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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 8th Oct 2023, 11:33
  #2881 (permalink)  
 
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Some hope of justice, but…

QFF asks the obvious question after reading the Finance Department advice about Act of Grace payments. You would have to wonder if either Ms. Spence or Mr. Binskin have read the same. Charitably we’d have to assume that they have already spoken to the Minister’s delegate who is in charge of recommendations and gained an ‘in principle’ approval.

Well that’s just a maybe, consider Ms. Spence’s statement about a CASA proposed self declared medical as a “world first.” This statement is found in Ms. Spence’s latest ‘Briefing.’ Astonishingly, is Ms. Spence is ignorant of some 70 years of the gliding fraternity and 40 years of RAAUS self declaring to car driver standard?
Let alone the USA BasicMed that could, but won’t, be a good example to follow.

She talks about a move to trusting pilots, is this a joke? Our whole democratic society is based on trust, every time we are on the road we trust our fellow citizens, for just one of thousands of examples of ‘trust.’

Sorry to be blunt but on a salary of $650,000 you might think that the CASA CEO would be across obvious and critical details. And in particular be able to discern the sham arguments put up by CASA’s legal department against Glen Buckley because she has, as yet, been unable to reach the obvious conclusion that CASA itself should recompense Glen Buckley in exactly the same way she has acknowledged the wrong in preventing Glen’s employment in a flying job, and subsequent obligation to recompense for that disgusting injustice.

It is high time that CASA is disbanded and put back into a Department with Minister where it should be in the Westminster system of responsible government.

The problem with the CASA corporate model of governance is that there’s insufficient incentive to change course and make the reforms that have been obvious for years, even as expressed in the Forsyth Report of 2014 where the government agreed to almost all of the recommendations, practically all of which had some lip service only as CASA ‘progressed’ its ever more restrictive, costly and complex rules.

Could Ms. Spence find the courage to actually take charge and make decisions for reform and quickly force her underlings to comply? The USA rules work and we’ve incorporated parts of their practical system to real advantage in the 90s and could do so again.

Otherwise to Glen and his wife, well done and congratulations for persevering and gaining in principle recognition of the wrongful action of CASA against you, you have done all of GA a great service by calling out CASA.
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 23:09
  #2882 (permalink)  
 
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CAsA and trust. They don’t trust us. We have to “driven” to act in their control freaking ways by gormless regulation and criminalisation by strict liability. Dictatorial bureaucratic buggery. So much for democracy when CAsA is a free ranging and failed corporate state that our elected reps can do nothing about.
What a sick joke, and Spence proves it by claiming that a self declared medical is a worlds first. That attempt to polish the CAsA badge just proves their ignorance.
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Old 9th Oct 2023, 02:35
  #2883 (permalink)  
 
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I've seen small and incremental change in what Pip Spence has announced over time. I think it's a little early to judge her yet.

Sandy, on your observations reference the 'self declared medical' she would be relying heavily on those reporting to her reference the facts. There is no way she could be across the detail on every piece of legislation. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that there are people undermining her within CASA, trying to make her look incompetent?
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Old 9th Oct 2023, 06:38
  #2884 (permalink)  
 
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Know your facts

Originally Posted by Mr Mossberg
I've seen small and incremental change in what Pip Spence has announced over time. I think it's a little early to judge her yet.

Sandy, on your observations reference the 'self declared medical' she would be relying heavily on those reporting to her reference the facts. There is no way she could be across the detail on every piece of legislation. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that there are people undermining her within CASA, trying to make her look incompetent?
Agreed Ms. Spence could not be across every piece of legislation but the AVMAD reform has been a hot topic for years and when someone puts out a statement for her to sign about “world’s first” she should be across that detail. If she has been deliberately fooled, or led astray by sheer incompetence then she must start sacking people or moving them down to their level of incompetence.

If memory serves Ms. Spence acknowledged some 600 submissions about proposed medical certification some time ago. Anyone who had contacts or wished to get to the truth about aviation medicals (farce) could seek advice from sources both inside and outside of CASA. A few phone calls and a days research would be plenty.

CASA is a dysfunctional body that’s become delusional and hasn’t had a leader prepared to discover the realities of day to day GA operations, quite apart from making a number of easy reforms to give some heart to the GA community.

Having been in the GA scene since the 60s I think I can conservatively say that our GA industry is something considerably less than 50% of its potential, i.e., many $billions of lost opportunity due entirely to the extremes of CASA and its control freakishness and fee gouging ways.

And I’ve seen many others suffer in a personal way, Glen Buckley is only one of a very long list because for CASA it’s wrongful behaviour has become normalised across decades of habit.

Hard to believe but it is that bad, a very sorry state of affairs and negative to our economy, personal freedom and National security.
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Old 10th Oct 2023, 12:55
  #2885 (permalink)  
 
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Glen, at the point of becoming tiresome, right now is the most pressing time to get legal advice. Yes, your attempts have proved valiant, but guidance on how and where to tread are now imperative, and time is of the essence.
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Old 10th Oct 2023, 20:27
  #2886 (permalink)  
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Response to#2873 Letter from CASA post meeting

Dear Ms Pip Spence PSM and Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd)


My family and I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you last week in Canberra.


I felt the meeting was well intentioned, with "good intent" being essential for any resolution.

I understand that the line between lawfulness and appropriateness was addressed in the meeting and that CASA stands by its position that it did nothing "unlawful" but did acknowledge inappropriateness with regards to the "manner" in which this matter unfolded.

I respect your position but please understand that I have a different perspective, as you would appreciate. I am firmly of the opinion that I was treated unlawfully.

That acknowledgement by CASA regarding the sub-optimal manner that I was treated, was significant, and to have that occur in front of my wife was important for me, and I thank you for the well intentioned manner, the frankness and tone from the opening of the meeting.

Please be assured that I made no recording, and I took no notes at the meeting. My recollection is as best as I recall, and I was somewhat caught off-guard and affected by Sonoko's regarding the impact of this matter on our family.

I acknowledge that it is my recollection only, and open to interpretation. My intention is not to misquote or misrepresent the contents of the meeting or anything said by anyone at that meeting.

It was also significant that my matter had led to a process of "continuous improvement", and was a feature of the determination to restructure the way CASA engages with industry. Something that has been most traumatic about this matter in its entirety, is that it could have been completely avoided with a well intentioned meeting of less than 4 hours at the very beginning. To at least see some positive organizational change within CASA as a result of all the associated harm, is somewhat encouraging, and noted.

I understand that the date of 11th October for me to respond was not a deadline as such, but rather an expression of your intent to move forward in a timely manner. May I respectfully request an extension of 7 days. The truth is that post our meeting, for the first time in 5 years, I have allowed myself to get "distracted" from this matter, and it has been somewhat therapeutic and good for the family, as well as for me.

I am "back on board" now and typing away from my local 24 Pancake Parlor. I am going away solo camping on the weekend with the intention to have finalized my response by the end of the weekend. I don't necessarily intend for it to be lengthy, but I do hope to provide you with sufficient guidance to operate efficiently and effectively, as I appreciate that you will both be somewhat "time poor."

If you have no objection, it would assist me to "compartmentalize" my responses. I would like to provide separate responses to each of the action items, and in this correspondence I will address action item one from your correspondence where you stated,

"I undertook to contact ( current CASA FOI) about his observations of the prevalence of APTA-like arrangements in the flight training sector of the industry."


I believe that this is fundamental to the matter in its entirety. After 5 years the Ombudsman Office was unable to make a determination as to this very simple matter. For such a simple black and white issue, that can be so easily resolved, I am stunned that the Ombudsman Office was unable to make a determination as to whether the structure had never previously been accepted by CASA, as CASA led the Ombudsman to believe, or was it commonplace throughout the industry and authorized by CASA on multiple occasions throughout the industry.

It really should be that simple. Either CASA always permitted it, or CASA never permitted it. There can only be one truthful answer.

It is the complete failure of the Ombudsman's Office to be able to make a determination on something so fundamental, that has led me to form the opinion that up until this present time, CASA has provided false and misleading information on this aspect, as well as others.

I have asserted throughout the matter that the identical structure was always approved by formal processes by CASA on multiple occasions over my 25 years in the industry, and all industry participants within Australia would have no doubt that is the truth.

I had 25 years in the industry as a flight instructor. I was a CASA approved Head of Operations (HOO) and CASA approved CEO. I was the owner of a large and successful flight training organization that by CASAs own admission, had delivered industry leading standards of safety and compliance. I could be considered a Subject Matter Expert on the flight training industry.

For clarity, I will provide a background on the flight training sector, drawing on my 25 years of experience within that sector.


Increasingly over the years, many Flight Training Operators usually in a regional area would be unable to continue operations. Invariably this was for one of two reasons.
  1. The operator was unable to attract the suitable legislated Key Personnel to move to that regional area, or
  2. The economies of scale could no longer sustain that regional Flight Training Organisation.


From my own experience the best demonstration of this would be my experience operating a flight training organisation for over a decade.

In 2006 when I commenced operations, it required approximately 4000 hours of delivered flight training per annum, for the business to break even, and for me to draw an Award salary from that business.

By 2016, my business doing exactly the same thing as it had been for the previous decade, needed to deliver 7500 hours of flight training to break even, and to draw an Award salary.

The figures are staggering. I needed to almost double sales to maintain my same position. I acknowledge that there are other cost impacts on a business, but it was predominantly costs related to CASAs burdensome regulatory structure.

Quite simply, no regional flight training organisation could achieve 7500 delivered flight training hours per annum. The increased costs associated with this new regulatory structure saw an overnight increase in salaries of over 30%. There was no doubt that the regional sector of the industry was facing insurmountable challenges.

As those rural schools faced closure they would let their CASA Authorization lapse and approach a larger established flying school and request that they take over operations.

This required a formal CASA approval process on every occasion, and required changes to the CASA approved Exposition/ Operations Manual, and for a fee to be paid to CASA for that approval process, and for CASA to satisfy themselves that operational control could be maintained.

This was commonplace throughout my 25 years in the industry, and formally approved by CASA on each and every occasion. From my personal experience I will draw on some such arrangements that comes to mind.

Ballarat Aero Club had previously had an arrangement with another operator, as had Bendigo Aero Club. Perhaps of most note is that Latrobe Valley Aero Club had an arrangement with another operator which CASA was aware of and approved. The day that they transferred from their existing provider to APTA, it was my business that was deemed unlawful, yet the day prior the operations with another Provider was perfectly acceptable to CASA. I believe that the Point Cook flying club operated under an arrangement with a Moorabbin based operator. In my own case, CASA had approved my AV8 base in Darwin 8 years prior. I have been contacted by an ex CASA FOI from the QLD region, and he is aware of these arrangements being in place throughout that region, and prepared to provide you with a Stat Dec, to that effect, I am also advised that CASA FOI Brad Lacey utilized such arrangements at Coldstream when he was CFI of Lilydale, and may be a good further source of information. The list goes on and on, it really does.

The requirement that all personnel operating under an AOC must also be employed by the same Company that holds the AOC was never a condition placed on any of these Operators. This CASA imposed requirement was unique to my Organisation.

I am confident that provided the right environment can be established there are many CASA employees that would come forward and tell the truth on this matter.

In our meeting however, I specifically nominated FOI Nishizawa. I have nominated FOI XXXXXXX is for the following reasons.

I have trust and confidence in this particular FOI. Whilst I have never had any engagement with him outside of the work environment, I have operated under him, in his role as the Chief Flying Instructor/Head of Operations prior to his employment with CASA. Whilst we might not gravitate towards each other at a BBQ, I have the utmost respect for his consistency, integrity and importantly "professionalism', and I draw on my personal experience with him, when I make those statements.

This FOI was also the FOI that was allocated to my business by CASA for almost a decade as the "flight school subject matter expert" on flight training within my allocated CASA team referred to as a "Certificate Management Team' (CMT2). He had constant communication with our Organization on at least a weekly base throughout the decade. Of all current CASA employees, this employee would hold the most knowledge of this matter, and have access to the truth.

This FOI, was instrumental in the design and revalidation of APTA to the new regulatory structure. This approval occurred in April of 2017, and was the culmination of a three year project redesigning APTA to continue doing exactly what it had been doing for the previous decade, but in the new regulatory structure of Part 141 and 142. I have attached the checklist that was used by CASA personnel including this particular FOI, to approve APTA to that new regulatory structure. The business had adopted that same structure for the previous decade, but now I had invested several hundred thousand dollars in facilities, personnel, and systems to meet the new requirements. As stated, I was fully revalidated to the new regulatory structure in April of 2017. The new regulatory structure was introduced in September 2018. The very next month in October 2018, I was advised by CASA that I was unauthorized and subject to prosecution by CASA, and I was given 7 days certainty of operations.

This FOI was integral in the design of induction checklist that we used to bring new members on board., and the associated Temporary locations procedure which was in fact his recommendation, and for comment on this, if I could refer you to Page 3, post #46 where that post attends to it in more detail to our Temporary Locations procedure. It was in fact this CASA FOI who suggested that we adopt the procedure, and assisted us with the design of it.
Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA


Perhaps more value could be obtained in finding out what the differences were. If you are able to ascertain that in fact the identical or at least very similar structure was always accepted and approved by CASA, it would assist me if it could be identified what was it that was different about my structure, and what specifically was the deficiency, if any.

May I close by thanking you again for the opportunity to meet with you. I appreciate that i have not attended to a number of other matters in this correspondence but will provide due attention to responding as soon as is practical.


I look forward to an update as to whether CASA maintains that the structure was either never approved by CASA or in fact was always and regularly approved by CASA, and hopefully for CASA to clearly identify what the shortcomings were. Something i have not been able to have answered for five years.

I respect the challenging situation that this matter places you in, i really am. My hope is that good intent and integrity will prevail, as I believe it it will.

Respectfully

Glen Buckley
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Old 10th Oct 2023, 23:46
  #2887 (permalink)  
 
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I anticipate that CASA’s ‘C-Suite’ position on the lawfulness of the APTA structure will in effect be: Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because other personnel arrangements similar to those of APTA were approved, doesn't may the approvals right. I say ‘C-Suite’ because this mess was caused by differences of opinion between C-Suite and other CASA staff.

My prediction is that the C-Suite will eventually have to concede that similar personnel arrangements were approved for other flying training organisations but were also, in the C-Suite’s opinion, unlawful. That’s why those arrangements are being undone, very, very quietly.

I’ll give Ms Spence and Mr Binskin the benefit of the doubt for the time being and assume they have been advised that no other similar arrangements were ever approved, but in that case they’ve been deliberately misled. Or maybe it will be on the basis of weasel words: “Well boss, I am not aware of any evidence of any other approvals”, leaving out: “By the way, I have not tried to find any evidence.”

Of course, the C-Suite’s position on the implications of the definition of ‘personnel’ in Parts 141 and 142 and CASA’s requirements as to the level of evidence demanded to demonstrate ‘operational control’ have never been tested. However, the risks and potential costs of getting an authoritative interpretation exclude that as a practical option for most if not all ‘little’ industry players.

Let’s assume the C-Suite’s position is the correct one. It follows that the requirements eventually imposed on APTA were not unlawful. But it also follows that APTA was led up the garden path into unlawfulness by CASA staff – those friendly FOIs – who encouraged APTA to believe its original structure was lawful. CASA approved it all.

That’s why the C-Suite eventually went to all the trouble it did to try to get APTA to fit into the rules as the C-Suite interpreted them: they knew – and they still know – that CASA stuffed up by leading APTA up the garden path, even if the personnel arrangements in the APTA structure were unique.

Sadly – as we know – Glen was broken at least financially by the process. And CASA is never going voluntarily to admit any liability for its stuff up in leading APTA up the garden path by approving a structure which CASA subsequently decided was unlawful. CASA will continue to admit that the ‘manner’ in which the mess was made and the attempts to tidy it up were implemented was unfortunate or whatever other euphemisms they choose, but that’s not an admission of liability for the mess.
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Old 14th Oct 2023, 23:11
  #2888 (permalink)  
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Action item 2 from CASA correspondence post #2873

15/10/23

Link to the APTA APTA Agreement.docx

To the CASA Board and CASA CEO

In this correspondence I would appreciate the opportunity to specifically address Action Item 2 that arose from our meeting, where it was stated.

I said I would follow up with CASA’s Freedom of Information team on the status of your request for APTA’s June 2019 contract with Latrobe Valley.’

The Latrobe Valley contract is essential to this entire matter. In fact, I believe it to be one of the most significant matters that has been completely overlooked by the Ombudsman investigation, and one of many systemic failures of the Ombudsman investigation.

I am not necessarily suggesting any bad intent within the Ombudsman’s office, but a lack of technical knowledge combined with disinformation emanating from senior levels within CASA has been responsible for what can only be described as gross technical misunderstandings, which I will attend to directly with the Ombudsman later.

Having read the Robodebt investigation, and the role of the Ombudsman Office it highlighted some failures of that Office, and from my own personal experience I have experienced those same failures of that Office in regard to this investigation.

I am of the understanding that despite the significance of this to the entire matter, the Ombudsman never required any contracts to be supplied during the investigation and relied on the ‘advice” of CASA only. A staggeringly low threshold of evidence to rely on ‘advice” from CASA, which provides opportunity for false and misleading advice, in fact it almost facilitates it. Matters addressed in the Robodebt inquiry.

The final contract that I was unable to achieve for 8 months but was achieved by someone else in a matter of hours is integral to this matter, because it speaks directly to “intent”.

Had I have been able to replicate that same document at any time within the 8 months of my best endeavours, and with all my industry experience and resources available to me, I would have had the trading restrictions lifted, and been able to return to business as usual.

Returning to business as usual became more challenging as this matter dragged on as my reputation, technical ability and credibility was understandably increasingly questioned by industry and those around me, including my family.

Why was Glen so totally unable to resolve this matter of wording in a commercial contract? was the reasonable question being asked by those around me.

The “contracts” issue was a central theme of this entire matter.

I appreciate that in your respective positions that up until now, it is reasonable to assume that you may not be across all the “specifics” of my matter.

I feel it essential to address the “contracts Issue” and specifically the importance of the “Latrobe Valley” contract to clarify this matter so that there can be no misunderstanding.

I believe I clarified it in our meeting, but to be honest I don’t recall if I made my point clearly enough, so please allow me the opportunity to clarify the significance of the “Latrobe Valley Contract” that I am seeking under Freedom of Information.

In regard to that request, I am not seeking the commercial contract in its entirety, in fact my preference is that the document is heavily “redacted” by CASA before it is provided to me.

The financial components or anything that is not related to matters of operational control is not being sought by me, and of absolutely no interest or relevance whatsoever.

My hope is that the document will be so heavily redacted that ONLY matters of Operational control are released to me, because they are the only pertinent matters in this case.

It will identify what it is that I could not achieve.

It is important to identify the significance of two traditionally unrelated documents. That being the CASA approved Exposition and a Commercial Contract

Previously, in the industry, matters of operational control were contained within the CASA approved “Exposition”, as legislation specifies. This is effectively the “contract” between CASA and the Operator.

“Commercial contracts” being the financial details between Operators and their customers are not contracts that CASA has traditionally had any involvement in, and CASA do not retain those contracts. Matters of operational control would never be exclusively contained within a commercial contract. I do not need to verify this because I know it to be true, although if CASA has evidence to refute that claim, then please provide me with that evidence.

For clarity. No Flight Training Operator has ever been required to specify matters of operational control exclusively within commercial contracts, and CASA will have no such documents on file to refute that claim. These matters are detailed in the Exposition.

This entire requirement was unique to me and my organisation only, and was highly unusual.

To recap

On 23rd October 2018 notified me that I was operating unlawfully, had as little as 7 days to continue operations, and I was likely subject to prosecution by CASA.

There had been no change to the way I operated over the last decade. All my Exposition manuals and procedures were fully approved by CASA. There had been no legislative change, and no deficiencies identified by CASA against any quality outcomes.

The business up until now was doing exactly what it had been doing throughout the last decade with full CASA approval.

If CASA is to be believed, despite a decade of operations, a three-year revalidation process, constant meetings with CASA, audits etc, it was only over a decade later in October 2018 that CASA “first became aware” that I was utilising personnel that were not always my direct employees, and advised me that I was operating unlawfully, and placed crippling trading restrictions on the business that caused commercial harm, but had absolutely no “safety” case to support that action, and did nothing to maintain or improve the safety of aviation. In fact it could reasonably be argued that when CASA places trading restrictions on a business the impact on that business it is more likely to have a negative safety impact, and particularly when those restrictions have remained in place for 8 months.

The root cause of the alleged regulatory breaches was that I utilised personnel under my AOC that were not always employees of the same Company that held the CASA Authorisation, being the AOC.

CASA presented me with three options.

Option One- Cease operations in 7 days.

Option Two: Completely change the business model of the last decade so that all personnel that operated under my AOC also became direct employees of the same Company that held the AOC. They could no longer be employed by another Entity, contractors etc. If I did that all trading restrictions would be lifted.

The third and only other option available to me was that I satisfied a single CASA employees’ opinion up in Canberra, as to additional wording in our commercial contracts regarding matters of operational control. No changes were required of our Exposition,

I could continue to operate, for the 7 days, I just couldn’t accept any new customers, and I had a “freeze placed on all CASA administrative tasks such as the addition of new simulators, Key Personnel, additional courses etc. The restrictions were placed on the business in its entirety including bases that CASA had previously approved throughout that decade.

It was explained to me that those trading restrictions would be lifted, and I would be permitted to return to Business as Usual if I could place additional wording into the “commercial contracts”, and specifically NOT into the Exposition. A most bizarre requirement but one that I was fully willing to comply with, and why wouldn’t I?

I had crippling trading restrictions that were costing me well in excess of $10,00 every week, and causing irreparable reputational harm, and unimaginable levels of stress, as I had to watch my business that I had built decade building be systematically destroyed as this matter remained completely unresolved for eight months.

There is no reason that this matter could not have been fully resolved within 4 hours. The fact that it wasn’t indicates that in fact there was no intent from the decision maker within CASA to resolve it.

The matter was not complicated and could have been immediately resolved. The reason I say that is twofold.

1. Everything was already specified over in the CASA approved Exposition, had been for over a decade. We were rigidly adhering to every CASA approved procedure in our Exposition. If CASA was requiring that I specify matters of operational control for persons and responsibilities that were not specified in legislation or by any industry precedent, and those requirements were an industry first that were applicable to my organisation only, then I required clear and concise guidance on those requirements. There was absolutely no resistance from me at all, and the email conversations between myself and CASA certainly indicate that to be the case.

2. The second reason that I believe that it was so easy to resolve is because it was finally resolved, just not by me. Once CASA had made the determination that all personnel had to also be employees, that effectively meant that only one base would be permitted to continue operating, and one of the bases took over control of the Company and AOC, the matter that I had been unable to resolve in 8 months was almost immediately resolved. The new owner of the business with no flying instructing experience at all, and almost no knowledge of the flight training regulations, was able to produce a contract in a matter of hours that fully satisfied CASA. That was the contract between APTA and Latrobe Valley Aero Club, and Latrobe Valley alone was permitted to continue under APTA. All other members including my own flying school of a decade had to leave APTA.

That Latrobe Valley contract is essential to this matter. It was the solution that solved everything.

I have been very clear throughout and continue to be fully satisfied that the ONLY reason that I could not fully resolve this matter with my 25 years industry experience was because someone had decided within CASA that it would not be resolved.

Acknowledging the different positions.

· CASA maintain that they did not and had not ever approved the identical structure to mine.

· I maintained that CASA had always and on multiple occasions permitted the identical structure to mine throughout my 25 years involvement in the industry, and I have provided multiple examples.

Irrespective of whose position is the truthful and accurate one, this Latrobe Valley contract is the first time in the flight training industry that a successful commercial contract has been established that outlines matter of operational control that are not specified in any other document i.e. the Exposition to the satisfaction of CASA that permitted operations to continue at the Latrobe Valley base only.

You will appreciate the significance of this contract. Once I obtain a copy of that redacted contract, I will be able to clearly identify specifically what it was that I could not achieve.

It was my failure to achiever that wording, that caused so much harm and trauma.

In closing I feel I need to address some pertinent points.

CASA held a copy of the contracts prior to sending me the notification in October 2018, and the truth is that they had been provided to CASA as a courtesy on multiple occasions as early as 2016.

Once CASA issued me the notification in October 2018, I immediately advised CASA that CASA already had the contracts, and CASA initially denied this, until I provided irrefutable evidence that the contracts had been supplied on multiple occasions as far back as 2016, and CASA was forced to change its position. These contracts had been provided to the most senior executives within CASA and a copy of that document is attached. I would encourage you to review it.

Understand that I had built a structure that was designed to have 10 members in order to meet all operating costs. Less than 10 members and I had to meet the shortfall. These trading restrictions remained in place for 8 months because a single CASA employee could not be satisfied. They caused irreparable commercial and reputational harm.

To finalise.

On receipt of that Latrobe Valley contract, I will be able to fully satisfy myself as to the intent of the sole CASA employee that was the decision maker on behalf of CASA that caused so much harm to me and my family, and the business, customers, students, and suppliers.

If the final document that was accepted by CASA is highly detailed and technical document, outlining matters of operational control that are not replicated within the Exposition then I will understand what my deficiencies were, and what it is that my Management team and I were unable to achieve in 8 months.

If however the document produced by CASA is a basic and very simple document, as I suspect, I would seriously have to question why I could not achieve that, and why were far more onerous requirements placed on me., and pursue my allegation that CASA was acting to bring harm to me personally, as I am fully satisfied is the case.

You will appreciate my interest in obtaining that document, and I will appreciate you facilitating the provision of that document as that was ‘The Solution” that I could not achieve.

At this stage I want to reiterate that I am firmly of the opinion that you are both acting with good intent. This correspondence is not intended to be disrespectful or to change the tone of our communications to date. It is an attempt by me to bring clarity and integrity to this matter, in as short a timeline as possible.

I will attend to the further action items as soon as practical.

Yours respectfully, and with appreciation.

Glen Buckley
P.S I should note that the provision of those documents may be as result of an error on my behalf. I am in no way suggesting CASA is frustrating processes.
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Old 17th Oct 2023, 12:40
  #2889 (permalink)  
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Reply to CASA re Post #2873, items 3 and 4

17/10/23

To the CASA CEO and Board,


Please accept my third piece of correspondence arising from the action items of our meeting. I will attend to items 3 and 4 being;
  • Item 3; Both Mark and I stressed that if you have any direct evidence that specifically contradicts the Ombudsman’s findings, then this should be provided to it. I offered to contact the Ombudsman to request it review any such material. and,
  • Item 4. Mark agreed CASA would explore whether APTA’s exposition alone sufficiently set out the type of arrangements that would have allowed it to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

Regarding this correspondence on Item 3, I will be brief, other than to say there has been substantial disinformation that has emanated from CASA, and at the most senior levels within CASA and specifically at the Executive Management level, being levels that are directly below, but report directly to the CEO. On these matters I need to correspond initially with the Ombudsman's Office, and request that they clarify some matters that I do not understand. Once the Ombudsman has explained those matters that I do not understand then I will be able to proceed. That may require FOI requests etc., and will most likely be a protracted process, perhaps extending over many months.

In this correspondence, may I respectfully request that you do establish contact with the Ombudsman to advise that I do intend to provide evidence that contradicts the Ombudsman findings. This will be by way of statements and ex CASA employees who have offered to come forward and tell the truth on this matter. I completely understand that the Ombudsman's Office has advised me that they do not believe that they have been misled. My experience with the Ombudsman's Office replicates the deficiencies highlighted in the Robodebt inquiry of the Ombudsman Office., and relate very much to the inability to determine when that office is being mislead, lack of supporting evidence requirements in support of Agency claims, a reliance on advice from Agencies, assumption that Agency representatives are acting in good faith, etc etc.

I obviously do not expect CASA to present my opinions but I do feel that CASA should now re-establish contact with the Ombudsman's Office to let them know that the Board and CEO have been advised by me that I intend to pursue the matter, and that Mr. Buckley is firmly of the opinion that the Ombudsman Office has been deliberately mislead by CASA which has lead to gross technical errors, and that can easily be demonstrated.

By that process of CASA establishing contact with the Ombudsman, it effectively reaffirms that CASA is maintaining its position, so I would ask that you do establish contact with the Ombudsman, if the contents of our meeting have not changed CASAs position especially regard to how common my structure was, and always had been, and importantly, approved by CASA.

Your gesture is not "lost on me", and I appreciate it. The Ombudsman is obviously resistant to consider that their Office has been misled. An approach by you, from your office would carry significant "weight" and I thank you for that gesture.

Regarding action item 4.

"CASA would explore whether APTA’s exposition alone sufficiently set out the type of arrangements that would have allowed it to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

I understand that CASA has presented to the Ombudsman Office that there was not an awareness of my structure within CASA and that CASA had never permitted the structure throughout the industry.

You are fully aware that I maintain that CASA had always formally approved, and in fact supported that identical structure, not only with my Organization but countless other flight training organizations around Australia and continues to do so.

For this argument let me give "CASA" the benefit of the doubt and assume that CASA was not aware of the structure.

There can be no doubt that I knew of the structure. I was the individual investing everything I had into this venture, and it was the very purpose of the Business. I was very clear on the structure in my mind and was since I commenced operations in 2006.

My management team of Key Personnel must have been fully aware of the structure, as they were the personnel with legislated responsibility and accountability for the operation in its entirety, and they were overseeing it on a daily basis and had done so for the decade that we operated with this structure. They were interviewed, tested and approved for each of their respective roles by CASA against the very structure that they were operating under.

In turn it follows that all Personnel would have been fully aware of the structure, in fact it would be impossible to operate if they were not, As all Personnel were inducted into the one system, they would have been aware.

In turn it follows that all of the students and customers knew because they had also been inducted into the structure that I had utilized for the decade prior.

It is likely that the CASA team being CMT 2 that had provided oversight of my organization for a decade, including hundreds of face to face meetings at our premises and in CASAs, audits, manual amendments, attending our group safety meetings and group management meetings was fully aware of the structure. If not that would be somewhat remiss of those personnel, after all that is their very job. It must be noted that I believe they were fully aware, practically they had to be, and I'm sure if you ask them they would be truthful with you. Consider also that it was CMT 2 that worked with me over several years, assessing every single page of many thousands of pages that formed our CASA approved Exposition.

I had a reasonable expectation that my CMT had communicated the structure through to the relevant departments within CASA on multiple occasions. I had completely done my job and followed all CASA procedures. There was nothing else that I could possibly have done throughout the decade to make CASA become more fully aware.

During 2015,2016, and 2017 I invested hundreds of thousands of dollars revalidating my existing structure to the new Part 141 and 142 legislation. This three year project involved me working side by side with 10 CASA personnel as I attended to over 600 CASA stipulated requirements. CASA then conducted an internal peer review and fully revalidated to the new legislation in April of 2017.

The very purpose of that process during that 3 year revalidation was to assess me against all legislated requirements as CASA did.

The media were writing about it etc. The point being that it was "widely known" the structure that I utilised.

As I stated at the meeting it's like bumping into Ronald McDonald at a Party and acting surprised when he tells you he makes Hamburgers.

Nevertheless, let's still assume CASA was not aware of the structure. It's almost irrelevant because everyone else knew what was going on, including the CASA personnel that I was dealing with on a daily basis. While obviously it's not my responsibility to personally notify every CASA employee, I have a reasonable assumption that during the decade, CASA has its own internal procedures to achieve these tasks.

The point of this is that there were never any deficiencies of any sort ever identified to me. This was purely a matter of wording in the contract. The cost to me to implement any change was zero dollars. There was no requirement to change anything at all about how we operated, and that is why it is so inexplicable that the entire matter could not be resolved by me, in a matter of hours. I simply needed to pursue one of the options put forward to me by CASA, and that was that if I made everyone my direct employee, the matter would be fully resolved.

There were no deficiencies against any quality outcomes at all, and all legislation was attended to..

Your offer to explore if , "APTA’s exposition alone sufficiently set out the type of arrangements that would have allowed it to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements, " is very significant because APTA did attend to all regulatory requirements, every single one of them.

I know that because under Freedom of Information I obtained the checklist that CASA personnel used to assess me against those very criteria leading to revalidation for the new legislation. Behind that 15 page assessment checklist leading to my revalidation in April of 2017, being 18 months before "CASA first became fully aware" was a very major project, and those pages alone do not give the project the recognition as to its true scope. It was an enormous project and everything was attended to.

That checklist that I obtained under FOI, contains the CASA requirements of me. In your short investigation, it would be of enormous benefit if somebody could identify against that checklist which procedure was found to be deficient if any. I suggest that a checklist would be an ideal starting point., to assess all criteria.

Please note that we also had a single team of Key Personnel and their legislated responsibilities can be found in the CASRs. I draw your attention to all specified responsibilities of the Key Personnel, and recall that there was only ever one AOC, and one set of Key personnel, and one set of APTA procedures. The responsibilities and accountabilities of the Key personnel who were required to undergo a CASA assessment, based on the very structure that we operated under.

CASR 142.180 CEO responsibilities and accountabilities\
CASR 142. 190 CEO responsibilities
CASR 142.200 Safety Manager Responsibilities.

The Ombudsman report constantly refers to the Other entities authorisations, when in fact none of the entities held any CASA Authorisations. A gross misunderstanding within the Ombudsman's office. CASA would be fully aware that there were no other CASA approved authorizations held by any of the other Entities, yet chooses not to correct this gross misunderstanding. There was only one set of Approvals as CASA would be fully aware, after all it is CASA that issues them.

You will notice that at no stage has CASA ever identified any deficiencies. If any deficiencies had been identified surely CASA would have been calling for changes to my Exposition, as they should have.


The final determination by CASA was that we could not continue delivering Part 142 Operations, which removed access to over 90% of the businesses revenue, and that all personnel operating under the AOC were to become Employees.

In closing, I thank you for investigating whether or not APTA’s exposition alone sufficiently set out the type of arrangements that would have allowed it to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

Until this point in time, CASA has never identified to me any deficiencies, any regulations that were not attended to in our Exposition. This was not a quality control issue. It was a requirement that all personnel operating under the AOC, because that was supposedly a requirement in order to be able to maintain Operational Control.

I might use this opportunity to address a significant matter that, incredulously, the Ombudsman didn't even attend to, and that was the requirements that CASA follow its own procedures when it cancels, varies or suspends an AOC as specified in CASAs own manuals, and had CASA adhered to those procedures, this matter would not have become so confusing. Not only would it have afforded me procedural fairness, and potentially made the entire process lawful, it would have given me a document that clearly identifies what it is that I did wrong.

My best understanding is that CASA never identified any deficiencies at all aganist any legislation, this has been an "assumption" on behalf of the Ombudsman that has been "created" in the office of the Ombudsman. I effectively feel that you are going on a "goose chase", because there are no deficiencies. Irrespective of that, a response to your short investigation may highlight a deficiency that I had not previously been advised of.

I am fully aware that CASA has created an impression of a deficiency against the legislation although none has ever been identified to me. If there are any deficiencies I would be very appreciative of CASA highlighting those deficiencies, as it is something that i have been consistently calling upon CASA to provide for 5 years.

To clarify, I do not believe that there were ever any deficiencies identified and if they were those deficiencies were never identified to me.

Thankyou for your efforts, respectfully

Glen Buckley
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Old 19th Oct 2023, 20:34
  #2890 (permalink)  
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Follow up on allegation of assault

20/10/23

Good morning Mr Hanton, (CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner


I understand that you are in no way involved with the investigation into my allegation that a number of CASA employees were involved in making, and propagating a false allegation that I had assaulted a CASA employee. An allegation that I claim was completely fabricated for no other purpose than to cause harm to me.


My understanding is that CASA appointed an independent external investigator from the Company CPM reviews, and that that Company had commenced the investigation in late August, which is now approaching two months.

I am keen to obtain an anticipated timeline to completion, and no doubt Mr Edwards has some restrictions on his current flight safety role, pending the outcome of the investigation.

I haven't been contacted by the investigator, so I can only assume that the investigation is ongoing. I am keen to be advised of the findings of that investigation, assuming that I would be privy to the findings.

I understand that you have no involvement in this investigation, but can you advise me, if to the best of your knowledge, that investigation has been finalised.

If CASA has not been advised or is not aware of an anticipated completion date, am I able to approach CPM Reviews directly for an update.

If you are not the person that I should be liaising with, can you direct me to the appropriate person within CASA that would be the primary contact on this matter.

Respectfully, Glen Buckley
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Old 22nd Oct 2023, 18:46
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Response to previous post from CASA ICC re Assault

I received this update on Fridaty re. the totally scurrilous allegation that I had assaulted a CASA Flight Operations Inspector. An investigation was appointed by CASA and in the previous post I sought an update from the investigator. The results will be interesting. Although I made offers to make myself available. I have not been contacted.




Good morning Glen



I understand that the external investigator has indicated to CASA that it is anticipated the review will be completed by the end of this month.



Thanks



Jonathan

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Old 31st Oct 2023, 20:25
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Final correspondence to CASA re. meeting Part 1 of 2


01/11/23

To: CASA Board Chair: Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd)
CASA CEO: Ms. Pip Spence PSM


Please accept this somewhat delayed final piece of correspondence related to our meeting on October 3rd at Aviation house in Canberra. I apologize for the significant delay in finalizing my response and acknowledge that I am responding after our pre agreed extended date. As you will appreciate, I have been dealing with this for five years, and on occasion I have periods where I am totally unable to attend to it, for reasons of my own health.

With regard to any responses from CASA, I appreciate that my delayed correspondence will in turn, impact on your response times.

Before I proceed I feel that I should draw attention to a comment from your recent correspondence, and something that the Ombudsman Office frequently refers to. I am compelled to address it again to ensure that there is no confusion, and I intend to ask the Ombudsman Office to clarify this matter to ensure there is no misunderstanding. I do appreciate that it may be just a choice of wording, however I feel that it is significant, and these anomalies need to be "checked" and addressed on every occasion that I am confronted with them.

You referred to the Ombudsman's findings regarding the "regulatory change". This is factually not correct, and I feel it is significant. It suggests that my business was impacted by a "regulatory" change, when there was none.

There was absolutely no "regulatory change," and if there was, CASA would be able to clearly identify the "regulation" that "changed", and when it changed.
  • The regulations were not changed.
  • The way I operated remained unchanged.
  • There were never any allegations that I did not maintain full operational control.
  • No deficiencies were ever brought to my attention.
  • CASA never requested that I make any changes to any of my procedures.

This was ONLY a change of interpretation of existing regulations, and that change of "interpretation" applied to my Organisation only.

Thankyou for the opportunity to clarify that. I must insist that if there is a regulatory breach, then CASA should clearly identify that.

With regards to Action Item One


In my first piece of correspondence on 11/10/23 , ( my reference; pprune #2886) I attended to "Action Item One" regarding your commitment to investigate and clarify the, "prevalence of APTA like arrangements throughout the industry".

Throughout the five year Ombudsman investigation, the Ombudsman's office has been unable to ascertain which of these two very different narratives is the truthful one.
  • CASA has until maintained a position that CASA did not, and had not, ever permitted APTA like structures.
  • I have maintained that CASA has always, and continues to, formally approve APTA like structures regularly, and has always done so.

Two significantly diverse representations of the "truth."

My expectation is that at the end of your investigation, which will include communication with at least one current CASA Flight Operations Inspector (FOI), and potentially one ex CASA FOI that I nominated to you at our meeting, you will be able to clearly identify whether,


A. CASA had never permitted APTA like structures, or
B. CASA had always, and continues to, permit APTA like structures.

There can be only one clear and concise, well intentioned, unambiguous response, and in your respective senior positions within CASA, I would expect that information is promptly and accurately available to you.

I thank you for your commitment to arrive at the clear truth, and I look forward to the outcome of that official and final CASA determination to be clearly and concisely provided to me by CASA. My expectation is that I should be provided with the same "narrative" that CASA has provided to the Ombudsman's office, as to the prevalence or not, of APTA like structures.

These structures were, and continue to be commonplace throughout the industry, and on every occasion, only after a formal CASA approval process.
For CASA to purport to the Ombudsman, to the Minister's Office, or to anyone that CASA did not and does not continue to approve other Companies to adopt APTA like structures is quite simply, false and misleading. It really is a "black" and "white" matter.

For your information, and my assumption is that you would have been advised.

A Freedom Of Information request has been made on this matter, and a request for effectively all correspondence between CASA and the Ombudsman's Office has been made. That request has been approved through the office of the Australian Information Commissioner. A one month extension to the provision of that information has been granted, and I am expecting that information no later than 23rd November 2023. I believe that information totaling 145 documents will give me a clear indication of CASAs representation to the Ombudsman on the prevalence of APTA like structures, and as to whether it is an accurate representation or whether it is false and misleading, as I assert. I believe that this request, once fulfilled, will bring significant clarity to this matter, and clearly and specifically identify any further documents that I require, in what I expect would be my final request, if required.

I simply cannot understand how the Ombudsman Office has been totally unable to resolve this very simple issue, as to whether or not CASA always approved APTA like structures. The lack of clarity of information provided to the Ombudsman by CASA can be the only explanation for such a simple fact to remain totally unresolved after 5 years. CASA is the safety regulator for the flight training industry, and would be reasonably expected to have a fairly comprehensive understanding of how Organisations operate, as that is the very purpose of CASA. The difficulty in clarifying this issue over 5 years is simply trying to create the "fog of war."

The fact that the Ombudsman after 5 years has been unable to determine who is being truthful on this matter, leaves me in no doubt that CASA has misled the Ombudsman's Office. If CASA and I were both being truthful, then the narrative would be the same, and the Ombudsman would not still be confused after 5 years. Somebody has misled the Ombudsman's investigation, and the Ombudsman Office has demonstrated little appetite or ability to arrive at the truth. There is no doubt that the Ombudsman has relied heavily on CASA being truthful and acting with good intent. Deficiencies of the Ombudsman Office highlighted in the Robodebt findings and replicated in my matter. Deficiencies that CASA has clearly, to date, taken advantage of.

I advised you that drawing on my 25 years industry experience I personally observed, as did the entire flight training industry, these identical structures being fully approved by CASA on multiple occasions, and significantly, they continue to be approved by CASA, as CASA would be fully aware. I can nominate two operations at Moorabbin Airport that currently adopt this structure, with full CASA approval, and the Southern Region Office of CASA would be able to provide further details. For CASA to continue trying to confuse this matter is truly absurd, and it is unreasonable that I am putting so much effort into trying to prove something to be true, when CASA already knows it to be true, but continues to attempt to confuse the issue.

Several past CASA employees have established contact with me, and offered to tell the truth on this matter. I continue to be reluctant to involve anyone else in this matter unless absolutely essential, however those resources remain available to me, and the same resources are available to you. In the meeting I put forward a name of an ex CASA employee to the Chair, and that individual would welcome contact from the Board Chair. I hope that the Board and CEO will avail themself of that resource, as that will bring truth and clarity to this matter, yet again. That CASA ex employee is known to the Board Chair. That ex CASA Employee was heavily designed in the development and subsequent revalidation of APTA up until its Part 141/142 revalidation in April of 2017. He could be considered a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on this matter.


If at the end of those discussions with both the current CASA FOI and ex CASA FOI, CASA maintains its position that CASA did not, and has not, ever routinely permitted and formally approved APTA like structures, I will have to accept that as CASAs final position on this significant issue.

If CASAs position is that they had permitted "similar" structures, then it should be reasonable that CASA can identify specifically what it was about my Organisation that was "different" to other operators with "similar" structures. A very reasonable question as you will appreciate, as it is the central theme of the entire matter. It is also the question that I have been seeking answers to since October of 2018, when this matter commenced.It is reasonable that CASA specifically identify what the discernible differences are, that permitted other Operators to operate in that structure, and to continue to operate yet CASA used that as the basis to cause so much harm to me and my business.

The expected outcome of Action Item one being that CASA clearly identifies whether CASA had always and routinely approved organizations to operate with this structure, or whether CASA had never approved organizations to operate with this structure?

If CASA is of the position that in fact they had always permitted such structures, then there should be a valid reason that mine was not permitted, and it is entirely reasonable that CASA provide me with a written notification of that "decision": as should have been provided to me, when CASA ``suspend, cancel or vary an AOC." in accordance with their own stipulated procedures.

I look forward to CASA clearly and concisely confirming CASAs position or not as to the prevalence of CASA approved APTA like structures throughout the industry.


In my second piece of correspondence dated 15/10 23 (my reference; pprune #2888) I addressed "Action Item Two, being the matter of the "contract." that I had requested under Freedom of Information. This came from your offer to follow up on my FOI request for the "Latrobe Valley Contract".

Why is the "Latrobe Valley (LTV) contract" so significant in this matter?


The LTV contract was the solution that I could not come up with. Had I been able to replicate that contract, then APTA would still be operating and benefitting the industry, of that I have no doubt, and none of the associated harm would have been caused.

You will recall that after operating the business with that identical structure for a decade I was advised by CASA in October 2018 that I was now operating illegally and I was presented with three options.

A. Cease trading in as little as 7 days OR

B. Transfer all personnel operating under the Authorization (AOC) that were not currently employees of the Company that held that AOC to become employees of the same Company that held the AOC. That is to say that personnel operating under the AOC could not be employed by another entity, contractors etc. They must be "employees" of the Company that holds the AOC. If all personnel were to also become my employees, the problem would be immediately resolved and I could return to business as usual immediately.

As the very purpose of the business was to utilise personnel that were not always employees, this required such a large organizational redesign that it was not practical, and not what the business was designed for. I felt that the direction by CASA was unlawful, and I still maintain that position. I am fully satisfied that no legislation at all, nor any industry precedent supports the contention that all personnel operating under an AOC must also be employees of the same Company that holds the CASA issued AOC. The central theme of the matter in its entirety was not even addressed in the Ombudsman report. A quite significant "oversight". I suggest.



C. If I could not transfer all personnel to become direct employees as in Option B, I would have to place additional wording into our commercial contracts with customers to the satisfaction of a single CASA employee. If I could come up with wording in the commercial contract, the crippling trading restrictions that had been applied would be lifted and allow me to return to "business as usual" as CASA put it.

As I had been operating to industry leading levels of safety and compliance throughout the decade, and was perhaps one of Australia's most experienced operators utilizing this structure, and because I had recently invested several hundred thousand dollars working side by side with CASA to have all systems and procedures designed to do what the business was designed to do, but now for the new regulatory structure, and because for the previous decade CASA had previously approved multiple bases under the structure that I adopted and because I was already doing everything that I needed to, and had been for the previous decade, this should have been a relatively straightforward task. There were never any deficiencies or changes. I just had to describe what it was that I was already doing, option C should have been the obvious and easy answer.

I simply needed to have the "deficiency" in the existing legislation, if any, identified. It was a matter of wording only. Our existing systems and procedures were all determined to be operating well, and in accordance with our Exposition. Absolutely no change to how we operated was ever requested by CASA, it was a simple wording issue in our commercial contracts that CASA traditionally had no involvement with, and refused to be a signatory to. Despite the fact that CASA was effectively "interfering" in a commercial agreement, at no stage did I offer any resistance. The business was being negatively impacted by the trading restrictions that were costing me in excess of $10,000 per week, and this was to continue for eight months. It was critical that I have this matter resolved.


But somehow, after 8 months I was absolutely no closer to having this matter resolved and the crippling trading restrictions lifted, I was forced to hand over the business to another Entity. That new owner of the entity, with effectively a non-existent understanding of the Australian flight training regulations, and without an instructor rating, and therefore no instructional experience was able to fully resolve the matter in hours by way of the" Latrobe Valley Contract". Something I had been completely unable to achieve.

If I am alleging that I was the victim of targeted malice by a CASA employee, and that there was no intent to resolve the contract matter as long as it was me, Glen Buckley trying to resolve, then the obvious question is why was someone else able to resolve it so easily. The answer to that is the Latrobe valley contract.

If CASA is to be believed, and they had never previously permitted APTA like structures, then the Latrobe Valley Contract is the first time in Australia that a Flight School owner has been able to satisfy CASA with a contract that stipulates matter of operational control and safety that are not contained within existing documents such as the Exposition.

That final contract that was deemed satisfactory by CASA is the "Latrobe Valley Contract". You will understand why that contract is so significant. It is the document that was the solution. The solution that I could not come up with after 8 months. It was the solution that I was totally unable to achieve.

To be perfectly frank, once I am in receipt of that contract with all items other than matters of operational control and safety redacted, those matters of safety and operational control that I could not resolve, will be clearly highlighted.

If CASA has been acting with good intent, my expectation is that the contract would be quite comprehensive and somewhat complicated, or at least so comprehensive and complicated that I was totally unable to achieve it.

If on the other hand, as I suspect, that document is "wafer thin" and contains very few words, then one must wonder why Glen Buckley could not achieve it.

This will go to the very centre of the issue, and that being intent. Was CASA acting with good intent or was CASA targeting me personally, as is my belief.

Thankyou for following up my request, and I look forward to obtaining a copy of the suitably redacted contract that CASA deemed acceptable. I am expecting a highly redacted copy, as I am not after any sensitive contents of the contract, as I am only seeking matters of operational control and safety contained somewhat unusually within a commercial contract as CASA required in this instance.

I was surprised that despite the "Contract" being such a central theme in this matter that the Ombudsman took CASA at its "word" on this topic. A deficiency of that Office identified in the Robodebt inquiry, and very much replicated in my matter.

The Ombudsman sought no "evidence" from CASA by way of seeking contract's from CASA, despite CASA advising that they had previously required them., and me refuting that statement.The Ombudsman wrote to me stating that "CASA had advised them" that CASA had previously required contracts of other Operators. A staggering low level threshold of evidence that the Ombudsman was merely "advised" by CASA, and no supporting evidence or fact checking was required by the Ombudsman on such a substantive issue. My experience with the Ombudsman Office throughout the investigation was that they "leaned" very heavily on CASA for "advice", as evidenced by the Ombudsman not even requesting CASA substantiate its claim by providing a copy of a contract.

Thankyou for your assistance in helping me to obtain such a critical document. Hopefully the formalities of a FOI request can be bypassed and it can simply be provided to me.

continued.......




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Old 31st Oct 2023, 20:27
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Part 2

In my third piece of correspondence dated 17/10/23 (my reference pprune #2889) I addressed Action items 3 and 4;

Action Item Three, being your offer to contact the Ombudsman and ask them to review any further information that I provide. I asked you to establish contact and advise them of such.


On this subject, one of the matters that I will be clarifying will be the Authorisations that the Ombudsman believes that the other Entities held.

The Ombudsman makes numerous statements that leave me in no doubt that the Ombudsman believes that there are multiple flying schools involved in this matter, when in fact there is only one flying school, that being APTA. The Ombudsman refers to the other Entities conducting flying training, and the Authorisations that they hold.

It's quite a bizarre position. No other Entities held any Authorisations or Approvals,as CASA is fully aware, and if they did, then they would be a flying school in their own right, and most likely a competitor to APTA, and therefore not part of APTA. It would be somewhat like a Woolworths Store asking Coles to run their store, when they already have their own approvals and business model.

CASA is fully aware that there were no other Authorisations or Part 141/142 Approvals because it is CASA that issues them. If there were any other authorizations or approvals then there would be an associated comprehensive Exposition/Operations Manual, there would be Key personnel, there would be courses and syllabi etc. I will be asking the Ombudsman to state what other Authorisations they identified when making those statements. I had advised the Ombudsmann on numerous occasions that there were no other authorisations or flying schools. This was another topic that could have been fully resolved with a single question but was not even attended to by the Ombudsman. A fairly significant misunderstanding on the part of the Ombudsman, and a misunderstanding that CASA seems reluctant to clarify.


There are other matters that I will attend to with the Ombudsman but the existence, or not of any other Authorisations/ flying schools is a fairly high priority.

Action Item 4 being that the Board Chair would explore whether APTAs Exposition alone sufficiently set out the type of arrangements that would have allowed it to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements. My response remains that EVERY regulatory requirement was met or exceeded. every one of them . For reasons that defy any logical explanation, the misconception is that there was some deficiency, and I believe that "misconception" exists within the Ombudsman's office.

I have previously provided the CASA checklist that I obtained under FOI. This document confirms that during the three year revalidation process, every regulation was considered and attended to, and assessed as satisfactory by CASA.

In order to make that assessment, it would require a review of our suite of manuals that formed the Exposition. This would include the Primary suite of manuals as well as the "differences" manuals for each of the bases, referred to as the Base Procedures Manuals (BPM) which contained only limited information, but contained the different procedures between bases. An example would be different Emergency Response Plans (ERP) for different bases, different local contacts for Drug and Alcohol testing etc.

The Ombudsman had previously made a comment that they had reviewed the Base Procedures Manual and raised concerns that they did not specify matters of operational control. That demonstrated one of many misunderstandings that exist within the Ombudsman investigation. The Base Procedures manuals are Base specific, they do not, should not, and would not contain matters of operational control. That is the very purpose of them, as they deal with base differences only. They do not, and are not intended to contain matters of operational control. Those procedures are contained within the Exposition. Another concerning misunderstanding that exists within the Ombudsman Office

A thorough consideration may also require you to consider the "Flight School Manager (FSM)'' system that we utilised to maintain the high levels of operational control that are required. After reviewing a number of systems available, we selected the FSM because it was Australian made and designed to our regulations. We were also able to have the system tailored to our requirements. This system was an industry leading system, that shared all information across all bases with regards to all legislative, and safety requirements. It is the system used to maintain operational control. I am advised that the Ombudsman did not review this system at all during the investigation. That appears to be a stunning oversight, but further demonstrates the reliance of the Ombudsman on CASA providing truthful information, rather than the Ombudsman having any appetite to independently ascertain or make an independent assessment.

I must add that for the very first time in Australia an Operator made this entire system available to CASA. Unlike every other school that required on site visits by CASA personnel to conduct audits, all information was fully available to CASA to provide additional oversight from the comfort of an office in Canberra if required.
For the first time ever CASA could now check every aspect of a flying school in real time. This included all aircraft tracking, flight and duty times, pilot qualifications and recency, all training records, safety meetings, aircraft maintenance scheduled and unscheduled etc etc.

This was an industry leading" first" providing previously unseen levels of CASA oversight.

My expectation is that at the end of that exploration, if there were any deficiencies against any legislation then CASA would clearly be able to identify the specific deficiency and the legislation. None has ever been brought to my attention to date.


If CASA is unable to specify any breaches or and deficiencies against any legislation, then even if they could provide a "scenario" that demonstrates what any legitimate concerns were. i.e. highlight some deficiency in our comprehensive systems and fully CASA approved systems.

My understanding is that CASA has reversed its position and now concedes that there was in fact no regulatory breach, although I look forward to the further investigation that you will conduct.

If there were any deficiencies against any legislation then they would have been identified to me. Considering that the act of making all personnel also my employees would have instantly resolved the issue, one can only assume that any deficiencies would be related to that matter, although I welcome any other information that CASA can provide me with.

This is after all, literally the very information that I have been imploring CASA tio provide to me for five years. i.e. what is the deficiency?

Recall that CASA was not asking for any changes to the CASA approved Exposition. These were changes to a "commercial contract between APTA and its members. It was not a document to specify matters of operational control, in fact CASA refused to be a signatory to it, despite it being CASA that was requiring the wording change in the commercial contract

Regarding the other outstanding matters, being "Action Items 5 and 6".

You reiterated CASA’s support for any Act of Grace payment application that I pursued, and agreed to ask your Executive Officer to contact me to provide whatever guidance CASA can in navigating the Department of Finance’s process. I am very appreciative of that gesture. Could I respectfully request that he first establish contact with the Department of Finance to assess accessibility to this scheme, as I have been advised by industry peers following this matter, that in fact I may not be eligible for the scheme. Once he has been able to access that information I would be appreciative of him reaching out to me, as that determination may force a change of approach to one of litigation which as you know is my least preferred option, but may become my only option, although that will be determined by CASA.

I also advised you at our meeting that I am fully satisfied that a CASA employee has been responsible for deliberately providing false and misleading information to that inquiry for the purpose of covering up misconduct and affecting the outcome of that inquiry. This would be a central theme in any complaint made to the National Anti Corruption Commission. In order for me to proceed with my complaint, it is reasonable that I am aware of the Employee or at least the Department that has been responsible for providing information, and at what stage of the investigation.

My understanding was that Mr Aleck the CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs was the Agency Representative for CASA in all dealings with the Ombudsman Office, and almost all communication was directed between his Office and the Ombudsman office. Mr Aleck was also the sole decision maker in my matter on behalf of CASA whio determined that my business was now unlawful and unauthorised.

Throughout the five year Ombudsman investigation, I made multiple appeals to CASA. It did not seem fair or reasonable that the person that the complaint is against, is the same person responsible for the provision of information to the Ombudsman investigation. It seenmedv to fly in the face of what any Organisation would deem acceptable practice.

At the conclusion of the Ombudsman investigation I was advised that the CEO had taken over responsibility, and later correspondence from CASA led me to believe that it was the Office of the ICC, and Mr Hanton.

I appreciate that at our meeting you did clarify these timelines, but as I did not take notes, can I respectfully request that you clarify them for me again. If I am notifying CASA that I wish to approach the Anti Corruption Commission on this matter, and specifically the provision of false and misleading information it seems reasonable that the Department or person responsible is clearly identified to me.

On other matters

Regarding the impact of Mr McHeyzers email, this is something that I would like to pursue, in a well intentioned manner with CASA. Are you able to direct me to an initial point of contact in order to commence that process. Ideally but perhaps naively I would like to progress on this matter without a lawyer if practical, but obviously would be somewhat compelled to engage a lawyer if CASA were to do so. From my perspective it should be entirely unnecessary as long as good intent from both parties prevails. I also respect that CASA protocols may require the involvement of lawyers, may I request who the "point of contact" would be within CASA, on this matter.


Thankyou for the offer of reimbursement for costs incurred. I feel somewhat compelled to accept that offer. As you are aware the industry established a GofundMe page, and I utilized those funds for the trip. As I was effectively using someone else's money I would appreciate the opportunity to reimburse those funds, and I will send through to your Personal Assistant the receipts for two airfares and the car rental for the day. Thanks again for the offer.

I acknowledge that at our meeting, we did not attend to the matter of the alleged assault by me on a CASA Employee, although I think it is pertinent to deal with it in this correspondence.

My understanding is that the independent investigation into whether or not I assaulted a CASA employee, as the employee has alleged, will be finalised by now. I do feel the matters are somewhat related, as I feel Iwas the victim of an "engineered" process, by CASA, of which the false allegation of assault, formed a part. Could I be advised of what happens now, regarding that report being finalised, and its conclusions as to whether or not I assaulted a CASA employee.

Thankyou for your consideration of my correspondence. I apologise for my delayed response and acknowledge again that I expect it to impact on your response times. I am prepared to wait as long as is required in order to receive well intentioned, and well considered responses. I apologise if my correspondence comes across as somewhat terse, that is not my intention. I am merely trying to ensure that all parties have clear expectations.

Far too many resources on both sides have been diverted to this matter. When i consider not only the harm caused to me and my family, but the other businesses forced into closure as result, the loss of jobs, the lost opportunities to the industry, the people and entities left unpaid, the International Students that lost funds, the students with their training impacted, and all this because I couldn't come up with wording in a commercial contract to satisfy a sole CASA employee. At any time, he could have instantly resolved it by clearly and concisely advising me of the required wording. It's the complete lack of good intent and integrity that has this matter still unresolved.


In closing let me apologise for the somewhat lengthy nature of this correspondence. Much of my correspondence has an intended recipient, as in this case, but also has a wider audience, and on that subject I specifically mention my local MP, Ms Carina Garland. Despite my local Member advising me that Minister King has directed her not to assist me, Ms Garland remains my local Member of Parliament and I feel it essential that she remains fully aware of this topic, and is able to keep the Minister briefed on this matter, as it is substantive and related to alleged corruption.

I look forward to hearing back from you at the appropriate time.

Respectfully, Glen Buckley













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‘Minister King has directed her (Local Member Garland) not to assist.’
There you go. A classic example of what the power crazies really think of “democracy”
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AROA

Yes AROA, like all politicians, when she was running for the Seat of Chisholm she was keen to help me out.

Then when she gets elected, and only after I make multiple requests for a meeting that she promised go unanswered, she finally grants me a meeting with her, and then on 28th March 2023, I receive this correspondence from her Office. Hi Glen,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

As agreed, we have raised your case directly with Minister King’s office and they have advised that we are unable to assist further with this matter.

I’m sorry I don’t have better news.

Kind regards,

Jarrod Panther

Office of Dr Carina Garland MP

Federal Member for Chisholm

Im convinced that Minister King is as corrupt as they come, and weak local Members have absolutely no ability to truly assist their constituents
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The report regarding the allegation that I had assaulted CASA employees

REPORT TO:

Ms Philippa Crome, Executive Manager Corporate Services Division, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)



CONCERNING:

Complaint by Mr Glenn Buckley



PREPARED BY:

Dom Sheil -Senior Reviewer, CPM Reviews Pty Ltd



Quality Assurance by

Trevor Van Dam-Executive Director and Principal Reviewer CPM Reviews Pty Ltd



Submitted 6 November 2023







1. TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ............................................................ ............................................................ ... 3

Documents Considered in this Investigation ............................................................ ...............3



2. Recommendations............................................. ............................................................ ...... 4

The Investigation Process..................................................... .....................................................4

The Standard of Proof....................................................... ........................................................4

Procedural Fairness and Natural Justice..................................................... ...............................5



3. The Complaint and Allegations................................................. ............................................. 5

The Meeting of 6 February 2020 ............................................................ ...................................5

Allegation of Physical Contact..................................................... ................................................6

The Two Records of the Meeting ............................................................ ....................................7

Are the Two Records of the Meeting Contradictory? ............................................................ ......9

The Matters Advanced by the Complainant in Support of His Complaint ....................................10



4. Conclusion.................................................. ............................................................ ....................11

List of Attachments to this Report ............................................................ .....................................11





INTRODUCTION



1. CPM Reviews was engaged by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on 1 September 2023 to

investigate a complaint by Mr Glen Buckley (the Complainant).



2. The Scope of the investigation is as follows:

“CASA requires the undertaking of an external enquiry relating to allegations of a complaint from a member of the public regarding two written accounts of an interaction with the individual and two CASA officers in the foyer of the Authority's Melbourne office and to establish whether on the balance of probabilities the account provided was false and misleading as the member of the public has alleged.”

3. In simple terms, the issue under investigation is whether a CASA officer falsely claimed the Complainant made physical contact with him in an impromptu meeting on 6 February 2020.

4. The two written accounts referred to above are those of Messrs Owen Richards and David Edwards, who are both currently employed by CASA. The accounts in question are their individual file records of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020. These records are in the form of separate individual emails.

5. Specifically, the allegation is that the record by Mr Edwards is the one that is “false and misleading”, to the extent that it states that the Complainant made physical contact with him. The Complainant states that his record is ‘contradicted’ by Mr Richards’ record. He states that Mr Richards ‘account represents an accurate record of their meeting in terms of whether he made physical contact with Mr Edwards. His position is that he made no physical contact and that this is confirmed by Mr Richards. The consequence of this, in his view, is that Mr Edwards’ account is in the Complainant’s words, “false and misleading.” Relevantly, he claims that the misrepresentation by Mr Edwards was actuated by malice “to cause [him] reputational harm”.

6. The Complainant made a request under the Freedom of Information Act to CASA for documents relating to the meeting on 6 February 2020. As noted above, he considers that the written account by Mr Richards supports his assertion that Mr Edward's account is false and misleading. The purpose of this investigation is to inquire into and advise whether there are any inconsistencies between those two written accounts.

Documents Considered in this Investigation.

7. For the purposes of this investigation the following documents were considered:

• copies of a number of written complaints by the Complainant relevant to this investigation, which have been consolidated into a single document and referred to in this report as “the Complaint” (Attachment A);

• Mr Richards’ record of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020 (Attachment B);

• Email Questions and Answers with Mr Richards, 9 October 2023 (Attachment C);

• Mr Edwards’ record of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020 (Attachment D);

and

• Email Questions and Answers with Mr Edwards, 6 October 2023 (Attachment E).



2. RECOMMENDATIONS

8. I recommend that based on the material considered in this investigation, you could conclude that the evidence supports a finding that, on the balance of probabilities:

• the written accounts of Messrs Edwards and Richards are consistent with each other and are not contradictory; and

• Mr Edwards’ meeting record was not false or misleading.



The Investigation Process

9. As investigator, I am required to consider what evidence and other information is relevant to the making of findings of fact and the formulation of recommendations. Evidence relevant to this investigation is material, which if it were accepted, could rationally affect the assessment of the probability of the existence of a fact in issue.

10. The investigation proceeded on the basis of the written complaint(s) only. The investigator consulted CASA as to whether fresh contact with the Complainant should be made. CASA queried whether contact was necessary, given the Complainant’s view of the issues under consideration (the inconsistency of the two records) were clearly expressed by him. In light of this, the investigation did not engage with the Complainant.

11. The questioning of the two CASA employees was by email. Formal (oral) interviews were not conducted. In the circumstances, given the nature and scope of the allegations, and the evidence under review, this was considered to be the most efficient way to proceed.

The Standard of Proof

12. The standard of proof applicable to findings in these matters, including the findings of fact that might support a determination, is the civil standard. That is, findings are based on the conclusion that itis more likely than not that the person suspected of a behaviour or action has done what they were alleged to have done. This is referred to as ‘the balance of probabilities.

13. Before reaching a finding, the decision-maker needs to have regard to the seriousness of what is alleged and the consequences which might flow to the person suspected of misconduct if the allegations are proven. The level of satisfaction required on the civil standard of proof increases in accordance with the seriousness of the matter under consideration. In Briginshaw v Briginshaw (1938) 60 CLR 336 the High Court of Australia indicated the need to act with proper care before finding that a serious allegation is

13. Before reaching a finding, the decision-maker needs to have regard to the seriousness of what is alleged and the consequences which might flow to the person suspected of misconduct if the allegations are proven. The level of satisfaction required on the civil standard of proof increases in accordance with the seriousness of the matter under consideration. In Briginshaw v Briginshaw (1938) 60 CLR 336 the High Court of Australia indicated the need to act with proper care before finding that a serious allegation is established.

14. It should be noted, however, that the ‘Briginshaw principle’, as it has become known, does not alter the civil standard of proof, which remains the balance of probabilities. It is the degree of satisfaction that is required in determining whether the standard has been met from cased to case in terms of the seriousness of the allegations. In other words, it is precedent for the idea that the strength of evidence necessary to establish facts on the balance of probabilities may depend on the nature of what is sought to be established.

Procedural Fairness and Natural Justice

15. This investigation was conducted with as little formality as possible and in accordance with the requirements of procedural fairness and natural justice.

16. I declare that as investigator I have had no prior dealings with the Complainant, or the two CASA employees named in the Complaint.

3. THE COMPLAINT AND ALLEGATIONS

The Meeting of 6 February 2020

17. The documents provided for the purpose of this investigation indicate that the Complainant has a long-standing grievance with CASA. The precise content and nature of that grievance is outside the scope of this investigation. Nothing in this report should be read as expressing a view either way on the merits of those grievances.

18. It is apparent that in the furtherance of those grievances, the Complainant attended the CASA offices at 720 Bourke St Melbourne, at approximately 11:30 am on 6 February 2020. There are a number of different entrances to the Bourke St building. There is an entrance at street level in Bourke St itself. There are also entrances from the concourse area at the rear of the building at the southern end of the Bourke St footbridge.

19. The entry point for the levels of the building that CASA tenants is on level 2. Access to those floors is by elevator which is in turn restricted by security gates that require a “swipe” card for entry.

20. There is a reception area on level 2 which has a front desk located adjacent to the security gates. The records available indicate that the Complainant went to the reception desk and asked to speak with a particular CASA officer. It appears that he had not pre-arranged a meeting with that, or any other CASA employee. In response, the receptionist telephoned another CASA employee, discussions ensued between a number of other CASA employees, and it was resolved that Messrs Edwards and Richards would meet with the Complainant in the reception area with a view to assisting him with his enquiries.

21. According to the CASA meeting records, when Messrs Edwards and Richards met the Complainant, he began to ventilate his grievances about CASA to them. These grievances related to his aviation business. His allegations concerned the alleged actions of CASA in the performance of its regulatory role and how the impact of those actions had allegedly, negatively, impacted him and his family. There is nothing in any of the records considered in the course of this investigation that suggest that the Complainant had individual grievances with either Mr Edwards or Mr Richards.



22. The reports of the two officers suggest that the Complainant was in a deeply distressed emotional state. According to the records, he became angry and aggressive. The discussion with him is reported to have deteriorated to the point where the Complainant physically struck a nearby hand railing with his fist.

23. What relevantly occurred next, is in dispute. It is recorded by both CASA officers that the Complainant made physical contact with one of them (Mr Edwards). The fact and nature of this contact is the focus of this investigation and the discussion that follows.

Allegation of Physical Contact

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Part 2

24. The Complainant alleges that Mr Edwards made a false allegation that he “assaulted” him.

25. He describes it in this way in an email complaint of 21 August 2023 to Mr Jonathan Hampton, the Industry Complaints Commissioner:

Dear Mr Hanton,

I am writing to follow up on the complaint that I made to the Office of the Industry Complaints Commissioner (ICC) regarding the completely false allegation made by Mr David Edwards a CASA Flight Operations Inspector (FOI) based in the Melbourne Office that I had assaulted him in the foyer of the CASA Building on 6 February 2020.

As you are aware, the witness statements by the other CASA Officer in attendance, indicate that in fact Mr David Edwards was not assaulted by me, and that clearly supports my version of events, being the truthful one, and Mr Edwards claims, being malicious, false and misleading, a pattern that I have come to expect in my dealings with CASA.

I have requested that CASA confirm that they are aware that I did not assault any CASA Employees ever, and I have made the very reasonable request that the false statement be corrected by CASA on multiple occasions.

26. In simple terms the statement that he claims is false is that he (Mr Buckley) approached me [Edwards], and shoved me [Edwards] in the chest”.1

27. He submits the following matters in support of his complaint2:

“FOI3 One's observations are different from FOI4 Two's observations, with FOI 2 claiming that I advanced toward him and shoved him, although FOI 1s statement contradicts that. No statement was ever made regarding stalking or assault to Police that attended in response to a complaint of possible “trespassing” by me being in the foyer of the CASA building. That was the complaint made to the police, no allegations of stalking or assault were ever made.



· The alleged incident happened directly under a security camera, and my understanding is that CASA accessed that footage, and no evidence of physical assault was on that recording.



· CASA FOI Two was encouraged to document the assault with police by his Employer, and he did not follow that guidance. I believe he may have chosen not to pursue that path as he was aware that he had made a false and misleading statement and was not prepared to proceed for his own reasons.”

28. The following discussion examines these allegations in more detail, prefaced by a discussion of the central disputed question of fact ie whether there is a material discrepancy between the meeting accounts of the two officers.

The Two Records of the Meeting

29. Messrs Edwards and Richards separately completed and submitted a record of the meeting with the Complainant. The Complainant has not provided his own record of the meeting. It is not clear whether he contests other aspects of the meeting records of either of the two CASA officers. For the purposes of this investigation, the only aspects of the two written records that are under scrutiny are those that relate to the alleged physical contact by the Complainant on Mr Edwards.

Mr Richards’ Meeting Record

30. Mr Richards’ record is a brief but concise 639 words. Its brevity appears to reflect the brevity of the meeting itself, which was about 15-20 minutes.

31. The record took the form of an email which was submitted at 4.42pm on the same day of the meeting, that is, approx. 4 ˝ hours after the events recorded (refer Attachment B). The timing of its submission indicates it is a contemporaneous record of the events it describes.

32. From the outset it must be noted that the Complaint proceeds on the footing that the written accounts of the two CASA officers are inconsistent and contradictory in terms of whether alleged physical contact with Mr Edwards occurred. In particular, the Complainant alleges that the account by Mr Richards states that he did not make any physical contact with Mr Edwards.

33. The record itself does not support this. It is simply not an accurate reflection of the plain wording of the entirety of the record. A plain reading of Mr Richards’ record shows the Complainant has not accurately represented the official record.

34. The relevant part of the record are paragraphs 2-3. Mr Richard states:

In listening to Mr Buckley’s outrage, he became physically angry, demanding action and slammed his fists down on the ramp balstrad (sic) and screaming. I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk, as he was causing concern to the general public in the concourse, - he aggressively then verbally attacked CTM Edwards and went to push CTM Edwards with a open hand – I immediately warned Mr Buckley that he could not physically touch a government official in such a away. He backed off but was still verbally aggressive (emphasis added)

35. In the next paragraph of his record, he states: As Mr Buckley was screaming and ranting, I stepped back and advised that I would be speaking with building security. I approached building security and advised them that Mr Buckley was making threats to CASA staff and had pushed a CASA staff member, I advised he was not welcome on these premises. (emphasis added)

36. When these two sequential paragraphs of Mr Richards’ record are read conjunctively, as forming a single continuing narrative, it is readily apparent that he is stating that the Complainant made physical contact with Mr Edwards. He describes the physical contact as a “push”. There is no other way to comprehend the text as it is written. There is no internal inconsistency in the record itself. Nor is there any apparent ambiguity.

37. As part of this investigation, Mr Richards was specifically asked to review his meeting record and asked a series of questions about his account of the physical contact he states the Complainant made with Mr Edwards. The questions asked and his corresponding responses are recorded at Attachment C. His responses are consistent with his contemporaneous record made on 6 February 2020.

38. In terms of the issue about the physical contact on Mr Edwards, this is what he said in his response:

As described in my record I intervened as Mr Buckley pushed CTM Edwards. My recollection from the record is I intervened as I saw him push CTM Edwards with a open hand – refer record ‘I immediately warned Mr Buckley that he could not physically touch a government official in such a way. (emphasis added)

39. This response indicates that Mr Richards affirms what he said in his record of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020. He states that he witnessed the Complainant make physical contact (a push) with Mr Edwards.

40. Mr Richards’ current testimony is consistent with his contemporaneous meeting record. He has not withdrawn or qualified the original record. He has, in fact, affirmed that he witnessed the Complainant push Mr Edwards. There is no reason on the evidence as presented, to doubt or challenge the veracity of his testimony.

Mr Edwards’ Meeting Record

41. Mr Edwards’ record is a brief but concise 831 words. Its brevity also reflects the apparent brevity of the meeting itself, in the order of 15-20 minutes.

42. The record took the form of an email which was submitted at 5.14pm on the same day of the meeting, that is, approx. 5 ˝ hours after the events recorded, and about 30 minutes after Mr Richards submitted his. The timing of its submission indicates that it is a contemporaneous record of the events it describes.

43. The record speaks for itself and is reproduced at Attachment D. The relevant aspect is at paragraphs 10-11 which state:

During this outburst he slammed his hand onto the concourse railing multiple times. At this time he stated ‘If get my hands on Jason McHeyzer or Brad Lacy I’ll ……’ (tapering off and not completing the sentence).

His anger then shifted towards me, and he directed me to leave, and he would talk to Owen alone. I advised I would not be leaving Owen. He then approached me and shoved me in the chest. I then elected to step back and let Owen lead the conversation. (emphasis added)

44. As part of this investigation, Mr Edwards was asked to review his meeting record and asked a series of questions about his account of the physical contact he states the Complainant made on him. The questions asked and his corresponding responses are recorded at Attachment E. His responses are consistent with his contemporaneous record made on 6 February 2020.

45. As to the issue about the physical contact, when asked to describe it in more detail he stated in reply:

Shove with an open hand. Sufficient to require half a step back to check5 (emphasis added)

46. From this response, Mr Edwards has affirmed his record of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020 where he states the Complainant pushed him. He says that the push was of sufficient force that it caused him to move “half a step back”6. He has not withdrawn or qualified the original record. There is no reason on the evidence as presented, to doubt or challenge the veracity of his testimony.

47. The Complainant has made a number of gratuitous, ad hominem remarks about Mr Edwards in the Complaint. These include that he is mendacious, and his accounts of events are dishonest and actuated by malice. These are very serious allegations to make against a public official. The Complainant doesn’t provide any evidence in support of these allegations. Because they are bare assertions only, they have not been given any weight for the purposes of this investigation.

Are the Two Records of the Meeting Contradictory?

48. No. Messrs Edwards’ and Richards’ accounts both state that the Complainant made physical contact with Mr Edwards. Mr Richards states his colleague was “pushed” whilst Mr Edwards states he was “shoved”.

49. The words “push” is a synonym for “shove”. These two words have the same meaning. Neither of the two CASA officers use the word “assault” in describing the alleged physical contact. Both state that the contact was with an open hand. Mr Edwards has added that the contact was of sufficient force that it caused him to take (or be pushed) half a step backwards. Both clearly and unambiguously state that physical contact was made and do so in the same terms.

50. In summary, the meeting records do not contradict each other. Nor do the officers’ current recollections and testimony. In fact, they are entirely consistent with each other. Their present-day recollections do not vary from their contemporaneous meeting records. There is no evidence or allegations of fabrication of evidence or collusion between the two officers.

51. It is the recommendation of this investigation that there is no reason on the evidence as presented, to doubt or challenge the veracity of their testimony.

The Matters Advanced by the Complainant in Support of His Complaint

52. For completeness, there are four matters submitted by the Complainant in support of the Complaint (refer para 27 above). These are considered each in turn below.

(i) FOI One's observations are different from FOI Two's observations, with FOI 2 claiming that I advanced toward him and shoved him, although FOI 1s statement contradicts that.

53. As discussed above in some detail, this statement is not considered to be an accurate reflection of the two meeting records.

(ii) No statement was ever made regarding stalking or assault to Police that attended in response to a complaint of possible “trespassing” by me being in the foyer of the CASA building. That was the complaint made to the police, no allegations of stalking or assault were ever made.

54. The purport of this allegation is unclear. According to the meeting records, the CASA officers reported the conduct of the Complainant to the Police as it presented on the day. There was no allegation of assault or stalking by the CASA officers, which is conceivably why they made no such complaint to the police.

(iii) The alleged incident happened directly under a security camera, and my understanding is that CASA accessed that footage, and no evidence of physical assault was on that recording.

55. The two CASA officers have advised that they did not view any CCTV record of their meeting and do not know whether any recording existed. Mr Richards advised the investigator that he asked for a copy of the CCTV footage at the time of the incident but says that none was provided7. CASA has advised that there is no video record presently in existence.8 On this basis there is no available video record to assist in determining what occurred on the day in question. The Complainant states that it was his “understanding” that there was CCTV footage that had been viewed by CASA and that it did not show that any “assault” took place. There is no evidence of this. He has not provided the basis of this understanding/belief, nor has he provided any evidence to support it.

(iv) CASA FOI Two was encouraged to document the assault with police by his Employer, and he did not follow that guidance. I believe he may have chosen not to pursue that path as he was aware that he had made a false and misleading statement and was not prepared to proceed for his own reasons.

7 Response to Question 7, refer Attachment E

8 Email from Executive Manager Corporate Services Division Ms Crome to the Investigator Mr Sheil, 12 September 2023 which states “just wanted to share with you the advice I have received regarding potential video footage in relation to the matter you are looking into – unfortunately there is none available.

56. The Complainant does not identify the basis of, or source for, this assertion/belief. Mr Edwards states that he was not encouraged or requested to make a formal complaint to the police. He was asked to complete a WHS form (presumably an incident report)9.

57. The Complainant’s assertion that Mr Edwards “was encouraged to document the assault with police by his Employer” is rejected by Mr Edwards.10The Complainant’s speculation in the second part of this allegation is not supported by any evidence.

4. CONCLUSION

58. Based on the material considered in this investigation, and after considering additional statements provided by the officers involved, I recommend that you could conclude that the evidence supports a finding that, on the balance of probabilities:

the written accounts of Messrs Edwards and Richards are consistent with each other and are not contradictory; and

Mr Edwards’ meeting record was not false or misleading.

59. Submitted for your consideration.

Dom Sheil

Senior Reviewer

CPM Reviews

6 November 2023

LIST OF ATTACHMENTS TO THIS REPORT

Attachment A

Reproduction of the written complaints by the Complainant relevant to this investigation, consolidated into a single document and referred to in this report as “the Complaint”

Attachment B

Mr Richards’ record of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020

Attachment C

Email Questions and Answers with Mr Richards, 9 October 2023

Attachment D

Mr Edwards’ record of the meeting with the Complainant on 6 February 2020

Attachment E

Email Questions and Answers with Mr Edwards, 6 October 2023


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glenb is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2023, 23:03
  #2898 (permalink)  
 
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As I said many posts back, it sounds like they did you a favour by not reporting the allegations to the Police / or the Police choosing not to go ahead with it. It’s not always the best outcome for both parties to have charges laid, especially when you were in such an upset state. It feels like they took your behaviour into consideration and took a mutually beneficial path.
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Old 22nd Nov 2023, 23:27
  #2899 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, a great outcome: Someone's guilty of assault without being found guilty of assault by a court.
Lead Balloon is online now  
Old 23rd Nov 2023, 03:14
  #2900 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon
Yes, a great outcome: Someone's guilty of assault without being found guilty of assault by a court.
Is that not what they call in the court “guilty with no conviction” ?
Squawk7700 is offline  

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