Update to investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour
7 March 2014
On 6 November 2013 the Navy advised that an Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) investigation team were to be deployed to conduct an investigation into matters surrounding the allegations of unacceptable behaviour in HMAS Ballarat.
In December 2013 the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN announced that a separate Administrative Inquiry into certain aspects relating to the HMAS Ballarat allegations had commenced. This inquiry is being conducted with the full agreement of ADFIS and was designed to identify any broader procedural or cultural issues that may require further action by Navy.
The evidence gathered by ADFIS was referred for review to the Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP) which is an independent body similar in function to the civilian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The DMP has found that there is insufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction in relation to the allegations.
The Inquiry Officer, appointed by the Chief of Navy, will now conclude the Administrative Inquiry to determine if administrative action is warranted and to identify any broader procedural or cultural issues that may require further action by Navy.
As such Defence cannot discuss the specifics of the allegations other than to confirm it continues to treat the matter with the utmost seriousness.
“As demonstrated I remain committed to be as open and transparent as possible on this issue without compromising any investigative or inquiry process. I will not comment on either the outcomes of the DMP decision nor the ongoing Administrative Inquiry at this time. The integrity of the inquiry process remains a critical concern,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
“We do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour in Navy because, by its very nature, it damages our people and our effectiveness. This impacts on all levels of the Navy and ultimately our ability to conduct operations and achieve our mission.”
Defence will continue to provide updates on the progress of this matter when it is appropriate to do so.
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