The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Liz Cosson AM CSC
Secretary, Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester and Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs Liz Cosson have welcomed the Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO) report Effectiveness of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ planning and management of Veteran Centric Reforms (VCR).
The Minister and Secretary thanked the Auditor-General for the work in preparing the report and committed to prioritising the implementation of the four recommendations.
Australia has a world-class veteran support system. The Government is always looking for ways to build upon changes made to-date, providing simpler, faster and better outcomes for veterans and their families.
The report acknowledges that this has been the most comprehensive reform to Australia’s veteran support system in decades and that DVA’s planning and management of the program has been largely effective. Significant initiatives have been implemented as well as improvements to DVA’s culture, service delivery and reputation over the life of the program.
Key successes of the VCR program to date include:
- increased recognition by veterans of the support and services available to them – leading to a more than doubling of compensation claims received since the program’s inception.
- simpler and faster claims logdement online through MyService.
- early engagement with current members of the Australian Defence Force so they are aware of benefits and entitlements available to them on transition back to civilian life.
- improved veteran experience with DVA through upgrades to its telephone system, website, digital record keeping and other ICT tools.
The report comes at a critical stage of DVA’s reforms and the findings and recommendations will assist with the next phase of changes.
The Government committed more than $500 million to improve DVA over the past four years, transforming service delivery and benefitting veterans and their families for generations to come. Now is the time to look at what is working, focus on what needs to be improved, and optimise the system of support for veterans and their families now and into the future.
The Australian people rightly expect the Government to support those who have served in the defence of our nation and we are committed to delivering a system that empowers veterans and their families to improve their health and wellbeing, stay well and age well.
As a grateful nation, for what they have done, this we will do.
The ANAO report can be accessed online at www.anao.gov.au
Rachel Tharratt or Cedric Szigeti: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au