Section 4
Justice and fairness agencies

Special financial claims

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 CDDA scheme. An explanation of how the scheme and other discretionary remedies operate can be found on the Department of Finance and Deregulation website www.finance.gov.au.

In Defence, the majority of claims made under the CDDA scheme are from members 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 apply 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, who are 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 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 the coming months

Details of CDDA claims in 2007 – 2008 and the previous four financial years are shown in Table 10.

Table 10 - CDDA claim trends
  Claims Received Payments Made Amounts paid ($)
2003 - 04 54 21 359,010
2004 – 05 47 29 332,062
2005 – 06 50 20 321,660
2006 – 07 40 20 652,035
2007 - 08 34 19 451,497

Statutory authorities

Under the DFDA, the Judge Advocate General, Chief Military Judge, and Director of Military Prosecutions are statutory appointments. Comment on those functions is not included in this report as all appointees reported separately to Parliament. Their reports, the first for CMJ and DMP, have been tabled in Parliament.