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CASA Annual Report 2004-05 - Part 4: Accountability and External Scrutiny

Part 4: Accountability and External Scrutiny

Complaints and Investigations

Commonwealth Ombudsman

There was a decrease over the previous year in the number of complaints relating to CASA received by the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Ombudsman inquiries, 2004-05

Complaints received by the Ombudsman 1
Complaints finalised 1
Issues investigated by the Ombudsman 2
Finding of defective administration resulting from investigation 2
Exercise of discretion by the Ombudsman not to investigate issues 1
Referral of complaints back to CASA 0

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 2004-05.

Complaints mechanism

In response to the Minister's Charter Letter, CASA reviewed and re-issued the Service Charter during the 2003-2004 reporting period. This Service Charter will be reviewed for ongoing applicability during 2005-2006.

To ensure transparency, management and reporting of complaints and compliments is now undertaken at a senior manager level and the Office of the Chief Executive Officer reviews CASA's response.


The Melbourne Airline Office, CASA Officer Allen Henderson and the CASA Service Centre have all recently been on the receiving end of industry feedback via the Complaints and Compliments link on the CASA website.

And the good news is, it's all positive.

A correspondent requiring complicated amendments to their Certificate of Approval submitted the following comments online:

"Just a note to let the wider CASA organisation know that the work of Allen Henderson from the Melbourne Airline Office is greatly appreciated.

"Due to business realignments... we had to transfer approval of our operations from our Certificate of Approval to come under the Certificate of Approval already issued in a different business name.

"This also meant that we transferred from administration by the Victoria / Tasmania Area Office to the Melbourne Airline Office.

"To minimise disruption to our business and our flying customers, this had to be done as quickly as possible.

"Approving the operations of [the business's] separate activities on the one Certificate of Approval is a little different to what has been done previously, and Allen provided excellent service and support in working through the various issues.

"No doubt he had assistance from others whose input is unknown to me. I would like to record my appreciation of all CASA staff involved with this transfer and particularly recognise the efforts of Allen Henderson."

During the reporting period, the introduction of new forms and procedures designed to make the process of issuing, varying or renewing Air Operator's Certificates and Certificates of Approval much easier for industry and CASA staff was released.

Feedback received from a Queensland operator through the CASA website Complaints and Compliments link shows the Service Centre is meeting those goals:

"We are writing to comment on our very recent experience with CASA concerning changing our Operations Manual on our current AOC. The staff at the CASA Service Centre have been excellent in helping us to understand what we need to do to implement this change.

"We have spoken to numerous staff and they are all very helpful. We have been given a form 1214 (parts A and C) to fill out and we were glad to complete it with great ease and understanding of it.

"[We] would like to comment on how easy, self-explanatory and sensible these forms have been to fill out.

"To make adjustments to our AOC has always been a daunting thing to do. We would like to thank CASA for making this adjustment a lot less worrying through the CASA Service Centre and those forms."


Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

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 2004-05, the ATSB made five recommendations to CASA arising from its investigations.

Table 1 Coronial Inquiries 2001-02 to 2004-05

  2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
Inquiries on hand from the previous year 2 5 1 3
New inquiries 3 1 3 1
Total 5 6 4 4
Conclusions handed down 2 5 2 3
Inquiries remaining in progress at 30 June 3 1 2 1
Total 5 6 4 4