The government has implemented a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s interim report.
Changes have been made to improve information access from the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs for members of the Australian Defence Force, veterans and their families.
This includes the establishment of Information Access Units within the Department of Defence and DVA, additional education material on the information access process, how and why redactions occur, and updates to both departments’ websites.
The new Information Access Units will serve as a single point of contact for information requests, and will provide dedicated support to applicants if needed.
The teams are already working closely together to facilitate requests quickly and seamlessly.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Matt Keogh said the initiatives demonstrate the commitment to improving access to information for ADF members, veterans and their families.
“The Royal Commission’s Interim Report was clear, as was the veteran and family community, that the information access process wasn’t fit for purpose,” he said.
“The government has been working to address this as quickly as possible.
“Following a comprehensive co-design process with Defence personnel, veterans and their families, DVA and Defence are implementing a raft of improvements to make sure the system is easier to navigate.
“With the initiatives the government has put in place, ADF members, veterans and families will better understand the process of accessing information, and have the option to receive assistance from a dedicated team if they need it.”
Along with improving access to information, the government continues to implement its response to the Royal Commission’s other recommendations.
This includes engaging 500 new frontline DVA staff to eliminate the compensation claims backlog and the public consultation on a pathway to reform more than a century of veterans’ entitlement legislation which is currently underway.
Serving ADF members and their families can call the ADF all-hours support line on 1800 628 036.
Veterans or their family members can access the Open Arms veterans and families counselling service on 1800 011 046.