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Complaint handling and resolution

Defence personnel have the right to complain if they are aggrieved by matters relating to their employment. ADF members (permanent and Reserve) may apply for redress of grievance under the Defence Regulation 2016. APS employees may seek a review of actions under the Public Service Act 1999.

APS review of actions

Section 33 of the Public Service Act 1999 establishes a review of actions scheme and allows non-SES APS employees to seek review where they have a complaint about an action or a decision relating to their employment.

In 2019–20 Defence received 51 applications for review of actions, which is comparable with the previous year. Ten applicants then sought secondary review from the Merit Protection Commissioner. Of these, only two applicants had the subject of their review set aside or varied.

The following subjects featured in the applications for review this financial year:

  • Performance Feedback Assessment and Development Scheme outcomes
  • Management of unacceptable behaviour complaints by line management
  • Access to leave or other entitlements.

Figure 6.1 shows number of applications for review received versus finalised from 2013-14 to 2019-20 in a column graph. 2013-14 113 received, 119 finalised 2014-15 77 received, 76 finalised 2015-16 75 received, 70 finalised 2016-17 63 received, 69 finalised 2017-18 72 received, 71 finalised 2018-19 49 received, 50 finalised 2019-20 51 received, 49 finalised
Figure 6.1: APS review of actions applications, 2014–15 to 2019–20