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The First UK Independent Defence Authority

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The First UK Independent Defence Authority

Old 30th Nov 2020, 22:53
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The First UK Independent Defence Authority

This may be of interest....

As for Pilots and Engineers in our Armed Forces, expect to see a mil equiv of BALPA in the coming weeks, built on a similar Operating Model.

EMBARGO – 0001 hrs 1 Dec 2020

CREATION OF THE FIRST UK INDEPENDENT DEFENCE AUTHORITY

PRESS RELEASE

INTRODUCTION

For years, even before Deepcut[1], injustice in your Armed Forces has been a problem that Defence leaders have failed to address. Be it rape, sexual assault, assault, discrimination, victimization, bullying, extending to possible war crimes, those who lead the UK Armed Forces have failed to address injustice in our Armed Forces. It is the case that, more often than not, injustice in our Armed Forces is concealed by those who lead our Armed Forces. This adversely impacts on the security needs of the UK as well as the reputation of your Armed Forces. We need to change the narrative.

The Armed Forces continues to investigate itself, by itself, for itself in order to protect itself. It then chooses to inspect itself. So bad has this been that Parliament had to create a Service Complaint Ombudsman (SCO) in 2015, at huge cost to the public purse, with the aim to address injustice in our Armed Forces. It has failed to do so, a fact acknowledged by the SCO herself. Those who lead our Armed Forces failed to embrace the role and denied the role the independence, resources and the power it requires, to create meaningful change. There is no trust in the SCO to effect change.

What we see today in our Armed Forces is the failure of the Chain of Command to provide justice. We see a failure in the ability of the Ombudsman to correct that injustice. We see a failure across a wide element of the MP cadre to embrace the reality and challenge Government to mandate a solution that will give confidence again to those who serve. We recognise, support and applaud the work of Sarah Atherton in this regard[2]; a leading light along with other notables such as Emma Norton.[3]

Those entrusted to lead those who serve, have betrayed those who serve. We see an immediate need for Government working with an independent body to re-balance the relationship between ‘The State’ and the ‘Service Person.’ We are that body.

INTENT

We announce intent to assist those who lead, to better serve those they lead. Serving and retired military personnel across the UK Armed Forces announce, today, intent to create the first Independent Defence Authority for the UK on 1 Jan 2021.

The Independent Defence Authority (The IDA) aims to educate, encourage and help Defence leaders with solutions to an age-old problem that continues to plague the reputation of Defence – injustice within. The IDA affords holistic integrity, by being able to talk truth to power without fear of retribution – because we are independent of Defence and not funded by Defence.

The IDA focused nationally, will engage with international partners to address common issues. This puts these issues, in the UK Armed Forces, on the international stage. The IDA offers useful solutions then to what are common problems.

We are pleased to announce a joint venture with Euro Mil and the representative member States, Unions and Associations across Europe[4] as we aim to create a Safety Culture, through a Questioning Culture, delivering a Just Culture (Haddon-Cave refers)

THE PROBLEM

Air Chief Marshal Wigston stated in his Review of Jul 2019[5] that:

- We must do more to stop instances of inappropriate behaviour occurring.

- It is about leadership at every level in the organisation, setting the culture and standards, and ensuring people meet those standards consistently.

- We have to do better when instances of inappropriate behaviour have occurred or are alleged to have occurred.

- A significant number of our people have experienced bullying, discrimination and harassment, including sexual, but have not felt able or been able to come forward to report it

- A call for evidence from people affected is to be commissioned by Defence

- It is about the determination of leaders to change the culture

Since this declaration, those who lead Defence, despite having accepted every recommendation of the Wigston Review, have failed to implement that which they agreed they would do. This fact underscores the need for greater holistic integrity.

Defence leaders have focused on Equipment whilst forgetting that their greatest asset is their People. There is a need to put our people back to the front of our thinking. The latest figures drawn from the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey in May 2020 show that half of the men and women who serve and die for our country won’t complain about injustice because they don’t believe anything would be done about it. The other half feel that they will suffer if they do try to address it. These figures are nothing new. Repetition of the same concerns over years suggests that the mental health of our Armed Forces as a whole could be at a significantly low point given the lack of justice and trust within the system.

Since records began post Deepcut, the Service Complaint Commissioner has been reporting that the Complaint system in our Armed Forces is unfair. The Service Complaint Ombudsman (SCO) who replaced the Commissioner, with greater powers, recorded in May 2020, for the 4th year running, that the Complaint system in our Armed Forces is still unfair. Even the new Ombudsman does not have the power to correct the problem. She records that our leaders ‘simply find a loophole to sidestep’ injustice[6]. This means injustice within our Armed Forces can be buried, at Board level, with our troops being unfairly treated, impacting on the Veteran community, NHS and local councils – the bill (costing billions) defaulting to the public purse.

The SCO noted to the Parliamentary Defence Select Committee that 90% of those who should raise complaints do not. She added that 75% of the complaints through her office could and should have been resolved much earlier. She clearly stated that the process has a detrimental effect on the mental health of all involved and in the 14 years her office has existed, not one target had been met. Yet the SCO has failed to improve the power imbalance. It is Parliament that is ultimately judged to have failed those who serve. We believe there is a solution. The new IDA will represent both veterans and those serving – to resolve the power imbalance, helping those who lead both Defence and those entrusted to serve in Parliament.

The Wigston Review[7] in Aug 2019 promised a solution for our troops, but defence service chiefs have prevaricated. They have failed to enact their own recommendations. In the last few years, the problem has significantly worsened.

There is clear evidence that those who serve in the Armed Forces today have, literally, no place of mental safety, nor any psychological or peer-to-peer safe zone where they can find respite. Too many service personnel serve in fear with nowhere safe to run or share concerns. Now all who serve, have served, and their families will have a voice through the IDA.

Not all the costs to defence are human. An unfair and unjust complaint system within our Armed Forces directly impacts on UK defence operational effectiveness, through damaging morale and early departures from service due to poor treatment. Those who do make a complaint are often tied up for years, confronting service lawyers employed at tax payer expense to represent service chiefs (not the complainant). This drawn out process costs millions, and wastes millions - the overall expense to the public purse is billions – needlessly so.

THE SOLUTION

The IDA has been launched to provide solutions to the problem, both in terms of supporting the individuals affected and to help Defence do better. It gives a safe space for all to seek advice whether serving or veteran, subject to the Chain of Command or acting on behalf of the Chain of Command. It gives a solution space without fear. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter himself recognises the problem in the Service Complaint system, partly due to ‘upwardly looking leadership’ returning an outcome that leads to national morale to be ‘fragile’. This reflects an erosion of values-based thinking across the Defence leadership domain – one that must be corrected urgently if we are to succeed in re-balancing the relationship with the Nation.

INDIVIDUAL STORIES

Justice4Troops (J4T) was set up in 2019 to shine the light and allow people to emerge from the shadows of stigma, frustration, fear, and retaliation that are so pervasive across the Armed Forces. The IDA is a natural build on J4T and intends to operate at both the national and international stage, giving a powerful voice to all who serve and have served.

Lt Bruce Menzies (RN) – his poor treatment will alarm you

Sgt Mark Rycroft (RAF) – his experience fails the service values test

Morgan McLellan (British ARMY) – his experience will upset you

Linda Sprouting – her experience, following the death of her husband Captain Dean Sprouting whilst on operations in Iraq in Jan 2018, will disgust you.

END

EMBARGO – 0001 hrs 1 Dec 2020

grahamhouse is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 06:48
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Who is actually behind this? Nothing on the MoD site?
Sandy Parts is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 08:07
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There is no identity of the author?

FB
Finningley Boy is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 09:20
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Could be...

https://justice4troops.co.uk/who-we-are/

Best of luck.
tucumseh is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 09:54
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A defence union?
Regional soldiers and mainline soldiers?
Less Hair is online now  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 10:07
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Sounds like s*** stirrers..................
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 10:19
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Stop posting and promoting people every 2 years - especially at senior level - and you will reduce the focus on a£se covering to climb the greasy pole.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 10:47
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The way I read it, there is a connection to the Minister of Veterans Affairs; perhaps recently retired staff setting up this venture with Ministry approval, perhaps even financial aid.
tucumseh is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 17:15
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I can see no connection - they keep saying "we" but never say who they are

They say "We are pleased to announce a joint venture with Euro Mil and the representative member States, Unions and Associations across Europe" But don't say which or who

I'd advise great caution
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 18:04
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If they advertise the membership fees in Bitcoin- run away, run away.

CG
charliegolf is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 19:12
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The fact the thread starter's name is Graham House and his location is St Mawgan should ckue ex Nimrod types into who he is. For those who don't know Graham 'House is also the name of an ex CO of St Mawgan
Sideshow Bob is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 19:58
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'Sheds' has set this up with the best of intentions. Some of you will know Graham from past service. His heart is behind the Service personnel who've received a very bad deal from MoD over the years. I don't doubt that some of you will view the support of EUROMIL with scepticism, but they've achieved significant improvements to TACOS.
diginagain is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 20:08
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Whats the story with the RAF Sgt then?
downsizer is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 20:08
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The UK military, for all the 'Investors in People' plaques that littered the place in the early 2000's, are shockingly bad at dealing with people, and as Crab points out, posting those further up the chain every 2 years exacerbates the situation by absolving them of responsibility for their decisions.

But, there is no way in god's green earth I would ever support some union of malcontents backed by some Eurotrash organisation.
minigundiplomat is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 20:16
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Quite a change from what Baroness Goldie said just over 4 months ago:

22 July 2020
There is a well-established Service Complaints process for those personnel who wish to raise grievances about any aspect of their Service life. This is underpinned by legislation and independently overseen by the Service Complaints Ombudsman (SCO) for the Armed Forces. Justice 4 Troops is a community interest company incorporated in July 2019. Justice4Troops has no official mandate to intervene in grievances or their handling; this is a role it has self-appointed. Accordingly, no assessment has been made, nor is one appropriate. Representations received from this organisation are not afforded any particular status within the Ministry of Defence, but we do remain concerned to ensure that the individuals who engage with Justice4Troops are provided with unbiased advice to ensure that they do not miss the opportunity to raise any grievance through the official channels.
https://questions-statements.parliam...0-07-10/HL6714
Corporal Clott is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 20:24
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It seems an element of ‘self appointing’ of this new “authority” may be the case again?

http://independentdefenceauthority.org

We are not part of the MoD nor linked to any Chain of Command. We are experienced, representative, knowledgeable, driven and connected. We provide a safe space for all personnel from defence and veterans.
A group of like minded individuals from different areas of defence, with different backgrounds but one common story. We have been let down. We recognise that the cry “People are our most important asstet,” is just that a cry. We recognise that the chain of command is about one thing when issues arise, that is protecting the chain of command and not the individual.

No other element of our society goes unrepresented. We are that independent representation for defence people.
Anyone know what an ‘asstet’ is?
The B Word is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2020, 20:37
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Oh my, this is what I noted from that link: “A group of like minded individuals from different areas of defence, with different backgrounds but one common story. We have been let down.”

So is this just a bunch of folks with an axe to grind? It also looks like the Justice4Troops gang that troll on just about every defence post on Twitter from the likes of CAS, CASWO, ACAS, etc...

Here is an example of the organisation’s nasty trolling on Twitter about a retiring 1-star who has served from Aircraftsman to Air Commodore over 42 years. Accusing him of covering up a rape. Is this the sort of ‘justice’ I want to see - no thank you! Even if he was guilty of this allegation, then trolling on Twitter is hardly the way to meter out justice!!!

https://twitter.com/fpcomd/status/1332238260039528449?s=21

https://twitter.com/troopsjustice4/status/1332465078575263745?s=21




Lima Juliet is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2020, 01:29
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EUROMIL was informed that on 1 December 2020, the first Independent Defence Authority in the United Kingdom (UK) has been created. This is the first initiative to represent military personnel in the UK through an independent body.

The mission of the Independent Defence Authority is to provide more cost effective independent representation for all uniformed members of the UK military and veterans in order to enhance the moral component of fighting power. The objective is to better authenticate the authority of the Chain of Command in order to better deliver critical Defence output, by providing an independent safe space for an unsafe conversation. The remit is to eradicate the concealment of injustice in the UK Armed Forces and improve operational effectiveness.

EUROMIL congratulates its colleagues in the UK on the creation of this body, wishes them all the best and stands ready to support them in their challenges.
grahamhouse is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2020, 01:45
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ACAS may be of interest here....ACAS as in Susie Clewes, DG Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services - their function being to improve organisations and working life through the promotion of, and the facilitation of, strong industrial relationships (taken from her own Directive)

According to ACAS, the cost of bullying (as one example) not only to the individual, not only to the organisation but specifically to every householder in the UK who funds Defence is £500 per year. Defence can continue to pull people out of the water who endure such injustices within (Wigston 2019 refers) or Defence can go upstream and try to understand who or what is pushing serving personnel into the river in the first place. The UK loses a really good investment here...

Defence only has the nonsense of 'make a service complaint' as a means of dispute resolution yet there are so many more effective models out there to resolve dispute, quickly, purposefully and, seen through the lens of all parties, properly.

We have cases before us that continue to play out today that are 14 years in the making.....we even have cases that led to loss of life - needlessly so.

Why does this matter, beyond the fiscal picture?

...for example, those in the Civil arm of Defence, have a Union representative to, one hopes, positively contribute to deliver enhanced organisational performance. By contrast those in uniform, also in the same organisation of Defence, have no independent representation at all....returning an unbalanced work force where some are supported, others perhaps not...counter to the One-Team Defence pushed by PUS. See the parity here?

This is why we set up what we now have as an operation - a pilot study that by way of an independent body, directly contributes to the ACAS function in a more holistic way for Defence

Who would not want for independent representation for those in uniform?
grahamhouse is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2020, 01:54
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Do please encourage support to this important issue.....The Defence Committee is today launching an inquiry on Women in the Armed Forces: From Recruitment to Civilian Life, with the intention of this becoming a Sub-Committee, chaired by Sarah Atherton MP. For this inquiry, the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has lifted the usual restrictions, allowing female service personnel to participate in the inquiry.The Committee will look at the experience of female service personnel from recruitment to transition and consider whether there are unique challenges that are not adequately addressed by the current policies and services.

The Committee will look at:
  • Whether the Government and MoD is doing enough to address any additional challenges
  • how easy it is to make a complaint, and identify what barriers there are to female personnel complaining
  • whether the experiences of female BAME personnel differ
  • why women chose to leave the Armed forces
  • whether ex-servicewomen face different challenges to men during their transition to civilian life
  • whether the needs of female veterans are currently met by the available services; and
  • the effect that the introduction of the Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Act (2010) has had
Other areas of interest that the Committee are keen to cover within the scope of the inquiry include issues around pensions, terms and conditions of employment, housing and general wellbeing.
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