Section 4
Justice and fairness agencies

Fairness and Resolution Branch

4.2 Unacceptable Behaviour

In May 2008, the Secretary and Chief of Defence Force issued statements on unacceptable behaviour confirming their commitment to ensuring that everyone in Defence has a fair and equitable workplace in which they can do their job to the best of their ability.

In 2007-08 there were 766 complaints received. While continuing to be of concern, this figure represents complaints from less than one percent of the Defence workforce and a ten percent reduction from last year. During the reporting period 559 complaints were finalised with 425 (76 percent) being substantiated.

The June 2007 report of the Defence Force Ombudsman’s investigation into the management of complaints of unacceptable behaviour 10 found that Defence has a complaint management system that is widely recognised, effective and has the confidence of personnel. Action continued throughout 2007-08 to implement the report recommendations. Significant achievements included the launch of ‘ComTrack’ the Defence Complaint Management Tracking and Reporting System and the production of an Equity and Diversity Awareness DVD, with an introduction by Defence Senior Leaders, for distribution to all personnel. Defence continues to offer a range of training which aims to expand management knowledge and capability in dealing with unacceptable behaviour.

Chart 24 shows the total number of complaints reported over the past three years. The category of ‘other’ includes complaints against contractors or where the identity of the respondent is unknown.

Chart 24: Bar chart. 2005-2006 ADF 563, APS 116, Other 10; 2006-2007 ADF 653, APS 145, Other 40; 2007-2008 ADF 581, APS 148, Other 36.
Chart 24 - Reported unacceptable behaviour complaints, 2005-06 to 2007-08

  1. Available at http://www.comb.gov.au/commonwealth/publish.nsf/Content/publications_investigationreports_2007