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ASRR and Minister Truss – Have CASA and ATSB misled you??

The following pprune post bears some careful thought as to whether CASA and ATSB either together [basis for this exposed by Seantors Xenophon, Fawcett, Sterle and Heffernan] or individually to “drag out” the reply.

The November 18th 2013 estimates hearing certainly bears some thought, with the questions asked and the 28th May 2013 estimates, when Dolan said the questions raised by the PelAir report would would be dealt with by the July ATSB Board meeting.

The real question is:

What was in the June 5th 2013 reply by “Government” to Albanese?. [Mrdack tells the Senate estimates in November 2013 that the answer was given to Albanese on June 5th 2013, exactly 8 weeks before the parliament was porouged on 5th August 2013].

Is the Department misleading Parliament, or was it Albanese??

18th Feb 2014, 12:26   #1759 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,229
Devil “Three little ducks went out one day…”

….over the hill and far away…??”The Senators chronology conundrum??

With regard to the PelAir report & Miniscule [Minister] responses/non-responses we had some very mixed messages coming from the main players (DIPs)….

1st cab off the rank was the head Crat [Mrdak] with this response to a DFawcett question on when Albo first received the Dept brief:

Quote:
Senator FAWCETT:The last time we met in estimates, you were anticipating giving a brief to former minister Albanese about the Senate report into air accident investigations. You anticipated giving that to him, I think, within 10 days of the date of the estimates. Could you confirm what date the department did provide that brief for action to the minister?Mr Mrdak: Following our conversation at the 29 May estimates, I provided advice to the minister on 5 June 2013.

Senator FAWCETT: Did that have recommendations for a response to the Senate report?

Mr Mrdak: It provided advice on the Senate report, including options for handling of the Senate inquiry report, yes.

Senator FAWCETT:Did it flag the fact that there were safety implications raised in the Senate report?

Mr Mrdak: It certainly drew to the minister’s attention the findings of the Senate committee report.

Next we had the byplay with Fort Fumble [CASA], the bureau & the Dept, which led to basically the same QON (152-154) being received and ultimately being answered (refer QON index):

Quote:
Answer:
The various agency contributions to assist in the preparation of the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry are internal working documents provided to the Department as part of a deliberative Government process.
Each Government aviation agency cleared parts, pertaining to their organisation, of the proposed Government response to the Senate Inquiry before the response was provided to the Government. Accordingly agency views on the Senate Inquiry’s report will be reflected in the final Government response, which will be provided to the Senate as soon as it is approved by the Government.AQONs for QON 153 & 154:

Answer:
See answer 152.

Okay so far all the ducks were well and truly in alignment and accounted for in regards to dobbing in the previous Miniscule Albo…

It wasn’t till Senator X started asking for an expansion of the government (non-) response timeline that the ducks started to wander off…

“….Senator XENOPHON: But there were various recommendations and you have given your views as to those recommendations to the department?

Mr McCormick: Yes, we have.

Senator XENOPHON: When did you do that?

Mr McCormick: I would have to take the exact date on notice. It was before the election…”

Quote:
Answer:In response to a request from the Department, CASA provided initial comments on the recommendations to the Department on 7 June 2013. Formal comments on the proposed response were provided to the Department on 19 August 2013.

After the election, CASA received a draft Government response on 25 September 2013 from the Department inviting any final comments and CASA advised it had no further comments on 26 September 2013.

And from the ATSB:

Quote:
Senator Xenophon asked:It is now over four years since the ditching of VH-NGA off Norfolk Island, and nearly seven months since the committee issued its report on aviation accident investigations. Has the ATSB formulated a response to this report?
a. If so, please provide a copy of the response provided to the Minister or department.
b. Will the ATSB be implementing any of the report’s recommendations? If so, when?
c. In particular, will the ATSB be withdrawing its report into the Pel-Air incident and conducting a further investigation?
d. Does the Chief Commissioner still maintain the ditching was the fault of the pilot, and that there were no systemic issues involved?

Answer:
Yes.
a. The ATSB provided advice to the Department on 31 July 2013, to assist it in briefing the Minister on a proposed government response. The various agency contributions, including the ATSB’s, to assist in the preparation of the Government’s response to the Senate Inquiry, are internal working documents provided to the Department as part of a deliberative Government process.

Each Government aviation agency cleared parts, pertaining to their organisation, of the proposed Government response to the Senate Inquiry before the response was provided to the Government.

Accordingly agency views on the Senate Inquiry’s report will be reflected in the final Government response, which will be provided to the Committee as soon as it is approved by the Government.

b. The ATSB will implement those elements of the government response which are relevant to it and are consistent with the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The timeframe for implementation will depend on the publication of the government’s response as well as the outcomes of the review of aviation safety regulation announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 14 November 2013. The review team is expected to report to the government in May 2014.

c. The ATSB has no power to withdraw the Pel-Air report or plans to conduct a further investigation.

d. The ATSB stands by the findings of its report. Neither the Chief Commissioner nor the ATSB have apportioned blame for the ditching. The report identified systemic issues against which action has been taken by the relevant organisations.

Okay so timeline with comments…

Not time lined: The interim period between Senate Estimates and the calling of the election; where there was numerous press releases, media reports {including a rather humorous moment where Albo was caught trying to escape out the back door to avoid embarrassing questions on the non-response to the AAI report}, tendentious blogger commentary etc.

23 May 2013: AAI report released.
{Note: Remember that apparently before the report was released the AFP accepted for investigation a referral by the Senate for possible breaches under S24 of the TSI Act. Now rumour has it that the AFP investigation, more than 10 months later, has subsequently stalled awaiting statements from the Dept, bureau & FF i.e. busy trying to find those damn ducks.}

29 May 2013: Estimates Dept/Govt serious/urgent undertaking to responding to AAI recommendations & significant safety issues highlighted in the report…

“…Senator FAWCETT: …. That three-month period will fall right in the middle of the caretaker period, which means that significant safety issues could potentially be stretched out beyond four or five months before resolution, which is unacceptable.Could you tell the committee what your plan is to make sure that those issues are addressed in a timely manner, given the overlapping of significant time frames?

Mr Mrdak : We are certainly aware of the seriousissues raised by the committee’s report that was tabled last week in the Senate. The
minister has sought urgent advice from agencies in relation to the matters raised by the Senate committee.We are now in the process of providing that advice to the minister. The minister certainly does recognise the need to urgently review and address the recommendations…
…I can only say to you that the government is giving this serious and urgent consideration and looking to expedite its response as best it can.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept that you cannot speak for the minister and when he will release his response but can you give the committee an undertaking that the department’s response to the minister will occur in sufficient time so that he can respond before the caretaker mode?

Mr Mrdak : Certainly that would be our intention. As I said, the minister has sought advice. In preliminary discussions with him on the issues involved he has sought that advice as a matter of urgency and we are doing that now, along with our portfolio agencies….”

5 June 2013: Department advice to Albo on AAI report.
Comment: However it would appear that the Dept advice was devoid of any ‘portfolio agencies’ advice…??

7 June 2013: CAsA provides initial comments on the AAI report recommendations to the Dept.

24 July 2013: ATsB Commissioners meet.
Beaker thumbing his nose at the AAI report…
“..Mr Dolan : There is a possibility—in fact, there is the certainty—that the commissioners will reconsider it. That is part of our review of the recommendations of the committee. Once we have done that, we will report back on the results of our consideration.

Senator XENOPHON: And when do you think that will be reconsidered?


Mr Dolan : At this stage—and I need to have further discussions with my fellow commissioners—we have a scheduled formal commission meeting on 24 July. At this stage, that is when we would expect to consider all the recommendations of the committee…”

31 July 2013: The ATsB provides advice to the Dept, to assist it in briefing the Minister on a proposed government response.

19 Aug 2013: FF provide formal comments on the proposed Govt response (i.e ‘draft’) to the Dept. {Note: Which was incidentally 2 weeks after the federal election was called..WTF??}

7 Sept 2013: New Govt & Miniscule.

25-26 Sept 2013: FF receives a draft Govt response from the Dept inviting any final comments & FF advises it had no further comment on 26 September 2013.
{Note: Interesting that the new Miniscule had a ‘draft’ response back in September but is yet to release the final version…WTF is the hold up??}

14 Nov 2013: WLR is announced by the Miniscule.

18 Nov 2013: Senate Estimates where Senator Sinodinos said…
“…My advice was we would respond before the end of the year…”
{Note: In the Miniscule’s Senate rep defence, he didn’t quantify ‘this year’ }

So there we have it, now a further 3 months down the track, we are still yet to see the Govt response…

IOS member: “Parliament House is on fire!!”

Secretary to the PMC: Standby, just drafting an urgent response for the PM…{30 minutes later}… “ there we go..forwarded to the PM’s chief of staff who is suggesting to the PM to call an urgent Cabinet meeting and to recall Parliament!”

3 months later…
Secretary to the PMC thought bubble (while picking through the rubble of his former grand office in Parliament House): “..Oh well at least my arse is covered..”

“Three little ducks went out one day…QUACK..QUACK..QUACK” (& TICK..TOCK)!

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