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Summary of Meeting - 24 August 2017

The Operational Working Party (OWP) met in Canberra on 24 August 2017.

The Chair welcomed the members to the OWP and that as a result of the National Consultative Forum Review, the OWP has been re-established to:

  • enhance the ex-service community’s understanding of DVA’s service delivery performance through information sharing and improved communication between DVA and the ex-service community;
  • be a forum for ex-service organisations to discuss concerns arising from the delivery of DVA services; and
  • identify and provide recommendations for improvements in operational policy to promote quality and accountability in service delivery.

Overview of the Claims Management Forum

Members were updated on the recent Claims Management Forum held on 28 June 2017 in the DVA Canberra Office.

This Forum delivered on the 2016 Federal election commitment and created value through:  

  • Exploring the claims process from the perspective of the client/client representative with particular attention to pain points;
  • Discussing challenges with DVA’s claim policies and process and the effect of these on the end user;
  • Generating opportunities for an improved claims experience;
  • Strengthening a partnership approach with client advocates; and
  • Providing insights that will inform DVA’s Transformation.

Representatives from 23 Defence Support Community and government agencies participated in the Forum.

Recent Claims Improvements

Members were advised on the organisational design model that is easy to understand for both staff and clients, and groups like functions to reduce duplication. The new structure aligns with the Department’s transformation agenda.

Veteran Centric Reform (VCR) Showcase and MyService Update

Members participated in an interactive presentation delivered by the VCR Team showcasing the recent improvements to supporting broader transformation and the development of the DVA MyService web application and how it is delivering real benefits for veterans and their families.

Transition Taskforce

Members were updated on the Government’s commitment to the establishment of a Joint Taskforce to assist with improving the experience of people as they leave the ADF and move into the next phase of their lives after service. 

Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP)

Members noted that approximately 300 advocates have completed the Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) process for accreditation as Level 2 compensation and/or Level 2 Welfare advocates under the ATDP.

A second series of roadshows planned between September and December 2017 will provide further advice and encouragement for Ex-service Organisations and advocates to be engaged with the new program.

Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Bill 2017)

Members were address by the Principal Legal Adviser and advised the Bill will implement several small, but necessary amendments to veterans’ affairs legislation to clarify, improve or streamline the operation of the law.

Member Submissions

Presentations were received from the Australian Peacekeepers & Peacemakers Veterans Association and Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia on the following topics:

  • MILCOA Doctors and Specialists;
  • Single Claim Form;
  • Section 31 Reviews;
  • Approval time for Dental Prosthesis;
  • Approval of MRI Scans for Cancer; and
  • Inclusion of the Special Forces Disability Allowance in CSC Payments.

The next meeting of the OWP will be held in Canberra on Friday 1 December 2017.


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