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Old 25th Mar 2013, 05:56
  #503 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Go west young man
Posts: 1,732
So much for Senator Fawcett's question to DOIT on 'closing the loop':
Senate Estimates RRAT Committee 23/05/2012 pg 92-93 :
Senator FAWCETT: Who would those other stakeholders be?

Mr Dolan: Our experience has been that counsel assisting, in trying to do a comprehensive job in support of a coroner, sought other lines of information and brought it to bear in the process. Other parties, all of whom have their own interests in a coronial process, often find it necessary to test a range of alternative hypotheses. Sometimes the weight comes down to a different place than we placed it. That is just part of the relationship. If there is a coronial finding that is inconsistent with what we found or more information comes to light in the course of an inquest that is relevant to our investigation, we will reopen the investigation and make sure that is properly weighed up in our processes.

Senator FAWCETT: I notice CASA is often another player in the coronial inquests and often you will highlight something, the coroner will accept it and basically tick off in his report on the basis that a new CASR or something is going to be implemented. Do you follow those up? I have looked through a few crash investigations, and I will just pick one: the Bell 407 that crashed in October '03. CASR part 133 was supposed to be reworked around night VFR requirements for EMS situations. I notice that still is not available now, nearly 10 years after the event. Does it cause you any concern that recommendations that were accepted by the coroner, and put out as a way of preventing a future accident, still have not actually eventuated? How do you track those? How do we, as a society, make sure we prevent the accidents occurring again?

Mr Dolan: We monitor various coronial reports and findings that are relevant to our business. We do not have any role in ensuring that coronial findings or recommendations are carried out by whichever the relevant party may be. I think that would be stepping beyond our brief.

Senator FAWCETT: Who should have that role then?

Mr Dolan: I would see that as a role for the coronial services of the various states. But to add to that, because we are aware of the sorts of findings—as you say, it is not that common that there is something that is significantly different or unexpected for us, but when there is—we will have regard to that obviously in our future investigation activities and recognise there may already be a finding out there that is relevant to one of our future investigations.

Senator FAWCETT: Would it be appropriate to have—a sunset clause is not quite the right phrase—a due date that if an action is recommended and accepted by a regulatory body, in this case CASA, the coroner should actually be putting a date on that and CASA must implement by a certain date or report back, whether it is to the minister or to the court or to the coroner, why that action has not actually occurred?

Mr Dolan: I think I will limit myself to comment that that is the way we try to do it. We have a requirement that in 90 days, if we have made a recommendation, there is a response to it. We will track a recommendation until we are satisfied it is complete or until we have concluded that there is no likelihood that the action is going to be taken.

Senator FAWCETT: Mr Mrdak, as secretary of the relevant department, how would you propose to engage with the coroners to make sure that we, as a nation, close this loophole to make our air environment safer?
Mr Mrdak: I think Mr Dolan has indicated the relationship with coroners is on a much better footing than it has been ever before. I think the work of the ATSB has led that. I think it then becomes a matter of addressing the relationship between the safety regulators and security regulators, as necessary, with the coroners. It is probably one I would take on notice and give a bit of thought to, if you do not mind.
Senator FAWCETT: You do not accept that your department and you, as secretary, have a duty of care and an oversight to make sure that two agencies who work for you do actually complement their activities for the outcome that benefits the aviation community?
Mr Mrdak: We certainly do ensure that agencies are working together. That is certainly occurring. You have asked me the more detailed question about coroners and relationships with the agencies. I will have a bit of a think about that, if that is okay.
Senator FAWCETT: Thank you.
While FF LSD as a DIP to an aviation accident fatality within the coronial process are allowed to continually obfuscate and sabotage that process, may I suggest there will never be a 'closing of the loop' and all good coroner recommendations will continue to be ignored!

I also see a lot of irony in Mr Dolan's in bold statement (2nd from the top) in light of the Hempel inquest, especially considering the ATSB wasn't even a DIP to the inquest and had very little involvement in the QPS FCU's investigation or report???

Last edited by Sarcs; 25th Mar 2013 at 06:27.
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