Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe today released a report on the investigation of the actions and decisions of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in relation to a complaint made by a veteran with over 30 years of service to Australia, and the difficulties he faced in accessing his correct entitlements.
In releasing the report, Mr Manthorpe emphasised that the negative impact of Mr A’s dealings with DVA cannot be overstated. As well as considerable financial pressures, his health has suffered and his relationships have been strained.
‘There are currently around 300,000 veterans who access benefits and payments through DVA. They rely on efficient and effective administration to ensure they receive regular payments and entitlements as well as access to essential health services. They put their trust in the hands of the Commonwealth and have every right to expect that the Commonwealth will, in turn, provide best practice service’ Mr Manthorpe said.
While DVA was the primary agency dealing with Mr A’s matters, the information provided and actions undertaken by both the Commonwealth Superannuation Commission (CSC) and the Navy impacted on the actions undertaken by DVA and subsequent negative outcomes for the veteran.
The report makes six recommendations for DVA to address systemic issues arising from the investigation and also recommends that DVA provide an appropriate remedy to Mr A. Mr Manthorpe welcomes DVA’s positive response to our recommendations. DVA’s response can be found in the full report here.