Response to Channel 7 regarding ‘Hot Issues Brief’ documents released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
11 January 2012
Defence recently released a number of documents to Channel 7 following a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Channel 7 subsequently lodged a media enquiry to which Defence responded.
Response to Channel 7:
Defence is a large organisation with a diverse workforce of almost 103 thousand military and civilian members. Defence establishes and expects each member to uphold the highest values and standards of personal behaviour.
Defence has no tolerance for misconduct or security breaches.
An organisation is measured in how it responds to such allegations.
Defence has responded promptly to these incidents, including referring criminal matters to relevant civil authorities.
In regard to the specific incidents you have raised:
A Feb 26 allegation of indecent assault aboard HMAS Success.
The Australian Defence Force Investigative Service investigated the alleged incident. The matter was subsequently referred to the Director of Military Prosecutions. The matter has been finalised and the accused was demoted in rank to Able Seaman.
Allegations reported in Sept 2011 of a senior officer aboard the Success in inappropriate relationships with junior sailors, including filmed acts of sex.
This matter is the subject of an ongoing ADFIS investigation.
Allegations of Sexual assaults aboard the HMAS Newcastle, Diamantina, and Darwin – all within the last year.
HMAS Diamantina - Matter was referred to NSW Police for investigation.
HMAS Newcastle - Matter referred to South Australian Police for investigation.
HMAS Darwin - this matter relates to sexual misconduct and is pending referral back to the Chain of Command.
Allegations on Sept 12, 2011 by a civilian that she was sexually assaulted on the grounds of Duntroon.
This matter was referred to ACT Policing for investigation.
Sept 2011 arrest of 3RAR soldier who had 2 teenage girls living in his barracks at Holsworthy for 2 weeks.
Action was taken against two ADF members under the Defence Force Discipline Act.
September 23, 2011 accusation that 6th aviation member at Holsworthy sexually assaulted a member of his unit.
This matter was referred to the NSW Police for investigation.
An investigation into a Classified Data spill on July 21, 2011 when an ADF member sent classified material from the Defence Information Environment to an external email account. What was the nature of the information sent, what was the outcome of the investigation, and any punishment?
The document related to Defence activities in support of CHOGM 2011.
Two investigations were conducted. One by the Defence Security Authority (DSA), the other by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS).
DSA found no evidence that the information had been compromised due to this data spill.
The ADFIS investigation remains ongoing.
Reviews into Defence and Australian Defence Culture.
Defence is in the final stages of methodically considering the recommendations in the five reviews into Defence culture 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.
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.
The Minister 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.