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Relationships with Australian Government departments and agencies

DVA enjoys strong relationships with many other Australian Government entities, managed by clear governance arrangements and focused on the achievement of planned outcomes.

The department has a longstanding relationship with Defence, which shares responsibility for providing care and support to ADF members. So that we can deliver services to veterans and their families effectively, we also work with Services Australia (previously DHS), the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), the Australian Government Actuary and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. DVA’s digital transformation process is supported by cross-government bodies, including the Veteran Centric Reform Interdepartmental Committee, which advises us about the design and implementation of our transformation; and the Transformation Program Board, which ensures its successful implementation.


DVA and Defence work together to provide care and support for ADF members at all stages during and after their careers.

Defence has the lead in caring for and supporting current serving ADF members and their families. DVA has the lead in caring for and supporting veterans and their families. DVA is also responsible for providing compensation and other support to eligible current and former members.

DVA and Defence have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that defines our roles. It also sets out:

  • governing principles for cross-agency processes, funding arrangements, information sharing and communication protocols
  • provisions for monitoring the performance of the Support Continuum—a coordinated and integrated support system that extends across DVA and Defence to deliver the required level of care and support to wounded, injured or ill current and former members.

Cooperation between DVA and Defence is managed through two joint committees. The Defence DVA Executive Committee is the principal governing body, and the Defence/DVA Links Steering Committee implements the strategic direction set by the executive committee.

DVA and Defence continue to work collaboratively on a range of strategic and operational initiatives to deliver improvements to veteran services and family support.

Services Australia

As part of DVA’s transformation program, DVA has partnered with Services Australia (previously DHS) to make it faster and easier for veterans and their families to connect with DVA no matter where they live in Australia. By working together, DVA and Services Australia are providing more opportunities for veterans and their families to manage their business with DVA online, over the phone or face-to-face.

DVA and Services Australia also work together to review and rationalise shared services arrangements between the agencies, with a revised head agreement—the Statement of Intent—endorsed by both agencies in April 2019. This involved clarifying and strengthening the language around the privacy and security of data, the roles and responsibilities of each agency, and the operational arrangements in place to govern the relationship.

Department of Health

DVA works closely with the Department of Health on policies and programs across the areas of health, aged care and community services. For health care, DVA has regular interactions that cover medical, dental and allied health policy and services, as well as pharmaceutical benefits arrangements. For aged and community care arrangements, DVA has regular interactions that cover joint responsibilities around residential aged care, the Government’s ongoing reforms to aged care, and the interactions between home care programs administered by the two departments.

The Department of Health manages the My Aged Care portal—a central source of Australian Government information on aged care for consumers, carers and service providers. The portal provides links to the DVA website and other information for veterans. DVA participates in joint Australian Government and state and territory government forums that discuss the implementation of the portal and other community and aged care service issues across jurisdictions.

A key pillar of DVA’s digital transformation is the development of an analytics capability that can be used to drive policy and program delivery. DVA is working with the Department of Health to develop an integrated DVA–Health dataset that will inform a whole-of-population view of issues, leading to better health outcomes for all Australians, including veterans.

Department of Social Services

DVA engages with DSS on a range of matters, including carers policy; disability policy, including interactions with the National Disability Insurance Scheme; and income support arrangements. DVA participates in two interdepartmental committees led by DSS: one on disability and the other on carers.

DSS hosts the Community Grants Hub (www.communitygrants.gov.au)—an online facility designed to deliver a simpler and more consistent approach to the administration of Australian Government grants. As part of a shared services arrangement, DVA’s grant programs were opened for online applications through the hub in early 2018.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Under an MOU between the departments, DVA receives services from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA). DVA is working with BETA to evaluate behavioural approaches designed to ensure that veterans have earlier access to services that are better targeted to their needs.

Digital Transformation Agency

DTA is the advisory and assurance body for the implementation of the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda. DTA has a role in analysing the impacts of new information and communications technology (ICT) proposals at the whole-of-Government level.


  • works with the DTA to apply the Digital Service Standard to the design of online services
  • seeks advice from the DTA on ICT proposals
  • engages with the DTA on myGov work, through the member services forum and related cross-agency governance committees.

Australian Government Actuary

DVA has an MOU with the Australian Government Actuary to provide actuarial investigations of the costs associated with the MRCA and DRCA; actuarial investigations of DVA’s leave liabilities and other provisions; and data for DVA’s financial statements and budgeting processes.

The Australian Government Actuary also assists Proactive Interventions—an element of DVA’s digital transformation that includes a framework to enable DVA to understand and monitor the expected outcomes of veterans and their dependants over their lifetimes and, in doing so, identify groups that may benefit from decision-making more closely informed by their lifetime dynamics.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

DVA has an MOU with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to develop a comprehensive profile of the health and welfare of Australia’s ex-serving population.

While DVA has a client–provider relationship with around 20 per cent of today’s ex-serving population, we have less knowledge of the health and welfare status of the remaining 80 per cent. The collaboration draws on existing datasets to address the gap.

The data will provide population-level insights into domains such as experience, life course, family functioning, gender and risk factors. These insights could enable reporting on a range of outcomes, including homelessness and long-term unemployment, which will assist DVA to design and plan policy interventions to enhance health and wellbeing outcomes for the ex-service community.