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CASA Annual Report 2003 04 Part 4: Accountability and external scrutiny

Accountability and external scrutiny

Complaints and investigations

Commonwealth Ombudsman

There was a 32 per cent decrease over the previous year in the number of complaints relating to CASA received by the Ombudsman.

Table 4: Ombudsman inquiries, 2003–04

Action Number
Complaints received by the Ombudsman 13
Complaints finalised 10
Issues investigated by the Ombudsman 3
Finding of defective administration resulting from investigation 1
Exercise of discretion by the Ombudsman not to investigate issues 4
Referral of complaints back to CASA 3


Internal Ombudsman

CASA has an internal ombudsman panel to which the Chief Executive Officer may refer serious allegations of impropriety to ensure full and independent investigation. There were no such referrals in 2003–04.


In April 2004 CASA commissioned Mr Stephen Skehill, Special Counsel with Mallesons Stephen Jacques, to investigate allegations made about CASA’s North Queensland Area Office.

Complaints mechanism

In response to the Minister’s Charter Letter, CASA reviewed and re-issued the Service Charter. To ensure transparency, management and reporting of complaints and compliments is now undertaken at an executive level and the Office of the Chief Executive Officer reviews CASA’s response.

Ninety-eight per cent of external complaints were dealt with within the timeframe laid down in the Service Charter.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

The ATSB is charged with improving transport safety by investigating transport accidents and incidents and using its findings to promote change through safety action statements and recommendations. During 2003–04, the ATSB made 28 recommendations to CASA arising from its investigations.


Coronial inquiries

Table 5: Coronial inquiries, 2001–02 to 2003–04

  2001–02 2002–03 2003–04
Inquiries on hand from the previous year 2 5 1
New inquiries 3 1 3
Total 5 6 4
Conclusions handed down 2 5 2
Inquiries remaining in progress at 30 June 3 1 2
Total 5 6 4