The review was triggered by the 'ADFA Skype incident' last year and was conducted by Dennis Pearce, Melanie McKean & Gary Rumble.
The redacted report indicates that -
On 11 April 2011, the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith announced that an external law firm would be engaged by the Secretary of Defence to review allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse that have been drawn to the attention of the Minister’s office, as well as to the Department of Defence and the media.The volume features several recommendations, some of which have been released -
The allegations followed an incident at the Australian Defence Force Academy. In response to these allegations, the law firm DLA Piper was engaged by the then Secretary of the Department of Defence to review each allegation methodically and at arm’s length from Defence to determine the most appropriate way for these complaints to be addressed.
The Review has had before it specific allegations within scope from 847 different people (sources). Many of these sources have more than one allegation within scope.
We have allegations across every decade from the 1950s to date. The earliest date of alleged abuse is 1951 (on a 13 year old boy, now a man in his 70s). We have allegations of events during 2011.
The allegations which have been raised with the Review are incredibly diverse. They are made by men and women in respect of conduct by men, women and groups. They involve minors and adults. They span 60 years. They come from diverse geographical locations. They come from different parts of the Defence organisation. They relate to the full range of possible involvement in the ADF—training, normal duties, deployment, hospitalisation and so on. The incidents range from extremely serious to (relatively) minor. The behaviour complained of ranges from that which has never been acceptable nor tolerated, to that which, whilst not acceptable, has in the past been tacitly tolerated.
It is not possible to summarise the nature of the allegations as a group. Each allegation has been considered in accordance with its circumstances.
If a new complaint resolution scheme is established, it should not be limited to people who have come to this Review but should be open to people who have not raised matters with this Review.
If a new complaint resolution scheme is established, each allegation reported on within Volume 2 should be reviewed to see if the allegation is suitable for the new scheme.
This is particularly important to allegations identified in Volume 2 for 'no further action‘. That recommendation is based on the remedies currently available for the members concerned. If new remedies are put in place, some of the 'no further action‘ matters may be suitable for reparations under the new system.
There should be further investigation of matters identified during Phase 1 as raising real concerns as to the occurrence of abuse and/or mismanagement by Defence of reports of abuse.
The Review considers that Phase 2 should consult with the Defence Force Ombudsman to determine a role for the Defence Force Ombudsman in overseeing whatever processes for investigation and reparation are adopted following this Report.
Further investigations to be made during Phase 2 should be conducted by an external review body. A body similar to that which has conducted Phase 1 of the Review should be established for this purpose.
Consideration should be given to establishing a capped compensation scheme for the victims of abuse within Defence. During Phase 2 a detailed proposal for a capped compensation scheme could be developed for the Government‘s consideration at the end of Phase 2.
Consideration should be given to establishing a framework for private facilitated meetings between victims, perpetrators and witnesses of abuse within Defence. During Phase 2 a detailed proposal for such a framework could be developed for the Government‘s consideration at the end of Phase 2.
Consideration should be given in Phase 2 to the appointment of an office or body external to Defence to oversight implementation of the recommendations made by this Review (including in relation to systemic issues) and thereafter to oversee the operation of the complaints system in practice, including, in particular, the treatment of victims.
Special counselling and health services in place for the duration of this Review should be extended into Phase 2 of the Review whilst a plan for providing health services to victims of abuse is prepared. Thereafter, the plan should be implemented such that victims of abuse within Defence have access to counselling and health services.
A suite of options should be adopted to provide means for affording reparation to persons affected by abuse in Defence comprising: public apology/acknowledgements;A body or team should be tasked to develop detailed proposals for the suite of options, so that they may be presented for a decision on implementation.
capped compensation scheme;
facilitated meeting between victim and perpetrator;
health services and counselling.
While the suite of options are being developed, there should be further external investigation of matters recommended in Volume 2 for further external investigation. There could be referral of matters recommended for internal/external referral.
Volume 2 recommendations are limited to existing options. Accordingly, matters recommended for ̳no further action‘ in Volume 2 should be 'held', pending the development of the proposals and then - where appropriate - considered for possible action under any new processes adopted. There should be appropriate communication to complainants as to what will happen
during the transition stage and into Phase 2.