Section 3
Military Justice Reform update

3.2 Defence Investigative Capability

Implementation of the 2006 Audit of the Australian Defence Force Investigative Capability Report (Whiddett/Adams Report) has continued during the reporting period under the direction of the Provost Marshal ADF (PMADF). The aim is to establish the ADF Investigative Service (ADFIS) as a highly trained unit capable of investigating Service offences independently, impartially and to a standard that equals best practice in the Australian civilian police and comparable military police investigative services overseas. The five year implementation plan is guided by an internal action plan, which includes milestones for achievement, methods to promote change and measures of success.

Of the 99 Whiddett/Adams Report recommendations 45 were completed during the reporting period. While action is generally on-track with respect to the remaining recommendations to meet the five year implementation plan, recruitment and retention issues will require ongoing attention.

Highlights include:

In addition the PMADF has continued to implement a number of professional development opportunities to enhance the investigative capability of Service Police investigators. Training and secondment agreements have been initiated with Federal and State police to train ADFIS investigators in: forensic digital photography and video recording of incident scenes, scene of crime officer, skeletal remains, investigation management and law enforcement intelligence

To prepare investigators for deployment on operations REACT (Review, Evaluate, Assist, Control and Take notes) has been initiated as the governing doctrine.

As foreshadowed in last year’s report, the Service Police Central Records Office (SPCRO) stood up during this reporting period. DI(G) OPS 13-14 Australian Defence Force Investigative Service — Service Police Central Records Office was published on 19 May 08.

SPCRO integrates the investigation records of the three Service Police (SP) organisations into a single unit responsible for the management of all ADFIS and SP investigations and associated records. It is capable of providing both statistical data and trend analysis and will produce an annual report.
DI(G) OPS 13-14 also provides for periodic performance audits by IGADF. This is a most welcome feature of the policy, underlining the ADF’s commitment to the transparency, accountability and probity of its investigative capability.
           
Table 8 summarises ADFIS and Service Police personnel resources.

Table 8 - ADFIS resources
ADFIS NAVY ARMY AIR FORCE
Allocated 152 229 332 405
Actual 126 181 284 352
ADFIS Investigators   29 67 38

ADFIS commenced the year with 429 cases on hand. 178 cases remained on hand at the end of the reporting period. A total of 1,766 investigations were conducted by ADFIS and Service Police averaging 27 working days. This is significant improvement over past years.

96 Briefs of evidence (BOE) by ADFIS were submitted to requesting units and a further 196 BOEs were submitted to the Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP). 59 matters were referred to the civilian authority.

Table 9 7 illustrates ADFIS achievement over the past two financial years.

Table 9 - ADFIS output summary
INVESTIGATIONS BRIEFS OF
EVIDENCE
SUBMITTED
COMPLETED AVERAGE
DURATION
TO UNITS TO DMP
2006-07 1677 40 N/A 140
2007-08 1766 27 96 196

As mentioned elsewhere in this report, fraud, in particular DTC fraud, predominated.

Under Inspector General Division sponsorship, DPSMS Stage 2 is expected to become fully operational during the coming year. More detailed statistical reporting, including trend analysis, is planned commencing with next year’s annual report.

Single Service initiatives underway include:

Navy
Army
Air Force
  1. Only Navy retains a limited investigative capability. As part of on-going initiatives, all three Services are developing a minor incident investigation capability.