Data Matching Program appendix
In DVA Annual Report 2016–17—Appendix C: Data Matching Program Table, C2: Prosecutions prompted by the Data Matching Program, on page 264 reported that:
- one case had been referred to the Personnel, Security and Investigations Section identified though data matching
- one case was under investigation by the Personnel, Security and Investigations Section
- one case had been finalised by the Personnel, Security and Investigations Section without Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions referral.
In each instance, this should have read zero cases.
In DVA Annual Report 2017–18—Appendix D: Data Matching Program, Table D2: Prosecutions prompted by the Data Matching Program 2017–18, on page 232, reported that zero cases had been referred to the Personnel, Security and Investigations Section identified though data matching. In this instance, this should have read one case.
Subsequent examination of records associated with the Data Matching Program has indicated that the numbers reported at this time were incorrect.
Management and accountability chapter: External scrutiny
The release of the Government’s responses to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee’s 2017 report The constant battle: suicide by veterans was mentioned a number of times in DVA Annual Report 2017–18, including the Secretary’s reports (page 4), the Chief Operating Officer’s report (page 7) and Part 1, Performance (pages 50, 53 and 66).
The release of the inquiry report and the Government’s response to that report was omitted from the ‘External scrutiny’ section of Part 2, Management and accountability (page 97). This has been corrected on the DVA website and is set out below.
Reports by the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee
The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committees cover the Defence (including Veterans’ Affairs), Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolios.
On 1 September 2016 the Senate referred the matter of suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report.
DVA provided a written submission to the inquiry, and participated in public hearings.
On 15 August 2017 the committee tabled its report on the inquiry, The constant battle: suicide by veterans, which made 24 recommendations to the Government.
On 24 October 2017 the Government tabled its response to the report. The response noted the Government accepted 22 of the recommendations, and accepted in principle two of the recommendations.
DVA is responding to the recommendations by taking a range of actions, including:
- reviewing its veteran-specific online training programs for health professionals
- reviewing the service delivery training of departmental staff
- conducting consultation forums for veterans who are concerned about their use of mefloquine while in service
- realigning its mental and social health strategies with Defence and whole-of-Government strategies to enable a stronger focus on suicide prevention
- delivering the outcomes of research into homelessness in the veteran community
- delivering the Family Support Package.