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Notice given 20 June 2007

3376  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister for Community Services—With reference to the Red Tape Removal and Funding Reform branches of the department:

(1) For the 2006-07 financial year, for each branch: (a) how many full-time staff are employed in the branch; (b) how is departmental funding provided to it; (c) how much funding for programs or projects is administered by it; and (d) can a list be provided of activities it undertook and the outcomes it achieved.

(2) In regard to the Red Tape Removal branch, is it the case that consultants have been sent into some Indigenous community organisations to assess and address the issue of red tape; if so: (a) can a list be provided of all community organisations that have benefited from this assistance; (b) what work have the consultants undertaken, or what work do they expect to undertake; and (c) what is the total cost of consultancy fees and associated departmental fees incurred by the initiative.

3377  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—

(1) With reference to the transcript of evidence given to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee estimates hearing on 30 May 2007 concerning the own-motion review to be conducted by the Commonwealth Ombudsman into the allegations that the Department of Defence (‘the department’) was warned of the dangers of poor maintenance of HMAS  Westralia prior to the fatal fire in May 1998, is there a term of reference for that review or is it the case that, as stated by the department on 30 May 2007, that the Ombudsman ‘would not be limited by any terms of reference or scope of matters that Defence referred to them’ (FAD&T Committee Hansard , 30 May 2007, p. 33P).

(2) Will the Ombudsman review:

(a) the complaints made by Bailey’s Diesel Services to the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) which were referred to the Inspector-General of Defence in late 1997;

(b)  the conduct and outcome of investigations made into that complaint by the joint Australian Federal Police and Inspector-General (AFP/IG) investigation which is alleged to have reported on or about 6 February 1998, based on the tape recording of interviews with Bailey’s Diesel Services now acknowledged by the department;

(c) investigations made by others in the department into similar complaints prior to, or following 6 February 1998;

(d) the maintenance requirements of the Navy with respect to quality assurance by original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) and their Australian agents;

(e) the alleged exclusion of Bailey’s Diesel Services from all Navy contracts for the maintenance of fuel injection pumps since 2001;

(f) the record of engine maintenance of HMAS Westralia prior to the fire of May 1998 and the quality assurance of repairs including non-genuine replacement parts in the fuel supply system;

(g) the evidence given to and the findings of: (i) the Board of Inquiry, and (ii) the Western Australian Coroner’s inquiry into the deaths caused by the fire on the Westralia ; and


 (h)  the provenance of the alleged minute of the AFP/IG report which was the subject of questioning at the estimates hearing, and the processes within the Inspector-General’s Office and the department more broadly in the management of this matter since late 1997.

(3) Is it within the powers of the Ombudsman to recommend the reopening of either the Board of Inquiry or the Western Australian Coroner’s inquest or to recommend a further inquiry with greater power.

(4) Does the Ombudsman have power to seek evidence from non-Commonwealth entities, such as contractors and subcontractors to the Navy responsible for engine maintenance; if not, what measures will the Ombudsman take to ensure that all relevant evidence is sought and considered.

(5)  When is it intended that the review be completed.

3378  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) (a) On what date was it decided that Operation Majorca be tasked to take over the investigations being conducted by a joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Inspector-General of Defence investigation into a range of matters concerning theft, fraud, and corruption within the Defence National Stores Distribution Centre (DNSDC), as well as allegations made by Bailey’s Diesel Services of Unanderra, New South Wales, of unsafe practices in the maintenance of Navy ships; (b) by whom; and (c) with what ministerial approval.

(2) (a) Which officers were appointed and who was in charge of the operation; (b) to whom were reports made; (c) which ministers were advised of progress of the investigation; (d) when did the operation close; and (e) what were the specific outcomes.

(3) Which Department of Defence officials were appointed to assist the investigation.

(4) Did the investigation team receive all the reports, interview tapes and all other documents already gathered on the DNSDC and Bailey’s Diesel Services allegations; if so, where are they now held.

(5) Did the investigation team also interview Bailey’s Diesel Services about its allegations; if so, does a tape recording and transcript exist and where are they located.

(6) Did the investigation team interview anyone in the Navy on the Bailey’s Diesel Services allegations; if so: (a) who was interviewed; (b) when; and (c) what documentary evidence was obtained.

(7) Is the running sheet of the investigation into the Bailey’s Diesel Services allegations still in existence; if so: (a) where is it held; and (b) will it be made available to the Commonwealth Ombudsman as part of the review to now be conducted into this matter.

(8) Is there an evidence register of documents received by the AFP in Operation Majorca; if so: (a) are there any documents on it supplied by Bailey’s Diesel Services; and (b) how are they titled.

(9) (a) What records still exist in the AFP information system, PROMIS, on Operation Majorca; and (b) will they be made available to the Ombudsman as part of the review of the allegations made by Bailey’s Diesel Services.


 (10) Was technical advice sought by the AFP investigation team on the Bailey’s Diesel Services allegations, particularly with respect to the maintenance of diesel fuel injection pumps; if so: (a) from whom; (b) when; and (c) is there a record of that advice; if not, on what basis were the findings made that Bailey’s Diesel Services’ allegations were unfounded, as referred to at the estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on 30 May 2007.

3379  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) Can the Minister confirm if complaints were made in 1997 to the department by Bailey’s Diesel Services concerning poor and dangerous maintenance of Navy ships, in particular the Oberon class submarines, HMAS Success and HMAS Tobruk , prior to similar allegations about HMAS Westralia and the use of non standard parts in the fuel systems, and prior to the subsequent complaint investigated by the joint Australian Federal Police and Inspector-General of Defence (AFP/IG) team which interviewed Bailey’s Diesel Services on 6 February 1998; if so, can the Minister advise whether any records of the earlier allegations exist within the department or the Navy.

(2) Is the Minister aware of the allegation that it was the failure to respond to complaints made in 1997 that prompted Bailey’s Diesel Services to refer matters to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in New South Wales, and can the Minister confirm that ICAC in turn referred the matter to the Inspector-General of Defence; if so, is there any record of any communication between the department and ICAC at that time; if not, will the Minister direct the department to make such an inquiry of ICAC to check this assertion.

(3) Was a formal response ever made to ICAC concerning the outcomes of the investigation conducted by the AFP/IG team; if so, on what date was that provided, and what was the substance of the report.

(4) Were separate investigations of Bailey’s Diesel Services’ 1997 allegations made by Defence in the period prior to the interview by the AFP/IG team on 6 February 1998; if so, what records exist of those investigations and what were the findings and outcomes.

(5) (a) When was the investigation of Bailey’s Diesel Services’ complaints by the AFP/I-G team terminated; (b) for what reason; and (c) was it made with the approval or direction of Ministers; if not, who made the decision.

(6) Was a decision made in late February or early March 1998 to close the AFP/IG investigation and to upgrade it to become Operation Majorca under the primary control of the AFP.

(7) In the period leading up to the decision to initiate Operation Majorca, had any complaints been made about the operation of the Inspector-General’s office, and in particular about the manner in which the investigation of the Bailey’s Diesel Services complaint had been managed; if so: (a) was a review conducted; (b) by whom; (c) with what outcomes; (d) was the agreement of Ministers obtained; and (e) what changes were subsequently made to that organisation.

(8) (a) How many departmental officials or Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were appointed to join Operation Majorca; and (b) what were their Australian Public Service levels or ranks.


 (9) Does the department retain all records of Operation Majorca, including reports made to Ministers; if so, what scrutiny have those records received in recent times to establish the circumstances of the investigation into the allegations by Bailey’s Diesel Services.

3380  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) In September 1997, were two fuel injector pumps from HMAS Westralia sent by Ches Diesel and Marine Services, a subcontractor to Australian Defence Industries (ADI), to Bailey’s Diesel Services in Unanderra, New South Wales, for repair.

(2) Is the Minister aware of allegations that during the repairs non-standard parts were found in those pumps; if so: (a) who repaired those pumps on the previous occasion(s); (b) what check was made by the Navy of quality assurance measures in place at that time to ensure that: (i) only certified genuine parts were used, and (ii) the repairs were carried out by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certified repairer of that brand of pump; and (c) what examination was made of other pumps on HMAS Westralia at the time to check for similar alleged defects.

(3) On 16 February 1998, did ADI seek a quotation from Bailey’s Diesel Services for the maintenance of 24 or 28 fuel injector pumps through Ches Diesel & Marine Services, as sought by the Navy; if so: (a) were those pumps from HMAS Westralia ; (b) were the pumps manufactured by L’Orange; (c) which company was eventually awarded the contract; (d) for what price; (e) was the repairer certified by the OEM of the pumps in question; and (f) is Bailey’s Diesel Services the only licensed repairer of L’Orange equipment in Australia; if so: (i) why was someone else awarded the contract, and (ii) what quality assurance was obtained by the Navy for that work.

(4) In September 1998, was a similar tender conducted for the maintenance of fuel injector pumps on HMAS Tobruk ; if so: (a) which company won that tender; (b) were those pumps made by Lucas Bryce; and (c) was Bailey’s Diesel Services the only registered repairer of that equipment in Australia at that time. 

(5) During the 5 years prior to the fire on HMAS Westralia in May 1998, on how many occasions had fuel injection pumps been removed in total or individually, and on each occasion: (a) what was the reason to remove them; (b) how many were replaced from Navy stores; (c) what tenders were called; (d) which company was the principal ship repairer awarded the contract; (e) who was the subcontractor which undertook the maintenance on the pumps; and (f) with respect to quality assurance, what evidence was required of the principal ship repair contractor or the subcontractor repairing the pumps as to their certification by the OEM of the pumps.

3381  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the transcript of evidence of Rear Admiral Ruting to the estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee of 30 May 2007: (a) what are the precise terms of the new instruction issued after the Board of Inquiry (BOI) report into the fire on HMAS Westralia in May 1998, requiring ship repair contractors to sub-contact work only to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s); and (b) what was the wording of those instructions prior to the fire.


 (2) In response to a Freedom of Information request by Dahlmann Burke, lawyers on behalf of Bailey’s Diesel Services on this same matter, did the information provided quote the instruction in paragraph 1(a) as ‘Department of Defence policy which provides that all work relating to fuel system components must be performed by Original Equipment Manufacturers ("OEM") or their Australian agent’ and ‘The contractor agrees that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or his Australasian agent shall issue a Conformance Certificate for all work and components relating to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Fuel Systems ’; if so, does this mean: (a) that OEM assurance to be sought from the OEM for all repairs and parts includes the specific OEM of fuel pumps, regardless of company ownership, and (b) that the Navy is absolved from responsibility for non-complying work endangering the safety of its ships.

(3) In a response to the Western Australian Coroner’s recommendations, did the department, as reported at page 114 of the Coroner’s Report, say that ‘The Commonwealth was not a party to the contract between ADI and Enzed. The Commonwealth was not in a position to know that the wrong hose had been specified in that contract. It was ADI’s responsibility to monitor the work of its sub-contractors’; if so, (a) does it accept the Coroner’s view that ‘the fact that no one in the Navy had any knowledge of which type of hoses had been contracted for even after they were installed demonstrated a gross lack of supervision of the contract’; and (b) does this contracting practice continue today.

(4) Were the engines on the HMAS Westralia at the time of the fire in May 1998 Pielstick engines made by SEMT, now owned by MAN, and were the fuel injector pumps made by L’Orange, a separate company, but also subsequently taken over by MAN; if so, would the new instructions to obtain OEM assurance for all repairs to injection fuel pumps require assurance from only MAN or its registered agent as an OEM for the engines, or does it also require separate assurance from the manufacturer of injector fuel pumps L’Orange or its certified agents.

(5) Can the Minister advise: (a) which companies, in 1997 and 1998, were the registered agents of L’Orange in Australia; (b) who are they now; and (c) which repair companies have been contracted to maintain Navy L’Orange fuel pumps since 1998.

(6) Noting that the Navy uses a panel of four ship repairers for engine maintenance work, as referred to by Rear Admiral Ruting on 30 May 2007: (a) what certification does each company have as certified repairers of all the OEM’s of all diesel engine types in RAN ships and, in each case, what OEM certification is held by each sub-contractor used by those companies in the maintenance of all Navy diesel injection pumps; and (b) does the Navy hold a register of those certified sub-contractors; if not, why not; if so, what are the names of the certified sub-contractors on that list.  

(7) Can the Minister confirm that the current instructions requiring the Navy’s diesel engine repairers to be certified, places total responsibility for the OEM certification of engine maintenance sub-contractors’ work on the ship repairer contracted to do the work; if so, what checks does the Navy take to ensure that: (a) such sub-contractors are in fact certified by the OEM as repairers of their product; and (b) only genuine OEM approved replacement parts are used.


 (8) What is the most recent Navy ship to have fuel injection pumps removed for maintenance, and: (a) who was the contracted repairer; (b) what sub-contractor(s) were used; (c) what type of engine was fitted to that ship, who manufactured it, and what brand of injector pump was fitted; and (d) what evidence was sought by the Navy: (i) that the sub-contractors were certified by the OEM of the fuel injector pumps fitted to that ship, and (ii) that only OEM approved replacement parts were used.

(9) (a) What guarantee and warranty is required of: (i) engine repairers and (ii) fuel injection maintenance sub-contractors, for maintenance work done to Navy diesel engines; and (b) how many times in the past 3 years have the provisions of those been exercised for the rectification of unsatisfactory work, and in respect of: (i) which ships, (ii) which principal contractors, and (iii) which sub-contractors.

3382  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) With respect to the aftermath of the tragic fire on HMAS Westralia in May 1998, can the Minister confirm that legal action has been taken against the Commonwealth by some, or all, of the families of the deceased; if so: (a) what is the nature of that action; (b) is Mr Bernard Collaery representing the families; and (c) is Mr Collaery the lawyer to whom the then Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Ms Kelly, responded on 1 November 2005, affirming the existence of the joint Australian Federal Police and Inspector-General of Defence report of the interview with Bailey’s Diesel Services, now claimed at the estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on 30 May 2007 to have been incorrect advice.

(2) Has the department now advised Mr Collaery that the previous advice given to him confirming the existence of the 6 February 1998 document is incorrect, as advised at the estimates hearing on 30 May 2007; if not, why not.

(3) (a) What has it cost so far to defend the action taken by the families; and (b) what part of that cost has been incurred, and by which, if any, outsourced legal firms.

(4) Have the affected families at any stage sought an act of grace or ex gratia payment from the Commonwealth; if so, with what result.

3383  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) In addition to the tape recording of the 6 February 1998 interview with Bailey’s Diesel Services, have other records of the investigation been recovered, including the running sheets and any other reports which may have been made, such as briefs to the Minister; if so, could a list of those files and documents be provided.

(2) After 6 February 1998, was the investigation of the Bailey’s Diesel Service allegations resumed; if so: (a) who conducted the investigation; (b) when did it cease; (c) what were the conclusions; (d) who was interviewed; and (e) was there a complete transfer of all previous records including the tape recordings and running notes, discs and any other records to the new investigation team; if so, where are those records and the records of the subsequent investigation currently located.


 (3) Were reports made to the Ministers at the time, on the progress of the joint Australian Federal Police and Inspector-General of Defence investigation into stolen weapons at Moorebank and the Bailey’s Diesel Services allegations; if so: (a) who signed those reports; (b) how many were submitted; (c) did those reports make reference to the investigation of the Baileys allegations; and (d) what reports were provided to the Minister throughout the subsequent period of Operation Majorca.

3384  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) In evidence before the estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee 30 May 2007, did Defence dismiss an anecdote used by Bailey’s Diesel Services that a company undertaking maintenance on HMAS Westralia prior to the fire of May 1998 ‘was operating out of the boot of a car and so was an inappropriate source of labour and parts for work on Navy ships’ (FAD&T Committee Hansard , p. 29).

(2) Can the Minister confirm that the Western Australian Coroner, in his report at page 12, referred to Mr Old of the Enzed company, which supplied and fixed the substandard fuel hoses to HMAS Westralia , as a person who ‘had left Navy on 14 November 1997 and worked as a “hose doctor” operating a mobile hydraulic hose repair service from the back of a van or truck’, and ‘If the significance of the proposed change had been appreciated by ADI, Enzed would not have been an appropriate subcontractor to use’.