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Chapter 5 - Corporate governance

Defence senior committees

A key outcome of implementing the Black Review is the rationalisation of senior Defence committees to streamline decision making, improve accountability and reduce duplication across the organisation. The total number of senior committees has been reduced to nine by incorporating three committees into the pre-eminent Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force Advisory Committee-the default committee for business that requires the attention of the Secretary and the CDF.

The Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force Advisory Committee is a direction-setting and decision-making body. It is not a discussion forum or a committee that notes particular actions. The Defence Committee continues to meet on a monthly basis to consider the most significant Defence corporate issues and monitor whole-of-Defence performance through the enterprise management framework, including the annual planning process.

The decisions of both these committees are binding across the Defence organisation.

Figure 5.1 - Structure of senior Defence committees

Figure 5.1 - Structure of senior Defence committees

Fraud control

In consultation with the Australian National Audit Office, Defence strengthened its fraud control framework to align better with the 2011 Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. At the beginning of 2013, Defence conducted a robust internal and external assessment of strategic, operational and tactical level fraud risks. This was followed by the development and promulgation of Defence Fraud Control Plan No. 10, which included measures Defence would take to prevent, detect, and respond to fraud.

New to the plan was the integration of Defence's enterprise risk management system. This establishes an approach to decision making that promotes accountability and enables resource allocation to maintain, create or enhance key fraud control mechanisms. In addition, the system provides a framework for reviewing and monitoring fraud risk assessments so that the fraud control plan can be updated with changes to Defence's fraud risk profile.

The DMO reviewed and redeveloped its Fraud Control Plan No. 4 and Fraud Risk Register to ensure consistency with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. The resultant draft Fraud Control Plan No. 5 has strengthened controls to monitor and detect fraud and to take immediate action if or when fraud occurs.

Internal auditing

Audit Branch provides assurance to the Secretary, the CDF and, to a lesser extent, the CEO DMO that financial and operational controls designed to manage Defence's major risks are in place and are operating in an efficient and effective manner. Audit Branch also assists Defence senior managers and the DMO Executive in improving the business performance of their organisations.

During the year, Audit Branch provided internal audit services in accordance with the annual Audit Work Program that was approved by the Defence Audit and Risk Committee. These audits looked into areas of highlevel risk or activities where there are potential control deficiencies that could lead to significant financial loss, or expose Defence to serious reputational damage.

The 2012-13 annual Audit Work Program was developed in consultation with all Group Heads and Service Chiefs to discuss the most significant risks affecting their respective organisations. From this process, audit topics were refined and aligned to the Enterprise Risk Management framework. The program was reviewed and approved by the Defence Audit and Risk Committee.

Audit Branch issued a total of 32 audit reports. In addition, six Australian National Audit Office performance audits were completed, to which Audit Branch provided direct support.

Ethics and fraud awareness

An ethics and fraud awareness program underpins Defence's and DMO's approach to fraud control. The awareness program comprises a face-to-face presentation and an eLearning module, as well as videos, newsletters and a dedicated intranet site for information and advice. Ethics and fraud awareness training is mandatory for all Defence personnel and must be completed at least every two years.

In 2012-13, more than 45,000 Defence and DMO personnel completed ethics and fraud awareness training either by attending a face-to-face presentation or completing an eLearning course.

Fraud investigations

There were 333 fraud investigations registered within Defence and DMO during 2012-13 and 358 investigations completed (a number of those completed were registered in previous years). Approximately 19 per cent of completed investigations resulted in criminal, disciplinary or administrative action. Of these, around 55 per cent related to disciplinary action under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982.

The determined fraud loss for completed cases in 2012-13 was $0.8m, while monies recovered amounted to just under $0.4m. Table 5.1 shows that over the past five financial years detected fraud has averaged $0.9m per year.

Table 5.1 - Determined fraud loss and recoveries, 2008-09 to 2012-13

Table 5.1 - Determined fraud loss and recoveries, 2008-09 to 2012-13 ¹
2008-09 ($) 2009-10 ($) 2010-11 ($) 2011-12 ($) 2012-13 ($)
Loss 690,452 1,039,721 916,419 1,102,979 835,685
Recovery 300,796 359,393 422,691 493,210 393,902
Note
  1. The determined loss and recoveries information is based on investigations closed in the relevant year.

Defence Whistleblower Scheme

The Defence Whistleblower Scheme provides an alternative, confidential and independent avenue for any person-including ADF personnel, public servants in Defence or DMO, and suppliers of goods and services-to report alleged misconduct or unethical behaviour. Whistleblowers may report information anonymously or request that their identity be protected. The scheme aims to ensure that whistleblowers are properly supported and that they do not incur detriment as a consequence of making a report.

All allegations raised under the scheme are assessed. Those assessed as warranting further examination are investigated by Inspector-General of Defence personnel or are referred to other relevant Defence investigative or review organisations, as appropriate. Where wrongdoing is determined to have occurred, appropriate action is taken, which can include action through the civil courts or under the Defence Force Discipline Act or the Public Service Act 1999. Wherever possible, feedback is provided to the whistleblower on the outcome of investigations.

The scheme is used to report a range of issues. Allegations of fraud and unethical conduct account for more than 71 per cent of reports made through the scheme. The remainder are matters relating to harassment, drug use, assault, security, mismanagement of resources, and workplace health and safety.

Table 5.2 shows the number of allegations made to the scheme over the past five financial years.

Table 5.2 - Reports made to the Defence Whistleblower Scheme

Table 5.2 - Reports made to the Defence Whistleblower Scheme
2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Reports 213 255 242 270 253

Status report on the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency review

Defence civilian Leonie Kolmar takes notes during a press conference at Russell Offices, Canberra.

In May 2011, on the ABC Lateline program, three former contractors employed as data entry operators with the Defence Security Authority made allegations of inappropriate vetting practices. The Prime Minister requested that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security conduct an inquiry into the allegations. The Inspector-General made 13 recommendations, including a recommendation that the Defence Chief Audit Executive conduct a series of annual reviews into the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency's compliance with government security vetting policy.

The joint second assessment, in 2013, concluded that progress continues to be made since the first assessment and, at this time, the agency is compliant with government security vetting policy.

In regard to the 13 recommendations made by the Inspector-General, the Chief Audit Executive assessed that eight recommendations have been fully completed, one is currently being implemented, and four are in the development stage. All recommendations that are yet to be completed are being actively managed, and progress towards their implementation is reported on a regular basis to senior management within the Security Vetting Agency and the Defence Security Authority.

The Chief Audit Executive noted that the agency is continuing to implement a reform program to ensure compliance. Major reform initiatives include the implementation of a new security assessment management system, integrated work teams, and progress towards a certified quality management system. Intelligence and Security Group senior management have allocated appropriate resources and are fully committed to the reform program.

Report of the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force

The position of Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) is established under section 110B of the Defence Act 1903. The Inspector-General provides the CDF with a mechanism for internal audit and review of the military justice system independent of the chain of command. The Inspector-General provides an avenue by which Defence may examine and remedy failures in the system.

The operating tempo in the Office of the IGADF remained relatively high during the year and was characterised by increases in the number of submissions received for investigation or inquiry and in the number of completed performance audits of the military justice arrangements of ADF units. The Inspector-General completed two significant military justice-related reports: the Review of Defence's notifiable incidents system and the Review of military justice arrangements in the Defence Materiel Organisation.

The office received 58 submissions for inquiry or investigation compared with 55 in the previous year, an increase of approximately six per cent. In recent years, the trend has been that submissions disclose issues of greater complexity than they have in previous years, and this has continued. The Inspector-General resolved 46 submissions-some from 2012-13 and some from previous years-by way of inquiry, investigation and review.

The Inspector-General completed 52 military justice performance audits of ADF units, which accorded with the average number over recent years. A significant trend was an increase in the number of requests for targeted audits from units and headquarters.

Over the reporting period, 1,205 Defence personnel completed IGADF inquiry officer training, either in a face-to-face c or on online learning portal. One administrative law-related training course was conducted, consolidating the previous year's expansion of the training program. IGADF personnel made a substantial contribution to other legal training courses that the Military Law Centre conducted, and to Navy and Army pre-command courses.

Defence made impressive progress in the second half of 2012 in implementing some high-profile cultural review recommendations-most notably those relating to sexual misconduct, gender, training, and substance abuse issues. Many other recommendations to improve military justice arrangements were agreed only in principle pending the outcome of the Re-thinking systems of inquiry, investigation, review and audit in Defence review that the Defence Legal Division has been conducting.

Pursuant to section 110R of the Defence Act, the Inspector-General provided a report to the CDF on the operation of the Office of the IGADF.

Commissions of Inquiry

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) appoints Commissions of Inquiry (COIs) primarily to inquire into the deaths of ADF members that appear to have arisen out of, or in the course of, their service. The CDF may also appoint a COI into any other matter concerning the Defence Force, although this would only occur for the most serious or complex matters. COIs are intended to provide the CDF with accurate information as a basis for internal decision making. COI reports may include recommendations intended to prevent a recurrence of incidents. Lessons learned from COIs are considered in the design and review of policy, practices, procedures and orders, and may affect decisions about equipment, systems and personnel.

Each COIs presided over by a civilian with judicial experience. A COI may be constituted by a president alone, or by a president together with additional members who may be civilians or ADF members. The appointment of a civilian president is intended to imbue these inquiries with a degree of independence beyond that which other forms of military inquiry possess, while the qualification of judicial experience is intended to ensure that COIs are conducted professionally and efficiently. The independence and judicial experience of COI presidents promotes confidence in the integrity of COIs.

During the reporting period five COIs were appointed or completed. There were other deaths of ADF members over the reporting period, which appeared to arise out of, or in the course of, their service. However, as specified by ministers in the Defence portfolio, these deaths occurred in circumstances in which a COI was not required.

Lieutenant Marcus Case

A COI was conducted into the death of Lieutenant Marcus Case, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on 30 May 2011. Following the incident, an Aviation Accident Investigation Team from the Directorate of Defence Aviation and Air Force Safety conducted an investigation with the primary purpose of identifying any aviation safety issues arising from the accident. This investigation was completed in December 2011.

A COI was appointed on 24 March 2012 to further examine issues associated with the helicopter accident and the death of Lieutenant Case. The COI hearings began on 30 July 2012 and concluded on 4 October 2012. The COI submitted its report on 27 March 2013. Family members were in attendance at the public hearings and were to be briefed on the report. A decision on whether the report will be publicly released is yet to be made.

Able Seaman Ewan McDonald

A COI into the death of Able Seaman Ewan McDonald was appointed on 21 September 2012. The family and next of kin were in attendance at the public hearing, which concluded on 5 March 2013. Submission of the COI report is imminent, and a decision on whether to release it to the public is yet to be made.

Private Jacob Lazarus

A COI into the death of Private Jacob Lazarus was appointed on 12 October 2012, and the COI submitted its report on 2 June 2013. The family is yet to be briefed on the report, and a decision on whether to release it to the public is yet to be made.

Sapper Jordan Penpraze

Sapper Jordan Ronald Penpraze died on 11 October 2012 as a result of a single vehicle roll-over accident three days earlier. A COI into the death was appointed on 24 October 2012 and hearings began on 8 April 2013. The hearings have been adjourned while criminal proceedings against the driver of the vehicle are considered.

Midshipman Peter Bach

A COI into the death of Midshipman Peter Bach was appointed on 24 November 2012, and the family attended the hearings, which began on 8 March 2013. The COI is considering its report. A decision on whether to release the report to the public will be made in due course.

Inquiry Officer Inquiries

The CDF generally appoints Inquiry Officer Inquiries (IOIs) as a fact-finding tool following combat or combat-related deaths of ADF members. IOI reports are used to inform the CDF before appointing a COI, or to inform the Minister for Defence before specifying that a member's death has occurred in circumstances in which a COI is not required.

In a paper on Afghanistan tabled together with a ministerial statement on 9 February 2012, the then Minister for Defence, the Hon Stephen Smith MP, recalled that the past focus of the IOI process had been on the public release of IOI reports, which had happened as a matter of course. The minister indicated that the focus needed to be on the timely provision of the report to the family of the deceased. Any decision on publicly releasing a report would come after weighing the wishes of family members and public interest in the release of the report.

During the reporting period seven IOIs into combat or combat-related deaths were appointed or completed. In each case where an IOI was completed, the Minister directed that a COI was not required. IOI reports completed during the previous reporting period were released to the public in some instances.

Sergeant Blaine Diddams

Sergeant Blaine Flower Diddams, Special Air Service Regiment, was killed as a result of a gunshot wound received during an engagement with insurgents in Afghanistan on 2 July 2012. An IOI was appointed on 19 July 2012. The report was submitted on 3 December 2012 and a statement made by Defence on 17 June 2013 announced that the IOI was finalised and that Defence would not release the report to the public.

Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Private Robert Poate, Sapper James Martin

Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Private Robert Poate and Sapper James Martin, all serving with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Task Group, were conducting normal night routine tasks at Patrol Base Wahab in Afghanistan when a rogue member of the Afghan National Army fired a number of rounds resulting in the death of all three personnel. An IOI was appointed on 3 September 2012. The report was submitted on 28 February 2013 and Defence briefed the families of these soldiers on the outcomes. Defence considered whether or not to release the report to the public and will announce its decision in the near future.

Lance Corporal Mervyn John McDonald and Private Nathanael John Aubrey Galagher

Lance Corporal Mervyn McDonald and Private Nathanael Galagher, 2nd Commando Regiment, were killed when the International Security Assistance Force helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on 30 August 2012. An IOI was appointed on 6 September 2012, and its report was submitted on 1 February 2013. After considering the views of the families and the public interest in the release of the report, Defence decided not to release it to the public.

Corporal Scott James Smith

Corporal Scott Smith, Special Operations Engineer Regiment, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on 21 October 2012. The CDF appointed an IOI on 1 November 2012, and the report was submitted on 24 February 2013. Defence briefed the next of kin on the outcomes of the IOI and a decision on whether to release the report to the public is yet to be made.

Corporal Cameron Stuart Baird

Corporal Cameron Baird, 2nd Commando Regiment, was killed in action as a result of enemy fire in Afghanistan on 22 June 2013. The CDF is likely to appoint an IOI.

External scrutiny

Parliamentary committees

Tables 5.3 and 5.4 provide information on Defence's activities in relation to parliamentary committee inquiries.

Parliamentary business

In 2012-13, Defence provided 24 written submissions to various Senate, House of Representatives and Joint Committee inquiries. Defence witnesses appeared at 16 hearings, providing evidence on a range of issues, and responded to 97 follow-on Questions on Notice and either tabled or contributed to two government responses to parliamentary committee reports throughout the year.

To assist parliamentary committee members to gain a better understanding of Defence issues, Defence also provided private briefings on a range of subjects, including matters of regional security and capability.

Table 5.1 shows Defence's increasing contribution to various parliamentary committees' activities over the last three years.

Table 5.1 Defence's parliamentary contribution, 2010-11 to 2012-13

Table 5.1 Defence's parliamentary contribution, 2010-11 to 2012-13
Parliamentary contribution 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
Written submissions 12 15 24
Whole-of-government submissions 3 1 Nil
Government responses 5 5 2
Public hearings 13 14 16
Private briefings 6 12 4
Total 39 47 46

Table 5.2 Defence's involvement with Senate committees

Table 5.2 Defence's involvement with Senate committees
Senate committees
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Three Senate Estimates hearings were conducted during the reporting period.

The Department of Defence appeared at each of the hearings detailed below, and responded to a number of Questions on Notice arising from these hearings:
  • Supplementary Budget Estimates 2012-2013-17 October 2012
  • Additional Budget Estimates 2012-2013-13 February 2013
  • Budget Estimates 2013-2014-3-4 June 2013.
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade-Legislation Committee
On 10 October 2012, the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee tabled its final report on the provisions of the Defence Trade Export Controls Bill2011.

The Department of Defence contributed four submissions to the inquiry on 20 June 2012, 8 August 2012, 13 September 2012 and 4 October 2012. The department also appeared at public hearings on 2 March 2012 and 21 March 2012.

In the final report the committee recommended that during the 24 month transition period, the committee conducts a six-monthly examination of progress of the implementation of the provisions of the bill and report to the Senate.

On 11 October 2012, the committee formally undertook to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the bill. The Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Defence, wrote to the Chair of the SSCFADT Legislation Committee, Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, on 22 March 2013, regarding consultation on the draft Defence Trade Controls Regulations 2013.

The report entitled Implementation of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2013: Progress Report No. 1 was released by the Committee on 27 June 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
On 18 June 2013, the Senate referred the Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Bill 2013 to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

The inquiry was ongoing at the time of publishing.
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade-References Committee
The Senate referred the procurement procedures for defence capital projects to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade during February 2011.

A supplementary written submission detailing both the Capability Investment and Resources Division and the Project Initiation and Review Board of DMO was provided to the inquiry on 9 July 2012.

The report entitled Procurement Procedures for Defence Capital Projects was released by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on 30 August 2012 and a Government response to the inquiry was tabled on 16 October 2012.
On 29 June 2012, the Senate referred The Administration, Management and Objective of Australia's Overseas Development Programs in Afghanistan in the Context of the 'Transition Decade' to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade for inquiry and report.

The Department of Defence provided two submissions to the inquiry on 20 September 2012 and 3 December 2012. The department also appeared at public hearings on 3 December 2012 and 22 March 2013.

The report entitled Australia's overseas development programs in Afghanistan was released by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on 16 May 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
On 24 November 2011, the Senate referred an inquiry into the Indian Ocean Region and Australia's Foreign, Trade and Defence Policy to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade for inquiry and report.

The Department of Defence provided a submission to the inquiry on 27 March 2012 and appeared at a public hearing on 6 December 2012.

The report entitled The Importance of the Indian Ocean Rim for Australia's Foreign, Trade and Defence Policy was released by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on 14 June 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
On 10 October 2012, the Senate referred the Report of the review of allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence, conducted by DLA Piper, and the government response to the report to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade for inquiry and report.

The Department of Defence provided submissions to the inquiry on 22 November 2012 and 19 December 2012. Additional information was provided to the Committee Secretary on 18 January 2013 and 26 February 2013. The department also appeared at a public hearing on 14 March 2013.

The report entitled Report of the DLA Piper Review and the Government response was released by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on 27 June 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation
On 28 June 2012, the Senate jointly referred the Military Court of Australia (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012 and the Military Court of Australia Bill 2012 to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation for inquiry and report.

The Department of Defence provided three submissions to the inquiry on 13 July 2012 and 16 July 2012. The department also appeared at a public hearing on 14 September 2012.

The report entitled Military Court of Australia Bill 2012 and the Military Court of Australia (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012 was released by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation on 9 October 2012.

Table 5.3 Defence's involvement with joint committees

Table 5.3 Defence's involvement with joint committees
Joint committees
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
The Defence Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade reviewed the Defence Annual Report 2010-11.

The Department of Defence provided one submission to the review on 9 March 2012. The department also appeared at a public hearing on 16 March 2012.

The report entitled Review of the Defence Annual Report 2010-11 was released by the committee on 17 September 2012 and a Government response to the review was tabled on 25 February 2013.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, asked the committee to inquire into, and report on, the Care of ADF Personnel Wounded and Injured on Operations in mid-June 2012.

The Department of Defence provided one submission to the inquiry during 22 August 2012. The department also appeared at public hearings on 9 October 2012 and 19 March 2013.

The report entitled Care of ADF Personnel Wounded and Injured on Operations-Inquiry of the Defence Sub-Committee was released by the Committee on 24 June 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
The Defence Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade reviewed the Defence Annual Report 2011-12.

In support of the review, the Department of Defence appeared at public hearings on 15 March 2013 and 16 May 2013.

The report entitled Review of the Defence Annual Report 2011-12 was released by the Committee on 27 June 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
Australia's relationship with Timor-Leste is being examined by the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee of Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

Australia has been closely involved with the development of Timor-Leste since its independence from Indonesia in 2002. However the withdrawal of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force from the country presented an opportunity to examine Australia's role in future support and development of Timor-Leste with a view to informing Australia's future foreign policy.

The Department of Defence provided two submissions to the inquiry on 1 May 2013 and 25 June 2013. The department also appeared at a public hearing on 21 May 2013.

The inquiry was ongoing at the time of publishing.
Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security tabled its report entitled Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 10 (2010-11)-Australian Intelligence Agencies on 27 May 2013.

The Department of Defence contributed to the report through the submission of three classified submissions; namely from the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (formerly known as the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation), the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) (formerly known as the Defence Signals Directorate).
In May 2012, the then Attorney-General the Hon Nicola Roxon MP asked the committee to inquire into a package of potential reforms to Australia's national security legislation.

On 24 June 2013, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security tabled its report entitled Report of the Inquiry into Potential Reforms of Australia's National Security Legislation.

The Department of Defence appeared at the private committee hearing.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security commenced a review titled Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 11 (2011-12)-Australian Intelligence Agencies during the 2012-13 reporting period.

The Department of Defence contributed to the report through the submission of three classified submissions; namely from the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (formerly known as the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation), the Defence Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Signals Directorate (formerly known as the Defence Signals Directorate).

The review was ongoing at the time of publishing.
Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories
On 17 May 2013, the Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories, the Hon Catherine King MP, asked the committee to inquire into and report on provision of amenity within the Parliamentary Triangle.

The Department of Defence provided one submission to the inquiry on 31 May 2013.

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories tabled its Report on the Inquiry into the Provision of Amenity within the Parliamentary Triangle on 28 June 2013.
Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
Report 436: Review of the 2011-2012 Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Report was tabled by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on 29 May 2013.

The Department of Defence provided two submissions to the inquiry on 6 March 2013 and 5 April 2013. The Department also contributed to this report by appearing at a public hearing on 13 March 2013.

The Government response to the inquiry is being drafted at present with the intent to table it during the 2013-14 reporting period.
Joint Standing Committee on Public Works
Throughout the reporting period, a number of Department of Defence projects were reviewed by the committee. The reviews related to the projects listed below have been completed, reports have been tabled and the works have been approved:
  • Proposed development and construction of housing for Defence members and their families-Lindfield, New South Wales
  • Proposed development and construction of housing for Defence members and their families-Weston Creek, Australian Capital Territory
  • Base Infrastructure Works Project under the Base Security Improvement Program
  • Moorebank Units Relocation-Holsworthy, New South Wales
  • Development and construction of housing for Defence members and their families-Kellyville, New South Wales
  • High Voltage Electrical Distribution Upgrade-Liverpool Military Area, New South Wales
  • Defence Logistics Transformation Program
  • Upgrade of on-base housing for Defence at Larrakeyah Barracks-Darwin, Northern Territory
  • Upgrade of housing for Defence at RAAF Base Tindal-Katherine, Northern Territory
  • Air Warfare Destroyer ship sustainment facilities at Garden Island, Randwick Barracks and HMAS Watson-Sydney, New South Wales
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation Human Protection and Performance Division security and facilities upgrade-Fishermans Bend, Victoria
  • Landing Helicopter Dock ship sustainment facilities at Garden Island and Randwick Barracks-Sydney, New South Wales
  • AIR 9000 Phase 8 MH-60R Sea Hawk Romeo facilities project
  • Multi-National Base Tarin Kot Remediation Project-Uruzgan province, Afghanistan
  • Development and construction of housing for Defence-Werner, Queensland
  • Redevelopment and construction of housing for Defence at Samford Road, Enoggera-Brisbane, Queensland
Joint Standing Committee on Treaties
Report 131: Review into Treaties tabled on 21 August 2012, 11 September 2012 and 18 September 2012 was released by the committee on 28 November 2012. This report was relevant to the Department of Defence as it reviewed the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Kingdom of Spain for the Mutual Protection of Classified Information of Defence Interest done at Madrid on 17 November 2011.
The Department of Defence contributed a classified submission and appeared at a public hearing on 29 October 2012.

Report 129: Review into Treaties tabled on 19 June 2012 and 26 June 2012 was released by the committee on 13 August 2012. This report was relevant to the Department of Defence as it reviewed the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore concerning the Location of a Republic of Singapore Air Force Helicopter Squadron at the Australian Army Aviation Centre Oakey done at Singapore on 1 June 2012.

The Department of Defence contributed to the review by appearing at a public hearing on 13 August 2012.

Report 127: Review into Treaties tabled on 20 March 2012 and 8 May 2012 was released by the committee on 15 August 2012. This report was relevant to the Department of Defence as it reviewed the Exchange of Notes, done at Canberra on 9 December 2011, constituting an Agreement between Australia and the United States of America to Amend and Extend the Agreement on Cooperation in Defense Logistics Support, done at Sydney on 4 November 1989.

The Department of Defence contributed to the review by appearing at a public hearing on 18 June 2012.

Senate Estimates

The following table provides information on Defence's activities in relation to the Senate Estimates process from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

Table 5.4 Senate Estimates

Table 5.4 Senate Estimates
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade
Budget Supplementary Estimates 2012-13 Defence witnesses appeared at a hearing on 17 October 2012. Thirty-three questions were taken on notice during the hearing. An additional 146 written questions were received following the hearing.
Additional Budget Estimates 2012-13  Defence witnesses appeared at a hearing on13 February 2013. Twenty questions were taken on notice during the hearings. An additional 117 written questions were received following the hearing.
Budget Estimates 2012-13  Defence witnesses appeared at hearings on 3 and 4 June 2013. Forty-eight questions were taken on notice during the hearings. Defence also received an additional 76 written questions.

Questions on notice

Defence attended three estimates hearings before the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in October 2012, February 2013 and June 2013. Defence responded to a total of 440 questions on notice from the three hearings.

In relation to questions taken on notice from the Senate and House of Representative notice papers during 2012-13, Defence responded to a total of 167 questions.

Table 5.5 Defence's questions on notice over the last three years

Table 5.5 Defence's questions on notice over the last three years
Source of questions on notice 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
House of Representatives/Senate Notice Paper 104 358 167
Senate Estimates (October, February, June) 239 650 440
Parliamentary inquiries 58 118 97
Total 401 1126 704

Table 5.3 - Defence' s involvement with Senate committees

Table 5.3 - Defence' s involvement with Senate committees
Senate committees
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Supplementary Budget Estimates 2012-2013-17 October 2012
Additional Budget Estimates 2012-2013-13 February 2013
Budget Estimates 2013-2014-3-4 June 2013
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade-Legislation Committee
Defence Trade Export Controls Bill 2011
Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Bill 2013
Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade-References Committee
Procurement Procedures for Defence Capital Projects
Administration, Management and Objective of Australia's Overseas Development Programs in Afghanistan in the Context of the 'Transition Decade'
Inquiry into the Indian Ocean Region and Australia's Foreign, Trade and Defence Policy
Report of the review of allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence
Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation
Military Court of Australia (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012 and the Military Court of Australia Bill 2012

Table 5.4 - Defence's involvement with joint committees

Table 5.4 - Defence's involvement with joint committees
Joint committees
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Defence Annual Report 2010-11
Care of ADF Personnel Wounded and Injured on Operations in mid-June 2012
Defence Annual Report 2011-12
Australia's relationship with Timor-Leste
Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security
Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 10 (2010-2011)-Australian Intelligence Agencies on 27 May 2013
Report of the Inquiry into Potential Reforms of Australia's National Security Legislation
Review of Administration and Expenditure No. 11 (2011-2012)-Australian Intelligence Agencies
Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories
Report on the Inquiry into the Provision of Amenity within the Parliamentary Triangle
Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
Report 436: Review of the 2011-2012 Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Report
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
  • Proposed development and construction of housing for Defence members and their families-Lindfield, New South Wales
  • Proposed development and construction of housing for Defence members and their families-Weston Creek, Australian Capital Territory
  • Base Infrastructure Works Project under the Base Security Improvement Program
  • Moorebank Units Relocation-Holsworthy, New South Wales
  • Development and construction of housing for Defence members and their families-Kellyville, New South Wales
  • High Voltage Electrical Distribution Upgrade-Liverpool Military Area, New South Wales
  • Defence Logistics Transformation Program
  • Upgrade of on-base housing for Defence at Larrakeyah Barracks-Darwin, Northern Territory
  • Upgrade of housing for Defence at RAAF Base Tindal-Katherine, Northern Territory
  • Air Warfare Destroyer ship sustainment facilities at Garden Island, Randwick Barracks and HMAS Watson-Sydney, New South Wales
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation Human Protection and Performance Division security and facilities upgrade-Fishermans Bend, Victoria
  • Landing helicopter dock ship sustainment facilities at Garden Island and Randwick Barracks-Sydney, New South Wales
  • AIR 9000 Phase 8 MH-60R Sea Hawk Romeo facilities project
  • Multi-National Base Tarin Kot Remediation Project-Uruzgan province, Afghanistan
  • Development and construction of housing for Defence-Werner, Queensland
  • Redevelopment and construction of housing for Defence at Samford Road, Enoggera-Brisbane, Queensland
Joint Standing Committee on Treaties
Report 131: Review into Treaties tabled on 21 August 2012, 11 September 2012 and 18 September 2012 (reviewed the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Kingdom of Spain for the Mutual Protection of Classified Information of Defence Interest done at Madrid on 17 November 2011)
Report 129: Review into Treaties tabled on 19 June 2012 and 26 June 2012 (reviewed the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore concerning the Location of a Republic of Singapore Air Force Helicopter Squadron at the Australian Army Aviation Centre Oakey done at Singapore on 1 June 2012)
Report 127: Review into Treaties tabled on 20 March 2012 and 8 May 2012 (reviewed the Exchange of Notes, done at Canberra on 9 December 2011, constituting an Agreement between Australia and the United States of America to Amend and Extend the Agreement on Cooperation in Defense Logistics Support, done at Sydney on 4 November 1989)

Judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals

In 2012-13, the High Court of Australia did not decide any cases involving the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA).

In Jones v Chief of Navy [2012] FCAFC 125 (7 September 2012), a Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia confirmed that a Defence member is not entitled to trial by jury under section 80 of the Constitution, even if they are charged under section 61 of the DFDA with an offence that is an indictable offence under the ordinary criminal law. The Federal Court's decision in Jones v Chief of Navy is consistent with the High Court of Australia's previous decision in White v Director of Military Prosecutions (2007) 231 CLR 570.

Auditor-General's reports

In 2012-13, the Auditor-General tabled six performance audit reports relating directly to Defence and the DMO. There were no cross-portfolio Auditor-General's reports tabled during 2012-13 that directly included Defence.

Table 5.5 - Auditor-General's reports

Table 5.5 - Auditor-General's reports
Audit Report No 5-Management of Australia's Air Combat Capability-F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Fleet Upgrades and Sustainment, tabled 27 September 2012 The objective of the audit was to assess the upgrade and sustainment of the F/A-18A/B Hornet fleet, and the sustainment of the newly acquired F/A-18F Super Hornet fleet. This audit contained no recommendations.
Audit Report No 6-Management of Australia's Air Combat Capability-F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Acquisition, tabled 27 September 2012 The objective of the audit was to assess the progress of the AIR 6000-New Air Combat Capability project in delivering the required combat aircraft within approved cost, schedule and performance parameters. This audit contained no recommendations.
Audit Report No 9-Delivery of Bereavement and Family Support Services through the Defence Community Organisation, tabled 1 November 2012 The objective of the audit was to assess the management and effectiveness of Defence Community Organisation's delivery and coordination of support services to ADF families, in particular support services provided when an ADF member is seriously injured or ill, or dies in service. Defence agreed to the four recommendations contained in the report.
Audit Report No 25-Defence's Implementation of Audit Recommendations, tabled 27 February 2013 The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of Defence's monitoring of the implementation of ANAO and internal audit recommendations. The audit also examined a sample of ANAO and internal audit recommendations-reported as being complete by Defence-to assess the extent to which these recommendations had been implemented by Defence. Defence agreed to the two recommendations contained in the report.
Audit Report No 26-Remediation of the Lightweight Torpedo Replacement Project, tabled 28 February 2013. The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of remediation arrangements put in place by Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) to resolve issues impacting on the achievement of the desired lightweight torpedo capability. It focused on project management and contractual arrangements, and the progress made with platform integration, test and evaluation. Defence agreed to the single recommendation contained in the report.
Audit Report No 46-Compensating F-111 Fuel Tank Workers, tabled 18 June 2013. The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Veterans' Affairs' and the Department of Defence's administration of the Australian Government's $55m support package announced in the May 2010 Budget for former F-111 fuel tank maintenance workers and their families. The audit examined the implementation of the 14 agreed recommendations in the Government Response to the 2009 Parliamentary Inquiry into the F-111 deseal/reseal issues, which formed the basis of the May 2010, F-111 support package. This audit contained a single recommendation for the Department of Veterans' Affairs and none for Defence.

Ombudsman's reports

There were no formal reports to the Chief of the Defence Force pursuant to section 15 of the Ombudsman Act 1976, nor were any reports raised under section 16, 17 or 19 of the Act relating to the operations of the ADF during the period under review.

Information Publication Scheme statement

Ms Rachel Sly and FLGOFF Jacinda Field.

Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the scheme's requirements.

Further information on the plan is available here.

Freedom of information

Defence provides statistics on FOI requests received and finalised, the time taken to respond to them and a summary of the category of decisions taken with regard to requests. These statistics are published annually on Defence's website and Defence also publishes quarterly reports on the current financial year.

FOI statistics are available at the Defence Freedom of Information Statistics web page.

Further information about Defence's handling of FOI requests, including information about costs incurred, is published in the Freedom of Information Annual Report, which the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is required to present to Parliament in accordance with section 93 of the FOI Act.

This information is available on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner web site.