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Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA

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Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA

Old 24th Jun 2023, 00:46
  #2701 (permalink)  
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Seeking clarification from the Ombudsman

Dear Mr Rebetzke,
  • On 08/02/23 the Ombudsman Office wrote to me advising that the investigation into my matter was now closed. ( Ombudsman Reference 2019-713834. My reference Pprune #2691)
  • On 10/02/23, I wrote to the Ombudsman requesting the release of further details. (My reference Pprune #2692)
  • On 17/02/23. The Ombudsman provided me with those further details. (my reference Pprune #2693 and #2694)
  • On 28/03/23. I wrote to the Ombudsman seeking further clarification regarding the following, which was fundamental to the entire investigation.


CASA had maintained to the Ombudsman that the structure I adopted was unique and new, and CASA had no prior knowledge or involvement in it. CASA claimed that they had never permitted that structure previously and that it was unlawful, unauthorised, and I was subject to prosecution.

I truthfully maintained that the structure that I adopted was not unique, and was completely standard industry practice with full CASA knowledge, and in fact formal approval by CASA on literally hundreds of occasions over decades. I maintained that CASA worked with me over a three year period designing it, with CASA formally revalidating my structure in April of 2017.

To me, and in fact the entire flight training industry that is following this matter, the CASA proposition to the Ombudsman Office was so preposterous that the expectation was that the Ombudsman Office would soon resolve this matter. i.e. did CASA ALWAYS permit this structure, or did CASA NEVER permit this structure.

It is concerning after a four year investigation, no doubt one of the longest that the Ombudsman Office has ever done. The Ombudsman Office has been totally unable to resolve this very simple matter. Something that could truthfully be resolved with a single 5 minute telephone call. It really is that simple.It requires a telephone call to any CASA Flight Operations Inspector. and it would be immediately resolved.

In regard to your response however it does not address the critical issue that I was seeking clarification about.

I was asking if the Ombudsman Office was able to determine if CASA had always permitted the structure that I adopted, or had CASA never permitted that structure.

In your response 15/04/23 you advised that "the Ombudsman sought information from CASA about this issue and ultimately decided she could not confidently conclude who (within CASA) knew what about your business model at what time, to assess the way your business was treated compared to other similar organisations. ".

The question that I put to you was not "who knew in CASA", but had CASA always permitted other Operators to adopt the identical structure that I adopted.


It appears to me that throughout the four year investigation, the Ombudsman's Office consistently avoided the critical issues in this investigation,, and pursued a path of "convenience" and to be perfectly frank, has gone to great lengths to protect and collaborate with the Agency being CASA. There are gross technical errors in the investigation, which I will address in separate correspondence as suggestions for improvements to the way the Ombudsman Office conducts investigations..

Whether it is a result of the false and misleading information provided by the CASA Executive, or whether it is something from within the Ombudsman's Office, I am unable to determine. Nevertheless, it is a matter that must be addressed, and a truthful and honest response from the Ombudsman's office will bring clarity and credibility to the matter, additionally it will assist me to ascertain where the "confusion" exists.

I will attempt to reframe my question to bring additional clarity. I truly believe that I am entitled to a response to this question, as it is fundamental to the entire mater.

This question has nothing to do with whether CASA was aware or not of the structure that I adopted. This question has nothing to do with who knew, or who did not know. This question has nothing to do with Glen Buckley or APTA. This is a question about whether CASA regularly, always, and on every occasion permitted Operators on hundreds of occasions to adopt the structure that I adopted throughout the flight training industry.

There are only two alternatives.

Either.

Since at least 1982, when I entered the industry. CASA had ,on each and every occasion, permitted and formally approved the identical structure that I had adopted. It was completely standard industry practice, and formally approved by CASA on every occasion. The structure that I adopted was completely standard CASA approved industry practice. It was commonly adopted throughout Australia, and I provided multiple examples to the Ombudsman's Office.

or

CASA never permitted it, as Mr Aleck has led the Ombudsman's office to believe.

I apologize if the nature of this correspondence appears somewhat terse, that is not my intention, but after more than four years I am increasingly frustrated.

Yours respectfully Glen Buckley
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Old 25th Jun 2023, 20:50
  #2702 (permalink)  
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Correspondence from FOI request -Contracts.

On 14/06/23 I submitted an FOI request to CASA regarding "contracts". (My reference Pprune #2675)
On 14/06/23 you responded seeking further clarification. (My reference Pprune #2676, CASA reference F23/21245)
On 20/06/23, I provided additional information. (My reference Pprune #2690)

Received from FOI 23/06/23OFFICIAL



Good morning Glen



Thank you for providing this additional clarification below. Upon my initial discussions with the relevant CASA business unit it would appear your request is quite broad, particularly item 1 of your request - I am requesting CASA provide me with copies of commercial contracts that CASA retains of any operator in the flight training industry.



I have been informed CASA retains a number of commercial contracts on file, operators will identify to CASA agreements and contracts for various flight operational matters, ie aircraft hire , aircraft lease, training and checking, conduct of flight training which I believe would all currently fall within scope of your current request.



I’ll ask that you narrow the scope further regarding item 1 of your request, if possible defining what contracts specifically that your request relates to.


Kind Regards,
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Old 27th Jun 2023, 20:07
  #2703 (permalink)  
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The letter from Ms Spence re. meeting

On 26/05/23, Ms Spence, CASA CEO wrote to me offering a meeting. My reference Pprune post #2608

On 04/06023, i responded to Ms. Spence, clarifying some issues. My reference Pprune post #2620

On 27/06/23, I received the following correspondence, and I am keen on any suggestions regarding the next step.

My initial thoughts are to hold off to October, as I believe a Board Member should be involved, or do I go back and request ANY board Member to facilitate an earlier date. Be assured that if i am waiting until October, I will be working feverishly in the background, and potentially engaging a lawyer to attend. As the CASA ICC is a lawyer, although in the role of the ICC, not as legal counsel, it may be more productive with a lawyer by my side.

Dear Mr Buckley

Thank you for the information you have provided in your email of 5 June 2023. While I appreciate you reiterating your perspective, it is important to note that the points that you have addressed in my email to you of 25 May 2023 are my summary of the findings of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s investigation not a reflection of CASA’s views.



While I (and the CASA Chair) remain committed to the undertakings I gave you on 19 November 2021 and 7 January 2022 to meet with you to discuss the outcome of the Ombudsman’s independent investigation once it had been finalised, we are unable to commit to the four hours you request and can instead offer a meeting of up to two hours. It is also not our intention to revisit the matters you have raised again, given these have now been reviewed by the Ombudsman. If you do not accept the Ombudsman’s investigation findings, you should take this up with that Office rather than CASA.



In terms of scheduling the meeting, Mr Binskin will be unavailable until October 2023. If you would prefer to meet with me in Mr Binskin’s absence sooner than that, please contact Rosie Tsikleas from my Office to make arrangements. The only other CASA representative I propose to attend any meeting is Jonathan Hanton, CASA’s Industry Complaints Commissioner.



Regards



Pip

Last edited by glenb; 21st Jul 2023 at 21:37.
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Old 27th Jun 2023, 21:23
  #2704 (permalink)  
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My proposed follow up to FOI request. Not sent yet.

28/06/23

Dear Keeley, (CASA FOI Office)

On 14/06/23 I submitted an FOI request to CASA regarding "contracts". (My reference Pprune #2675)
On 14/06/23 You responded seeking further clarification. (My reference Pprune #2676, CASA reference F23/21245)
On 20/06/23, I provided additional information. (My reference Pprune #2690)
On 23/06/23, You responded seeking further clarification. (My reference Pprune # 2702)

My response to that request for additional information follows. (My reference pprune XXXXXX)



Thank you for the further follow up regarding my FOI request for "contracts."


Ironically, the issue that you are experiencing is exactly the very same issue that I experienced. for 8 months in my dealings with CASA, iI is indeed very "broad", to use your words. Where does one begin with such a "broad" requirement?

To be upfront with you.

I am fully satisfied that CASA personnel with significant power within CASA,chose to use that power inappropriately to bring harm to me personally, and that they were successful in achieving that objective. I do not believe that their actions and decisions were motivated by the safety of aviation.

In October 2018, , after I had been operating my flying school, in that same structure for over a decade, with no prior warning,CASA advised me that I was now suddenly operating unlawfully, and placed crippling trading restrictions on my business that cost well in excess of $10,000 per week, throughout the 8 months.

The crux of the matter in its entirety, was that a CASA employee had made a determination that ALL personnel operating under my AOC must also be my Employees, they could not be an Employee of another Entity. It was a preposterous assertion. That restriction has never been placed on any other Flight Training Organisation in this Country ever., That ludicrous position put forward by CASA has absolutely no legislative basis whatsoever, and it applied to my Organisation only.

Had all personnel operating under my AOC, also been my own Employees, the fact is that CASA would never have taken any action against me, and my business, and that is why this matter in its entirety is so preposterous.

However, CASA advised that if I could change the wording in my existing commercial contracts with the customers, to the satisfaction of a CASA Employee then the trading restrictions could potentially be lifted, I would have the trading restrictions lifted, and potentially return to Business as Usual, as it would become lawful again.

I believe that the entire "wording in the contract" issue was a complete farce. It was used by CASA to maintain the trading restrictions for a staggering 8 months. It is inexplicable that such a simple task could not be resolved.


The entire matter should have been totally and fully resolved in a matter of a few hours. It is outrageous that it was still unresolved after 8 months., with crippling trading restrictions in place throughout that time..The CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs, simply could not be satisfied, and until he was satisfied, the crippling trading restrictions were to remain in place.

In your correspondence you stated "I have been informed CASA retains a number of commercial contracts on file, operators will identify to CASA agreements and contracts for various flight operational matters, ie aircraft hire , aircraft lease, training and checking, conduct of flight training which I believe would all currently fall within scope of your current request."


I fully understand that, as I also had such agreements all CASA approved ,on those matters. Those documents are undoubtedly operational documents, and would be contained within the organisation's Exposition, as mine were. These are completely standard industry practice, and those are the documents that I am seeking. There was never any suggestion from CASA that there were any deficiencies in this area.

This was an entirely different requirement. It was truly bizarre. The document that CASA were insisting on involvement in is the commercial agreement between APTA and its Members.

CASA was insisting on involvement in the wording of our existing "commercial" contracts, not the CASA Exposition/Operations Manual. Commercial contracts that would not normally attend to matters of operational control., and traditionally have no CASA involvement at all.

The matter was increasingly bizarre, because CASA insisted on wording in the commercial contracts, although CASA refused to be a signatory to those commercial contracts, despite insisting on wording that satisfied CASA. All other Parties were fully satisfied with the wording, and it had been checked by lawyers on multiple occasions.

CASA was never able to identify to me whose responsibilities I was to be attending to, or what those responsibilities were. It was as difficult a challenge for me as it is for you,so I do appreciate your difficult position.

The purpose of the request is to demonstrate that the requirements and associated trading restrictions placed on my business were unique and targeted at me personally

I need to be very clear on this. I am fully satisfied that CASA has never stipulated the requirements that were placed on me, on any other Operator. I do not believe that CASA will have these contracts on file.

I have put substantial thought into how to frame this request, in order to bring clarity to the request, I am hopeful that this attends to it. It's a long sentence, but i just can't work out how to shorten it sorry.




Request One.


I am requesting that CASA provide me with contracts or the relevant content of contracts from within the flight training industry prior to October 2018, and since 1938 that demonstrates in those contracts'

the clauses which CASA had previously required, so as to demonstrate to the satisfaction of CASA,, that flying training certificate / approval holders, have the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of the certificate approval holder, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts

I do not believe that CASA will hold any such contracts.

Request Two

My operation was determined to be unlawful by CASA and CASA placed trading restrictions on my business that were to remain in place until I could satisfy CASA as to the wording of the commercial contracts. The trigger for this action by CASA was my application to add the Latrobe Valley Aero Club. as a Member.

The very day prior to my application, CASA by its own admission had facilitated a long term and ongoing "arrangement" between another AOC Holder , and Latrobe Valley Aero Club.

Then, after Latrobe Valley requests to transfer from the previous AOC holder to APTA in an identical arrangement.o APTA, it is my business that gets determined to be illegal and has trading restrictions placed on it, until I can come up with wording in those commercial contracts to satisfy the CASA Employee.

My expectation is that CASA would have stipulated the same requirement on the previous AOC Holder delivering flight training through Latrobe Valley as they did on me. I was unable to resolve this issue in 8 months, therefore I would like to see what an Agreement looks like that did satisfy CASA, and that would be the Agreement CASA required up until the day prior of the other AOC Holder.

Please understand that I believe CASA has been deceptive in its dealing with the Ombudsman, and this document in fact was never required of the other Operator by CASA, and was in fact never required of ANY flight training operator ever.


Request Three

As in Request Two, I am requesting the contract that Ballarat Aero Club had in place with the AOC Holder until the day prior to them joining APTA. As in request Two, I do not believe that this document exists. As with the Latrobe Valley Aero Club, I am advised that no such contract was in place, and that CASA never placed any requirements on either Party.This was a new and unique requirement placed on me.

Request Four

With my 25 years experience in the flight training industry, I was unable to resolve the wording in the contracts to CASAs satisfaction for 8 months, and the trading restrictions remained in place.

After I exited the Business and two new individuals took over the business, with no flight training experience, they were able to immediately resolve the entire matter to CASAs full satisfaction for the Latrobe Valley aero Club

This agreement was perhaps the first such agreement that CASA ever required or approved. in Australia to attend to This document does exist and I am requiring a copy of that, as it will clearly identify what it was that I was deficient in, if anything.

This document will clearly identify how the new CEO was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of CASA,, that APTA now suddenly had the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of APTA, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts


Other contracts that were provided to the Ombudsman

The Commonwealth Ombudsman arrived at the following conclusion; “CASA has previously required evidence of contracts from other operators as evidence of operational control before it made this request of APTA.”.

I am fully satisfied that CASA has misled the Ombudsman on this matter. This was not about aircraft leasing or hiring agreements, this was a specific requirement placed on my business regarding the personnel who were not also my employees.

I am requesting I be provided with the same contracts that were provided to the Ombudsman as "evidence" of CASAs assertion that they had required contracts. Whilst i doubt that the Ombudsman came to such a substantial finding without requesting any evidence, could you please advise me if that is the case, and then I obviously would not expect you to provide contracts


Other contracts- CASA nominated

I would invite CASA to provide any other contracts that they feel may refute my allegation that CASA has never required contracts of any other operator in the flight training industry to stipulate requirements similar to those placed on me.

I note that you had referred this matter to a CASA ``Business Unit", and they came back with this additional request, and I can see that there appears to be some confusion. May I respectfully request that Mr Aleck, the decision maker in my matter, be involved in that Business Unit as he is the subject matter expert within CASA.

Respectfully

Glen Buckley
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Old 27th Jun 2023, 23:46
  #2705 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by glenb
As the CASA ICC is a lawyer, although in the role of the ICC, not as legal counsel, it may be more productive with a lawyer by my side.


Productive? Compulsory. It’s no coincidence another acronym for ICC is Indelibly Corrupt Cretin.
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Old 27th Jun 2023, 23:49
  #2706 (permalink)  
 
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Meeting with Ms P Spence

Quote Ms. Spence, “Mr Binskin will be unavailable until October 2023.”

Mr. Binskin is not available during the next three months and it seems hasn’t nominated a deputy. The nature of Glen Buckley’s predicament and the overly long passage of time towards any fair resolution should see a degree of urgency being applied.

Why not one or two of the other Board members? But then in the words of Ms. Spence when Glen received the infamous email of 2018 that effectively, out of the blue, smashed his business, she said it must have been “unsettling.”

Ms. Spence should acknowledge that to characterise the news from CASA as “unsettling” was wrong.

That start to this Glen Buckley state of injustice would properly and correctly be described as nothing short of traumatic. A gut wrenching nightmare that’s continued for nearly five years and remains a blot on our Nation, quite apart from the damage to Glen Buckley, his family, employees and many others.
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Old 28th Jun 2023, 01:35
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Seems like CASA is making changes to other satellite training organisations with a similar theme to what they have done to Glen. Nowhere near the draconian manner but it makes interesting reading. The Northam Aero club (WA)has some info in their April 23 newsletter beginning on page 4 https://www.northamaeroclub.com/Fly_...April_2023.pdf ro the link to their newsletters if you don't want to directly link to a pdf https://www.northamaeroclub.com/flyabout.php
They (CASA) have insisted that the clubs instructor be directly employed by the AOC holder, RACWA, rather than the Northam Aero club which has been operating under the RACWA AOC for the last 50 odd years!
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Old 28th Jun 2023, 04:54
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Training satellite bases

Sagesau, good call and hardly surprising that reality that they’ve tried to hide is starting to surface.

Glen’s extraordinary persistence might be paying off as Ms. Spence starts to see the light.

No doubt CASA will no longer employ consultants and now they will have to employ all testing officers because nothing can be accomplished by contractors or personnel who are not directly employed.

I hope Northam Aero Club fights back, in fact all the GA community in WA should be involved.
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Old 28th Jun 2023, 06:43
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I’m not sure what position Kevin holds but let me ask,

if it’s as easy as one specific appointment in each location is employed by the AOC holder, why not put that to Glen at the time?

also I notice in Glens writings above he says “to the satisfaction of a CASA employee”, I understood they approved Glens operation at a late stage and then rescinded the approval within 24 hours. Possibly after the meeting with CASA, Glen and his accountant.

I still believe this will only be settled by the courts. I also believe your endeavours to extract details from CASA will help in your preparations for that. You will have to meet with Pip and CASA though otherwise they will argue you did not have good faith. Just don’t agree to anything unless you’re entirely satisfied with their outcome.
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Old 28th Jun 2023, 07:12
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New training requirements by CASA

I’d suggest that CASA is on a much belated path to justify its abominable treatment of Glen Buckley. I would say to CASA, why bother?

You are far too late and you think that you can quietly make all hunky dory and no one will notice?
So pathetic and gutless.

And let’s look at the difference for the students of the Northam Aero Club. Reading their instructors advice, the one result of conforming with the latest strictures from CASA is very simple. They will pay more.

Well done CASA, one more nail in GA’s coffin.
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Old 29th Jun 2023, 21:03
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My response to Pip Spence offer to meet

  • On 26/05 CASA CEO Ms Pip Spence wrote to me, confirming her commitment to meet with me. ( My reference Pprune# 2608)
  • On 04/06, I responded to that offer, clarifying some potential misconceptions.( My reference Pprune #2620)
  • On 27/06 ,CASA CEO Ms. Pip Spence responded. (My reference Pprune #2703)
  • My response follows. (My reference Pprune # 2711)



Dear Ms. Tsikleas,

My name is Glen Buckley,

I presume you will have some familiarity with my matter.

Ms Spence has extended an offer to meet me, in her role as the CEO of CASA. I would like to accept that meeting.

In order, for the Board Chair to be involved in that meeting ,then it would be necessary to wait until October due to the Chairpersons availability.

I feel it is essential that the Chair of the CASA Board be in attendance.I am somewhat disappointed in the protracted time frame, nevertheless i would like to proceed with arrangements for that October meeting.

Please advise a suitable date and location, and I shall make the necessary arrangements.


Respectfully, Glen Buckley
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Old 29th Jun 2023, 23:52
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It is ghastly watching you spending so much time and energy on so much futile activity, Glen. As each day passes you are one step closer to being prevented from pursuing whatever legal rights you might have had. I hope it is genuinely therapeutic for you, because it’s not doing your chances of compensation much good.

The Chairman’s too busy to meet with you for at least the next 3 months. (Why you care if the Chairman attends is beyond me, but it’s your call.) The duration of the meeting has been halved from what you requested. Read the body language: They don’t care. If they cared, they would already have written you a big cheque.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the meeting were held on 23 October. Five years on. A meeting. What a breakthrough.

Captain, you must listen: You are past PNR on a track that confines you to being a minor inconvenience until fuel exhaustion. Please get your family to read this thread. All of it. Twice.

Please.
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Old 30th Jun 2023, 00:17
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Unless you pursue them aggressively with a suitably equipped legal team, they won't care. Without this, you are likely to experience firsthand a meeting where the DAS will nod sympathetically, express regret, but ultimately deny you what you are seeking or anything close to redress.

The meeting will be carefully controlled with security likely briefed if things get heated so you can be ejected. If that were to happen, it may actually suit their narrative.The ICC will bring a lettuce leaf to fan himself when things get hot.

What you're heading for is the bureaucratic equivalent of when a politician has to give an audience to a victim. There will be motherhood statements, perhaps an acknowledgement that things might change, but little chance of anything meaningful resulting.

If there was any chance of them offering you compensation they'd have a legal counsel on hand to get terms down. It's been made clear that this won't be happening, which means they've already decided they don't have to give you diddly squat.
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Old 30th Jun 2023, 00:35
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Said Chairman spotted in Thargomindah on Tuesday night, tripping around in his 182.
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Old 30th Jun 2023, 00:47
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Off to the Big Red Bash perhaps. Very important for him to attend……
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Old 1st Jul 2023, 03:26
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Get it over and done with - the 'Vibe'

Hi Glen,
I had a quick perusal of the letter from the submission of CASA to Parliament addressed to Susan McDonald (CASA Ref: F20/258) where there has been a discussion of the merits of you case from their aspect. See https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore...d&subId=695929

I compare it to your last few posts and seem to detect a change in tone to one that is a little more conciliatory and willingness to leave the matter behind with subtle offers to monetary reparation. Even in 2020 they mention they had offered $5000 plus up to $2500 for legal expenses. While this may seem an insult for somebody that has lost their livelihood, it opens the way for a well prepared legal case to have the matter finalised to the satisfaction of all parties. Maybe they are hinting, and you haven't got the hint that they may be willing to settle for some monetary value to make it all go away? Maybe it is now a case of how much rather than why should I? Have you looked at it and thought about it from that aspect?

Your case will not be settled by a meeting with a government minister, head of government department, or a gentleman's handshake over a glass of beer. It will be done in a court of law, with wigs at twenty paces. If you have a well prepared case, I suspect it will be settled to your complete satisfaction before it comes up for hearing.

The threat of The National Anti-Corruption Commission (which commences today) may serve to hasten a clarity of recall of those involved should the matter be referred to them for investigation. Yes, they can look at retrospective cases such as yours which seem to fit their bailiwick quite neatly. Note the current rage for all parties involved in the release of information regarding the NSW equivalent anti-corruption investigation of our dear recently departed premier Gladys, and embarrassment for all involved, both in the results and how they have been portrayed in the media. I am certain various legal heads are carefully donning their wigs, honing their spears and counting the shekels (I use that word advisedly) that will be proferred should it come up for legal review. Time will tell.

The article on the ABC (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-...rway/102543658) would indicate that matters can be referred to them by any person, even anonymously, which one of the esteemed readers of this forum may be prompted to do should you fail to do so. The Commission, of course have extensive powers of investigation, and can demand, bolstered by law, information you have politely pleaded for from various individuals and departments in your lengthy pursuit of justice for your cause. They may uncover evidence that produces solid substantiation to some of your claims, some of which you may not be aware of based on the investigation you have made to date.

Your case should be tried based on facts and substantive evidence, something CASA accuses you of not providing (repeatedly) in their parliamentary submission. The trial of your cause should not be in these forums, which by their nature only are an opportunity for people to express their opinions (mostly of support). While they say where there is smoke there is fire, I suspect having a well represented legal case may have swiftly brought this matter to a most satisfying close to you many years ago had you sought support in the courts of law rather than the court of public opinion.

The following is blunt but somebody may need to be cruel to be kind:

Lawyer up, gather your evidence, have it reviewed and presented in a format that is clearly in your favour from a legal aspect, and go forth and conquer. Stop trying to be an amateur lawyer and a cheapskate - you are definitely not doing your case any good - your area of speciality is flying, not law. Get a team on your side that know what they are doing, experts in law. Like in the movie "The Castle", get rid of Farouk, Dennis Denuto, and get Lawrence Hammill on your case. Your well-intentioned but frustrated attempts (clearly documented in these forums) are evidence this is the case - they have blocked you at every twist and turn, because they have proper advice from their legal teams. Crowd-funding will not pay for your case, but will pay a good lawyer to determine if your case has enough merit to pursue and for how much - listen to that advice. If you win your case or get offered a settlement it can include your legal costs as well. Time to pony up and do it properly, do it once, and get it over and done with. If that doesn't work, at least you can say you gave it your best shot, put it behind you and move on with life instead of it taking over your life completely and affecting those you love as well. Getting token sympathy or legal advice from here at PPRuNe will not bring your case to a faster conclusion.

Last edited by Thirsty; 1st Jul 2023 at 20:58.
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Old 1st Jul 2023, 04:13
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If you have had any dealings with Jonathan Hanson you'd know how inaccurate your acronym is of his role and decisions.
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Old 1st Jul 2023, 06:52
  #2718 (permalink)  
 
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NACC born today. We can only hope it’s a well nurtured child of Government and grows to healthy adulthood.
Time will tell.
Retrospective.Good oh. Might as well chuck something in and see what happens.
Curious.
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Old 1st Jul 2023, 21:57
  #2719 (permalink)  
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Follow up to Ms spence

02/07/23

My reference Pprune #2719



Dear Ms Spence,

Please accept this follow up correspondence in regard to our meeting in October 2023.

Thank you for facilitating a meeting of 2 hours. I appreciate that you won’t walk out the room on the 121st minute, nevertheless I believe that we can achieve what we need to achieve, in a well-intentioned two-hour meeting.

I have had a few days to reflect, and after a rather restless night, made the decision to write to you this morning.

I don’t want you to be “broadsided” at that meeting, so the purpose of this letter is to ensure that we have clear expectations, and I appreciate you outlining, that you don’t want to be going over “old ground”.

Please understand that from my perspective, my business, livelihood, health has been impacted. Our family lost absolutely everything, including our family home as a result of this.

My mental health has been devastated by this entire episode, and the sad truth is that in the depths of depression, and on the cusp of taking my own life a couple of months ago, I ended up in a psychiatric facility. I am now a patient of one of Australia’s leading psychiatrists, and a psychologist. After a lifetime of avoiding any medication, I am now on antidepressants. My family lost absolutely everything. Their home, their savings, their Father and Husband.

This matter in its entirety was completely avoidable.

From my personal perspective, without any doubt, the most heartbreaking aspect of this entire matter has been my loss of self-esteem and self-respect because of all the people that have been impacted by placing their trust and confidence in me.

I would like to achieve the following outcomes during that two-hour meeting.



Expected Outcome One- Act of Grace Payment

I am of the opinion that CASA unlawfully and with targeted malice took action that closed my business and was entirely unnecessary. There were no legitimate safety concerns nor were there any regulatory breaches, and at all times I operated fully in accordance with all CASA approved procedures in my Exposition/Operations Manual.

I believe that I have a valid basis for a claim against CASA. That is not my preferred option.

Throughout the last five years, I have gone further than could be reasonably expected of any person to avoid litigation. Litigation suggests to me that there is a complete breakdown of “good intent”. It is unnecessarily combative, protracted and distracts resources.

My preferred course of action is to put forward a request for an Act of Grace payment. This request would not be successful if it were opposed by CASA.

My hope is that An Act of Grace payment could be considered an Alternative Dispute Resolution, as outlined in Appendix B of the Legal Services Directions 2017, where it states



the Commonwealth and Commonwealth agencies are to behave as model litigants in the conduct of litigation.

In civil litigation matters, Model Litigant rules provide that government agencies should, wherever possible:
  • act honestly, consistently, and fairly in handling claims and litigation
  • deal with claims promptly
  • make an early assessment of the government’s prospects of success
  • pay legitimate claims promptly
  • not take advantage of a party who lacks resources to litigate a legitimate claim
  • keep costs to a minimum e.g. not rely on a merely technical defence
  • consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options.


At the end of that two-hour meeting, I would like to obtain a decision from you and the Chair of the Board, whether or not CASA will oppose that claim for an Act of Grace payment.

For simplicity of the Act of Grace Payment, it would be for the purpose of compensating/reimbursing staff, customers, students, Suppliers, the other businesses closed down by CASA actions, and others who were dependant on me.

It would not contain any claim for me personally, or for the harm and trauma caused to me. I would waive any claim to those aspects in the interests of a prompt resolution, by way of an Act of Grace Payment By rectifying the harm caused to so many, it would lift an enormous mental burden from me, and at least go some way to resolving this entire matter and allowing me to move forward with my life.

It seems entirely reasonable that if CASA simply “changes its mind” about a business after 10 years, the persons affected by that change of “interpretation” of the law, should not be impacted, just as a homeowner is reimbursed when the house is to be bulldozed for a road. It is an entirely reasonable expectation.

If the CASA Chair and CEO determine that they will oppose an Act of Grace Payment, then I can see little benefit in waiting until October to receive that information.

Could you please advise if you would be in a position to advise me at the conclusion of that meeting if CASA will oppose my request for an Act of Grace Payment?



Expected Outcome Two- Why this matter could not be fully resolved in 4 hours.

As you are aware, I am fully satisfied that this matter could have been fully resolved in four hours, yet it dragged on for over 8 months, and was still not resolved. I am fully satisfied that if CASA was acting in Good Faith this matter and its associated harm could have been completely avoided.

I would like to obtain CASAs explanation on why this matter could not be fully resolved in four hours.

There must have been some reason from CASAs perspective as to why it was not easily resolved in one meeting of less than four hours. If I could explain that to my family, the people impacted, and the wider industry, it would assist me greatly.

In order to go someway to restoring my reputation I would like to be able to explain to those that were dependent on me, as to why I could not resolve this apparently simple matter to CASAs full satisfaction. It seems an entirely reasonable expectation, and I am sure you will concur.





Expected Outcome Three- The single issue was all personnekl were not directly employed by me.

The most distressing part of the last five years has been that I have no idea what I did wrong. I do not know what piece of legislation was breached. I don’t know what specific mistake that I made, I have no idea which of my procedures was deficient, I have no idea of any safety concerns.

My understanding is that because I utilised personnel under my AOC that were not always also my employees, I was in breach of the regulations.

That was effectively the single issue.

Had every one of those personnel operating under my AOC been directly employed by me, then CASA would never have raised any concerns at all, and my business would not ever have been contacted by CASA or had any action taken against it, as Craig Martin from CASA advised me in writing, ‘For the avoidance of doubt, flight training can be conducted by APTA Employees only, not Employees of Affiliates’

I would like to exit that meeting with a clear understanding of this requirement by CASA. It is not a requirement, and has never been a legislative requirement. This seems to be a restriction placed only on my own flying school and not on the other 300 flight training organisations in Australia.

So, my question would be. If all personnel operating under my AOC were also directly employed by me, would CASA ever have imposed the trading restrictions, and if so, could you identify the justification.



Expected Outcome Four- Allegation of misfeasancev in public office against Mr Jonathan Aleck Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs.

One month prior to that meeting I will provide.

· The CASA Board,

· The CASA CEO, The CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner

· My Local Labor MP for Chisholm, Ms Carina Garland

with a substantial document outlining my allegations of Misfeasance in Public office against Mr Jonathan Aleck, CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International, and Regulatory Affairs.

If that document can be considered prior to that meeting, my intention would be that I formally submit that document to the CASA ICC for an internal investigation.

If CASA choose not to conduct their own internal investigation, then I will pursue alternatives.

I believe that Mr Aleck would support that request. I have made significant allegations against his conduct, and I expect that he would be supportive of any investigation to refute my allegations.



Expected Outcome Five

On the initial notification of 23rd October 2018, CASA placed trading restrictions on my business, based on alleged contravention of the following four rules and regulations, and these are the only four allegations that have ever been put forward to me.

· Paragraph 7 of the Aviation Ruling

· Section 27 (8) of the Civil Aviation Act

· Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act

· CASR 141.050

I would like to get a clear and concise response from CASA, after almost five years. Is the CASA position that I did, or I did not break those regulations.

Consider a person that is charged with an offence by the police, and he has to wait five years to have his guilt or innocence determined in a court of law. If over the next five years, the Police become aware that in fact no offence had occurred then they should be prepared to admit that, rather than attempt to pursue the matter, and possibly in a corrupt manner.

The point is that after 5 years of continuing investigation by the police, the reasonable expectation of the Police is that they are as confident, or more confident, of their position after 5 years.

If they are confident, they should be able to confidently restate their position, at all times throughout that five-year investigation, and right up until they walk into the Courtroom.

At our meeting, I would be seeking that same commitment from CASA i.e., a yes or no response to each of those four allegations made in October 2018.

It is an entirely reasonable request as I am sure you will agree.

Once again, I appreciate the opportunity to meet with yourself, the CASA Chair, and Industry Complaints Commissioner in October 2018, I look forward to your considered response. Hopefully with clear expectations and good intent, we can resolve this matter in its entirety before the end of October 2023.

I must however make it very clear that if you inform me that CASA will oppose my request for an Act of Grace Payment, I give you my solemn word that I will pursue legal action, as I will have pursued every other option that is available to me.

You are aware of the aviation forums of “Aunty Pru” and “Pprune”. There is strong industry pressure for me to pursue legal action and has been for a protracted period.

Respectfully

Glen Buckley


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Old 1st Jul 2023, 22:48
  #2720 (permalink)  
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Follow up FOI- contracts

28/06/23

Dear Keeley, (CASA FOI Office)

On 14/06/23 I submitted an FOI request to CASA regarding "contracts". (My reference Pprune #2675)
On 14/06/23 You responded seeking further clarification. (My reference Pprune #2676, CASA reference F23/21245)
On 20/06/23, I provided additional information. (My reference Pprune #2690)
On 23/06/23, You responded seeking further clarification. (My reference Pprune # 2702)

My response to that request for additional information follows. (My reference Pprune # 2720)



Thank you for the further follow up regarding my FOI request for "contracts."


Ironically, the issue that you are experiencing is exactly the very same issue that I experienced. for 8 months in my dealings with CASA, iI is indeed very "broad", to use your words. Where does one begin with such a "broad" requirement?

To be upfront with you.

I am fully satisfied that CASA personnel with significant power within CASA,chose to use that power inappropriately to bring harm to me personally, and that they were successful in achieving that objective. I do not believe that their actions and decisions were motivated by the safety of aviation.

In October 2018, , after I had been operating my flying school, in that same structure for over a decade, with no prior warning,CASA advised me that I was now suddenly operating unlawfully, and placed crippling trading restrictions on my business that cost well in excess of $10,000 per week, throughout the 8 months.

The crux of the matter in its entirety, was that a CASA employee had made a determination that ALL personnel operating under my AOC must also be my Employees, they could not be an Employee of another Entity. It was a preposterous assertion. That restriction has never been placed on any other Flight Training Organisation in this Country ever., That ludicrous position put forward by CASA has absolutely no legislative basis whatsoever, and it applied to my Organisation only.

Had all personnel operating under my AOC, also been my own Employees, the fact is that CASA would never have taken any action against me, and my business, and that is why this matter in its entirety is so preposterous.

However, CASA advised that if I could change the wording in my existing commercial contracts with the customers, to the satisfaction of a CASA Employee then the trading restrictions could potentially be lifted, I would have the trading restrictions lifted, and potentially return to Business as Usual, as it would become lawful again.

I believe that the entire "wording in the contract" issue was a complete farce. It was used by CASA to maintain the trading restrictions for a staggering 8 months. It is inexplicable that such a simple task could not be resolved.


The entire matter should have been totally and fully resolved in a matter of a few hours. It is outrageous that it was still unresolved after 8 months., with crippling trading restrictions in place throughout that time..The CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs, simply could not be satisfied, and until he was satisfied, the crippling trading restrictions were to remain in place.

In your correspondence you stated "I have been informed CASA retains a number of commercial contracts on file, operators will identify to CASA agreements and contracts for various flight operational matters, ie aircraft hire , aircraft lease, training and checking, conduct of flight training which I believe would all currently fall within scope of your current request."


I fully understand that, as I also had such agreements all CASA approved ,on those matters. Those documents are undoubtedly operational documents, and would be contained within the organisation's Exposition, as mine were. These are completely standard industry practice, and those are not the documents that I am seeking. There was never any suggestion from CASA that there were any deficiencies in this area.. Those contracts form part of the Exposition as they did in my own organisation.

This was an entirely different requirement. It was truly bizarre. The document that CASA were insisting on involvement in is the commercial agreement between APTA and its Members.

CASA was insisting on involvement in the wording of our existing "commercial" contracts, not the CASA Exposition/Operations Manual. Commercial contracts that would not normally attend to matters of operational control., and traditionally have no CASA involvement at all.

The matter was increasingly bizarre, because CASA insisted on wording in the commercial contracts, although CASA refused to be a signatory to those commercial contracts, despite insisting on wording that satisfied CASA. All other Parties were fully satisfied with the wording, and it had been checked by lawyers on multiple occasions.

The point being that the CASA Approved Exposition is where matters of operational control are outlined as that is the document between CASA and my organisation, not a commercial contract that CASA is not, and refuses to be a signatory to. Such matters are usually of a commercially sensitive nature, and not required to be disclosed to CASA.

CASA was never able to identify to me whose responsibilities I was to be attending to, or what those responsibilities were. It was as difficult a challenge for me as it is for you,so I do appreciate your difficult position.

The purpose of the request is to demonstrate that the requirements and associated trading restrictions placed on my business were unique and targeted at me personally

I need to be very clear on this. I am fully satisfied that CASA has never stipulated the requirements that were placed on me, on any other Operator. I do not believe that CASA will have these contracts on file, with the exception of the post July 2019 contract that they accepted between APTA and Latrobe Valley days after I exited the Business.

I have put substantial thought into how to frame this request, in order to bring clarity to the request, I am hopeful that this attends to it. It's a long sentence, but i just can't work out how to shorten it sorry.



Request One.

I am requesting that CASA provide me with contracts or the relevant content of contracts from within the flight training industry prior to October 2018, and since 1938 that demonstrates in those contracts'


the clauses which CASA had previously required, so as to demonstrate to the satisfaction of CASA,, that flying training certificate / approval holders, have the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of the certificate approval holder, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts

I do not believe that CASA will hold any such contracts.. This may be a futile search, but please advise me of the result.

Request Two

My operation was determined to be unlawful by CASA and CASA placed trading restrictions on my business that were to remain in place until I could satisfy CASA as to the wording of the commercial contracts. The trigger for this action by CASA was my application to add the Latrobe Valley Aero Club. as a Member.

The very day prior to my application, CASA by its own admission, had facilitated a long term and ongoing prior "arrangement" between another AOC Holder , and Latrobe Valley Aero Club, presumably with a "contract" as was required of me by CASA.

Then, after Latrobe Valley requests to transfer from the previous AOC holder to APTA in an identical arrangement, it is my business that gets determined to be illegal and has trading restrictions placed on it, until I can come up with wording in those commercial contracts to satisfy the CASA Employee.

My expectation is that CASA would have stipulated the same requirement on the previous AOC Holder delivering flight training through Latrobe Valley as they did on me. I was unable to resolve this issue in 8 months, therefore I would like to see what an Agreement looks like that did satisfy CASA, and that would be the Agreement that CASA required of the AOC Holder delivering flight training for Latrobe Valley the day prior to them transferring to me.

As with the requirement placed on me, I expect that they would demonstrate to the satisfaction of CASA,, that flying training certificate / approval holders, have the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of the certificate approval holder, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts

Please understand that I believe CASA has been deceptive in its dealing with the Ombudsman, and this document in fact was never required of the other Operator by CASA, and was in fact never required of ANY flight training operator ever. This may well be a futile search, as with request one.


Request Three

As in Request Two, I am requesting the contract that Ballarat Aero Club had in place with the AOC Holder until the day prior to them joining APTA. As in request Two, I do not believe that this document exists. As with the Latrobe Valley Aero Club, I am advised that no such contract was in place, and that CASA never placed any requirements on either Party.This was a new and unique requirement placed on me.

Request Four

With my 25 years experience in the flight training industry, I was unable to resolve the wording in the contracts to CASAs satisfaction for 8 months, and the trading restrictions remained in place.

After I exited the Business and two new individuals took over the business, with no flight training experience, they were able to immediately resolve the entire matter to CASAs full satisfaction for the operations of Latrobe Valley Aero Club.

The only thing that changed was the wording in that contract, and no doubt that attended to the shortcomings that I allegedly could not come up with over the previous 8 months and would have demonstrated to the satisfaction of CASA,, that flying training certificate / approval holders, have the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of the certificate approval holder, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts

This agreement was perhaps the first such agreement that CASA ever required or approved. In Australia to attend to This document does most certainly exist,and I am requiring a copy of that, as it will clearly identify what it was that I was unable to achieve in 8 months.

This document will clearly identify how the new CEO was able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of CASA,, that APTA now suddenly had the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of APTA, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts


Other contracts that were provided to the Ombudsman

The Commonwealth Ombudsman arrived at the following conclusion; “CASA has previously required evidence of contracts from other operators as evidence of operational control before it made this request of APTA.”.

I am fully satisfied that CASA has misled the Ombudsman on this matter. This was not about aircraft leasing or hiring agreements, this was a specific requirement placed on my business regarding the personnel who were not also my employees.

I am requesting I be provided with the same contracts that were provided to the Ombudsman as "evidence" of CASAs assertion that they had required contracts.

If the Ombudsman took CASA at their word," and did not request, and CASA did not provide any evidence , by way of contracts could you please advise me of such. If the ombudsman did request evidence of CASAs assertion could you please provide me with the same conatrcats that CASA provided to the Ombudsman.


Other contracts- CASA nominated

I would invite CASA to provide any other contracts that they feel may refute my allegation that CASA has never required contracts of any other operator in the flight training industry to stipulate requirements similar to those placed on me.

Those being the specific requirements that demonstrated to the satisfaction of CASA,, that flying training certificate / approval holders, have the level of operational control required by the regulations, over personnel who are not employees of the certificate approval holder, which the level of control would not exist without those contracts



Other considerations

I note that you had referred this matter to a CASA ``Business Unit", and they came back with this additional request, and I can see that there appears to be some confusion, as I had previously suggested. May I respectfully request that Mr Aleck, the decision maker in my matter, be involved in that "Business Unit "as he is the subject matter expert within CASA.. It was Mr Aleck that I was communicating with throughout the eight months. I did also have the opportunity to meet with him., and it was Mr Aleck that was not satisfied. It seems that the most efficient and effective process would be to establish contact directly with Mr Aleck, although I will leave that to your determination.

Please come back to me if I have not provided sufficient clarity to the request

Respectfully

Glen Buckley


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