedies operate can be found on the Department of Finance and Deregulation website at www.finance.gov.au.

In Defence, the majority of claims made under the scheme are from current serving and former members of the ADF. Although the scheme has not been developed specifically to deal with ADF personnel disputes, it is a means by which ADF members can seek compensation, whether or not their redress of grievance has been upheld. The restrictive criteria that applies under the scheme means that compensation cannot be awarded in many instances, although the member may have grounds for complaint.

A continuing trend of concern is that ADF members dissatisfied with the outcome of an application for redress of grievance seek to reopen the matter through a CDDA claim. As a general rule, where an ADF member is dissatisfied with the outcome of a redress of grievance process, the Defence Force Ombudsman may be the appropriate body to review the member's complaint, noting that the Ombudsman has the discretion not to investigate grievances. Other remedies may include seeking judicial review. While the CDDA scheme may be available to pay compensation where the redress of grievance has been upheld in full or in part, it is not an appropriate avenue through which to reopen matters where the member remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the grievance process.

Defence is currently reviewing all Chief Executive Instructions. The Chief Executive Instruction on the CDDA Scheme, incorporating Finance Circular 2006/05, is expected to be published in late 2008.

Table 5.3 Compensation for Detriment Cause by Defective Administration claims summary
Year Claims
Received
Payments
Made
Amounts
Paid
2007-08 34 19 $451,497
2006-07 40 20 $652,035
2005-06 50 20 $321,660
2004-05 47 29 $332,062
2003-04 54 21 $359,010
2002-03 37 36 $287,983

APS Code of Conduct

The Australian Public Service ( APS) Code of Conduct and APS values are set out in the Public Service Act 1999. The code sets out the conduct expected of APS employees and obliges all employees to uphold the APS values. The values establish the framework in which the APS operates, underpinning relationships and behaviour.

During 2007-08, Defence finalised investigations of 126 employees for breaches of the Code of Conduct. This figure represents less than 0.5 percent of the Defence workforce. The total number of suspected breaches was 76 (note that an employee can be suspected of more than one breach). Of the 126 employees investigated, 79 were found to have breached at least one element of the code and 166 sanctions were imposed. Employment was terminated in 14 cases, and a financial penalty was applied in 34 cases. The remaining sanctions involved formal reprimands and counselling.

By comparison, in 2006-07 Defence finalised investigation of 86 employees for breaches of the Code of Conduct. Of the 86 employees investigated, 67 were found to have breached at least one element of the code and 86 sanctions were issued (in some cases more than one sanction was applied to an individual). Employment was terminated in nine cases, 22 had financial sanctions applied and the rest were counselled or reprimanded.

The increase in cases investigated in 2007-08 could be attributable to greater awareness of the Code of Conduct through the Defence Collective Agreement (DeCA) 2006-09 and the Performance Feedback Assessment and Development Scheme introduced in 2007. In 2005-06 Defence investigated a total of 102 employees for breaches of the Code of Conduct. Of the 102 employees investigated, 79 were found to have breached at least one element of the Code and 90 sanctions were imposed. Employment was terminated in ten cases and a financial sanction applied in 37 cases. The rest were counselled or reprimanded. These figures include 11 DMO cases. After October 2005 DMO managed their own Code of Conduct investigations.

Table 5.4 shows the comparison figures over the last three years.

Table 5.4 Code of Conduct investigations
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Number of employees investigated 102
(including 11 DMO)
86 126
Number of employees who breached the Code 79 67 79
Number of sanctions issued 90 86 166
Terminations 10 9 14
Financial sanctions 37 22 34