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News > General > 14 June 2022 ESORT and the McKinsey Report

14 June 2022 ESORT and the McKinsey Report

The Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans' Association Notes from the 14 June 22 ESORT
22 Jun 2022
Written by Ian Lindgren

A Back Brief on Last week's ESORT by Ian Lindgren

Last week’s ESORT was held to meet our two new Ministers and address a number of urgent issues.  Hon Matt Keogh, MP and Hon Matt Thistlethwaite, MP the new Minister for Veterans Affairs and the Assistant Minister respectively were very open and displayed a lot of knowledge on veteran issues, one of which was the Douglas Case for those negatively affected by it. 

Both reminded us of labor’s commitment to veterans that can be found here:

Minister Keogh indicated a preference to replace the three existing acts with one act in a way that disadvantages no one. He acknowledged that this was no easy task and he had been discussing it with Treasury.    

The Minister highlighted that he is aware of the criticism that the Veteran’s Affairs Portfolio has been moved external to cabinet and made a statement similar to “at the end of the day it is up to me to prove that I can do what the veteran community needs me to do, and we should not lose sight that the Minister for Defence is also the Deputy Prime Minister and the significance of the portfolio now sees it with an Assistant Minister”.

The Minister wanted to emphasise to all that:

  • The Labor Party values veterans and their families,
  • The claims process and payment of invoices was the priority,
  • Veteran homelessness was also a high priority and engagement with states has commenced or is commencing because the responsibility is at the state level.

This was a positive experience, and I was pleased to hear that the McKinsey Report has been released on the Royal Commission website and I'll address that below.

The Secretary DVA

The Secretary, Liz Cosson, had beforehand opened the meeting and my notes record:

  • Advice that that Minister has removed the cap on staffing levels in DVA to further assist with processing delays.
  • The Minister has requested DVA's strategy to undertake the recommendations in the McKinsey Report. 
  • DVA’s strategy with respect to labour hire needs to ensure that labour hire workers are replaced only after new DVA employees are trained otherwise there will be gaps in knowledge and further loads on the time to process.
  • There has been a 68% increase in demand for Household Services.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Services Division

Traci-Ann Bynes (DVA) described the review of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Services Division which is attached as an A3 document.

Publishing Claims Information off the DVA Home Page

Publishing Claims Information off the DVA Home Page.  Traci-Ann Byrnes and I presented complimentary papers on publishing claims information from the DVA Home Page.   My focus was on providing a summary and Traci-Ann’s on more detail.  We had worked on both at the same time and had coordinated.   I am hoping that Traci-Ann and I work together to finish what will be published.   The APPVA paper can be found here.   I have left out DVA’s paper because that's a DVA responsibility, and I do want to highlight that believe it is sound and transparent to publish more detail for those who can take in the detail like ESOs and advocates.

Overcoming the Barriers to Lodging a Successful Claim on MyService.   This is a paper that originated in the Multi Act Working Group.  Ian Thompson, a Level 3 Advocate and ATDP Trainer and I presented this because advocates are concerned that lodging claims through MyService may lead to “incomplete or inadequately supported” claims that might be as high as 80%, for reasons such as the SoP connection to service requirement not being established, or basic content shortfalls such as the lack of a formal diagnosis of the condition claimed and evidence as to how the condition was acquired.   Our recommendation was to publish an advisory note on MyService and I expanded on a concern that originated from Defence Families Australia that MyService needed more guidance.  There was other discussion on how MyService could be improved.  The discussion ended when the Secretary advised that changes would be defined in the DVA strategy document being produced for the Minister and the Secretary quite rightly wanted to check that the related advocacy register listed advocates that DVA should be recommending.   I have not attached a copy because it is sensitive.

The McKinsey Report.   The McKinsey Report is available here. and the summary here.

Other Agenda Items not address because we ran out of time.

  • Presentation - Veterans MATES
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour Policy
  • QA Program for ATDP Working Group


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