Assertions in the Canberra Times article “Defence maintains veto on sex cases” (1 July) that Defence officials decide which allegations of sexual or physical abuse will be passed on to civilian police services are incorrect. Defence policy is unambiguous: all sexual offences must be referred to civil police.
Accordingly, Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) has not, would not and could not exercise ‘discretion’ about referral of sexual assault allegations to civil police services. While ADFIS has referred some matters to DLA Piper, DLA Piper has advised Defence that it has not yet referred any matters to ADFIS for referral to Civilian Police.
DLA Piper will maintain oversight of any matters referred to the police through ADFIS for inclusion in its report.
The DLA Piper Review is being conducted at arm’s length from Defence.
The procedures outlined in terms of reference for the DLA Piper Review of Management of Allegations of Unacceptable Behaviour were developed between Dr Gary Rumble, DLA Piper Special Counsel, and ADFIS in order to provide ready access to established channels for referral of possible criminal matters to civilian police.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664