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Productivity Commission Report – Recommendation Implementation Tracker

DFWA is tracking Government’s implementation of the recommendations made in the Productivity Commission Report – A Better Way to Support Veterans.

See our main article here.

The tracker was last updated on 18 February 2021.

No.RecommendationGovt Advised StatusGovernment Comment
4.1Objectives And Principles For The Veteran Support SystemOutstanding
5.1Improve Reporting Of Work Health And Safety IncidentsTo be deliveredDefence will link its work health and safety database (Sentinel) with the future Defence e-health system, and has this work planned. Along with other linked work on data sharing and analytics, it is anticipated that there will be better visibility of the impact of health and safety incidents in terms of both cost and outcome.
5.2Supporting A New Approach To Injury PreventionOutstanding
5.3Publish Annual Notional Premium EstimatesTo be deliveredThis will be implemented in the very near future, without new funding. DVA will publish the actuarial report of the liability and notional and annual premium produced by the Australian Government Actuary.
5.4Formalise Defence Responsibility To Support ADF MembersImplementedDefence has incorporated the words below in the 2020-24 Defence Corporate Plan: Appropriate support and services are provided to Defence people, noting Defence has a responsibility to respect and support members of the Australian Defence Force having regard to their lifetime wellbeing
6.1Public Reporting On ADF RehabilitationImplementedThe return to duty rate for the 2016-17 financial year was included for the first time in the Joint Health Command Annual Review 2017-18. As of 1 July 2019, Defence has introduced the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 36 (WHODAS-36) as a rehabilitation outcome measure. Defence provides rehabilitation as an extension of healthcare. The WHODAS measure provides a more holistic view of rehabilitation outcomes than just return to work or duty. The first results of the WHODAS will be published in the Joint Health Command Annual Review report for financial year 2019-20.
6.2Evaluation And Reporting Of DVA RehabilitationProgressingDVA has undertaken a number of review activities (e.g. a request for information from rehabilitation providers, research on other comparable programs) in the past six months to better understand its position in the rehabilitation industry and learn how it can improve its rehabilitation services.
6.3Commissioning And Integration Of Rehabilitation ServicesProgressingFrom 1 July 2019, DVA entered into contractual arrangements with 36 providers, and concluded a request for information from providers in Jun 2020 to inform a future rehabilitation operating model. DVA and Defence have been reviewing the transfer of rehabilitation plans between the two rehabilitation programs for transitioning members.
7.1Establish A Joint Transition AuthorityAgreedDefence, with DVA and the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), has examined the feasibility and design of the JTA and Government has agreed to establish the JTA in Defence. Defence will partner with DVA and CSC to deliver the JTA objectives. Defence will begin to implement the JTA in late 2020, with a view to delivering full operational capability by the end of 2022.
Budget 20-21 measure - $17.7 million for the creation of a Joint Transition Authority within Defence to improve the transition support for ADF members and to enhance outcomes for ADF members and their families in their transition to civilian life.
7.2Career Planning And Family Engagement For TransitionProgressingDefence has made progress on the second and third components, encouraging ADF members to consider and plan their military and civilian careers. ADF Transition programs have been undergoing improvements since 2017. Since January 2019, Defence has adopted a needs-based approach to supporting members and their families when leave the military. This includes career planning and access to specialist support.
7.3Trial A Veteran Education AllowanceOutstanding
8.1Harmonise The Initial Liability ProcessOutstanding
8.2Improve The RMA’s Resourcing And TransparencyOutstanding
8.3Abolish The Specialist Medical Review CouncilOutstanding
8.4Move MRCA To A Single Standard Of ProofOutstanding
9.1Public Progress Reports On Recent ReviewsImplementedDVA publishes responses to reviews of DVA and the veteran support system on its website. Progress reports on these responses are provided on an ongoing basis.
9.2Appropriately Train StaffImplementedDVA has been providing training to staff in the areas recommended by the Commission, focussed on service delivery to vulnerable people and in particular those experiencing the impact of trauma.
9.3Ensure Quality Of Claims ProcessingOutstanding
10.1Improve And Use Feedback From Administrative ReviewsOutstanding
10.2Single Review PathwayOutstanding
10.3Veterans’ Review Board As A Review And Resolution BodyOutstanding
10.4Review Of Ongoing Role Of Veterans’ Review BoardOutstanding
11.1Establish A Veteran Services CommissionOutstanding
11.2Levy A Premium On DefenceAgreedDVA and Defence are developing an alternative approach by examining data sharing needs, designing complementary wellbeing frameworks and preparing to create a data sharing and analytics solution where DVA and Defence data will be shared to provide insights into current and future veteran support system issues.
Budget 20-21 measure - Stage 1 funding of $500,000 to develop a platform to bring together Defence and DVA de-identified data in one place to build a better understanding of the cost of service injuries and to inform prevention strategies without impacting on capability.
11.3Improving Policy OutcomesOutstanding
11.4Create A Ministerial Advisory CouncilOutstanding
11.5Move War Grave Functions Into The War MemorialOutstanding
12.1Reframe Support For Veterans’ OrganisationsOutstanding
12.2DVA Should Provide Assistance With Primary ClaimsOutstanding
12.3Fund A Claims Advocacy ProgramOutstanding
12.4Accreditation Of AdvocatesProgressingThe Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) continues to be available to accredit advocates who act on behalf of claimants. The ATDP is working to develop a more contemporary approach to training using available technologies, so that it is more accessible in regional and remote areas, and to encourage younger participants who may be unable to attend face-to-face training due to work and family commitments.
12.5Fund Legal Assistance At The AATOutstanding
12.6Program For Funding Wellbeing SupportsProgressingDVA is shifting to a wellbeing model that supports veterans to achieve greater independence for themselves and their families, and is in the process of implementing a network of six Veteran Wellbeing Centres across Australia. The centres will provide a one-stop shop for veterans and their families to access a range of health, employment, transition and social connection services. Each of the six centres will receive one-off funding support of $5 million (a total of $30 million across the program) to develop and initiate their service model.
12.7Funding Policy Advice From Veterans’ OrganisationsOutstanding
13.1Harmonise The DRCA With The MRCAOutstanding
13.2Simplify The Administration Of Invalidity PensionsOutstanding
13.3Replace Invalidity Pensions With Incapacity PaymentsOutstanding
13.4Rehabilitation For Invalidity Payment RecipientsOutstanding
14.1A Single Rate Of Permanent Impairment CompensationOutstanding
14.2Interim Compensation To Be Taken As A Periodic PaymentOutstanding
14.3Interim Compensation To Be Finalised After Two YearsOutstanding
14.4Eligible Young Person Permanent Impairment PaymentOutstanding
14.5Improve Lifestyle RatingsOutstanding
14.6Target Incapacity Payments At Economic LossOutstanding
14.7Remove The MRCA Special Rate Disability PensionOutstanding
14.8Remove Automatic Eligibility For MRCA Dependant BenefitsOutstanding
14.9Combine MRCA Dependant Benefits Into One PaymentOutstanding
14.1Harmonise The Funeral AllowanceOutstanding
15.1Simplify DFSIAAgreedBudget 20-21 measure - $25.9 million to provide additional financial support in the form of rent assistance to TPI Pension and other Disability Pension recipients who also receive an income support payment and pay private rent. The recommendation would see the payment arrangements simplified, removing the need for the Defence Force Income Support Allowance, in response to the Independent Review into the TPI Payment.
15.2Simplify And Harmonise Education PaymentsOutstanding
15.3Consolidate Supplements Into Underlying PaymentsOutstanding
15.4Remove And Pay Out Smaller PaymentsOutstanding
15.5Harmonise Attendant And Household ServicesOutstanding
15.6Harmonise Vehicle AssistanceOutstanding
16.1Eligibility For Coordinated Veterans’ CareAgreedBudget 20-21 measure - $2.4 million to expand eligibility for the Coordinated Veterans’ Care Program to White Card holders with chronic mental health conditions.
16.2Public Reporting On Accessibility Of Health ServicesOutstanding
16.3Independent Review Of Fee Setting ArrangementsAgreedBudget 20-21 measure - $94.3 million for mental health, social worker and community nursing provider fee increases and simplification, to improve mental health outcomes for veterans and ensure older vulnerable veterans are well supported in the community, as well as providing funding for psychiatry training in military and veteran mental health.
16.4Better Targeted Eligibility For The Gold Card
16.5No Further Extensions Of Gold Card Eligibility
17.1Improve Awareness Of DVA Mental Health ServicesImplementedDVA has been actively promoting the work of Open Arms and DVA’s funded mental health services. Both the DVA and Open Arms websites promote the services and supports available to the veteran community, including broader government supports. DVA will continue to build awareness of its mental health services through implementation of the Veteran Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and National Action Plan 2020-2023, which prioritises communicating and engaging with veterans, families and the community about the mental health and wellbeing support and services available.
17.2Monitor And Report On Open Arms’ OutcomesAgreedBudget 20-21 measure - $5.0 million to support mental health in the veteran community and address the rate of veteran suicide, especially in regional and remote areas, with the expansion of Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling services.
17.3Evidence Based Treatment For Veterans Mental HealthOutstanding
17.4A New Veteran Mental Health Strategy
18.1Outcomes And Performance FrameworksProgressingThe establishment of data and insights capability with DVA has allowed the Department to progressively improve these frameworks and measures of the effectiveness of its services. Though this and associated mechanisms, further improvements are expected to occur incrementally. DVA has also been incrementally maturing its performance measures and framework, as reflected in improvements to its Annual Performance Statement.
18.2More High Quality Trials And ReviewsImplementedDVA has been conducting or has initiated a number of trials and reviews over recent years and will continue to do so, and will use them to inform policies and service delivery, e.g. the psychiatric assistance dog trial being conducted by La Trobe University, and the Review of DVA Health Provider Fees. Activities also include evaluations to monitor outcomes and benefits of programs such as an evaluation of the Veteran Payment and an evaluation of the Coordinated Veterans’ Care Mental Health Pilot.
18.3Develop And Publish A Veteran Research PlanImplementedThe DVA Strategic Research Framework 2019-21 provides guidance for the commissioning of high quality applied research to increase the evidence base and use of data to support DVA services, and to increase awareness of emerging veteran issues and solutions. DVA has published its research priorities and briefed the research community on how the commissioning model will operate.
18.4Expert Committee On Veteran ResearchProgressingThrough its Strategic Partnership with the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW), an expert Advisory Group has been established. This group provides expert technical and experiential insight and advice to the AIHW for the program of work undertaken by the AIHW under the Strategic Partnership. The terms of reference and the membership of the Advisory Group will be reviewed to enable DVA to seek advice to guide the Strategic Research Framework and research priorities, and to enable the DVA Research Board to draw on its expertise as required.
19.1Two Schemes For Veteran SupportOutstanding
19.2An Expanded Family Support PackageOutstanding