On The Record – ABC Online and Lateline
23 July 2015
The online story titled Navy abuse victim Rob Jones tells how Defence response process added to trauma contains a significant factual error.
The journalist states that:
"Mr Jones has made a claim for compensation through the Defence Abuse Response Task Force (DART), a group set up by the Defence Force to investigate and respond to claims of abuse.”
This is wrong. The DART was established by the previous Government in response to the DLA Piper Review - not by the Department of Defence. The DART is an independent body to the Department of Defence and is responsible for assessing complaints of sexual and other forms of abuse by Defence personnel alleged to have occurred prior to 11 April 2011.
Even the most perfunctory research would have recognised that the DART is administered by the Attorney General's Department to ensure it remains independent from the Department of Defence.
The story draws its premise from findings of the DART, yet because the DART's independence was not determined by the journalist, and therefore not made clear, those findings were incorrectly attributed to Defence. This has led to false inferences about Defence's involvement in this case. This false inference is also evident in the Lateline story broadcast on 22 July titled Alleged victims say sex abuse commission is essential.
We ask that you take steps as soon as possible to correct this error.