Minister for Defence Stephen Smith today provided an update on progress of the DLA Piper Review into allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence, the reviews into Defence Culture and the Kirkham Inquiry into the ADFA Skype Incident.
DLA Piper Review
The Review into allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence has received over 1,000 allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence.
In October, the Minister received Volume 1 (General Findings and Recommendations) and the first tranche of Volume 2 (Individual Allegations) of the Review’s Report.
Volume 1 of the Report includes options for a response to allegations of past abuse in Defence. The first tranche of Volume 2 provides an initial assessment and recommendations in relation to some of the individual allegations.
Since October, the Review has continued the methodical process of assessing the large volume of individual allegations at arm’s length from Defence.
In November, the Minister indicated that he was expecting to receive the second tranche of Volume 2 (Individual Allegations) either in the course of 2011 or early in 2012. The Minister now expects to receive the final Volume 2 report in January 2012.
The Review’s findings and recommendations will be considered and dealt with carefully and methodically.
Reviews into Defence and Australian Defence Culture
The five reviews into aspects of Defence culture are complete: the review of the use of alcohol in the ADF; the review of the use of social media in Defence; the review of personal conduct of ADF personnel; the review of the management of incidents and complaints; and the review of Defence Australian Public Service women’s leadership pathways.
Defence is in the final stages of methodically considering the recommendations in the reports and is preparing a detailed implementation plan. The Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force are developing a comprehensive response to the Reviews that is consistent with the wider Defence reform agenda.
Release of the reports and the Government’s response is expected in early 2012.
Implementation of the Defence cultural reviews will be considered alongside implementation of the Broderick Review into the Treatment of Women at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). Part One of the Broderick Review was tabled in Parliament in November.
In April, the Minister announced that Mr Andrew Kirkham QC would lead the Inquiry into the Management of the Australian Defence Force Academy Skype Incident of March 2011 and its aftermath.
The Inquiry was formally submitted to the Chief of Air Force (the Appointing Officer) on 12 December 2012.
The report is a detailed and comprehensive review of the management of this incident.
The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, who is responsible for ADFA, is considering the report and its recommendations.
This exhaustive consideration, which may take some time, includes matters such as obligations to consult interested parties, legal and policy issues involved in any public disclosure and any actions arising from the inquiry.
These processes will be progressed into 2012.
Ellen Shields (Mr Smith’s Office): (02) 6277 7800 or 0400 347 473
Department: (02) 6127 1999