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Practice Guideline 7

  • Practice Guidelines
Publication date

This Practice Guideline relates to the corrections or amendments to evidence provided by or on behalf of the Commonwealth and the process for producing certain classified documents to the Commission.

Practice Guideline 7 – Corrections to evidence and classifications

  1. If the Commonwealth, or any witness appearing on behalf of the Commonwealth (a “Commonwealth Witness”):
    1. identifies that evidence provided to the Commission by or on behalf of the Commonwealth (including evidence in the form of a response to a notice to give information or a witness statement) is incorrect or requires correction or clarification (including because it has been incorrectly classified (or its classification has changed) in accordance with the Protective Security Policy Framework (“PSPF”)) (a “Correction”); and/or
    2. intends to provide a supplementary response or statement (an “Update”),
    then the Commonwealth, by its solicitors, must notify the Office of the Solicitors Assisting the Commission (OSA) of the details of the Correction or Update as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case by no later than 3 clear days (assuming that the error or change has been identified by that time) prior to the day of the hearing during which the relevant evidence is to be received by the Commission and provide, in the Correction or Update, the basis as to why it was made.
  1. If the Commonwealth fails to notify OSA of the details of a Correction or Update by the time specified by paragraph 1, then:
    1. the Commonwealth Witness must give evidence at the hearing; or
    2. the Commonwealth must supply a signed statement either from the relevant Commonwealth Witness or another appropriate deponent,
    explaining the reasons for the delay in identifying the Correction or Update.
  1. If:
    1. the Commonwealth is, or any of its employees or representatives are, required to give information to the Commission pursuant to a notice to give information issued under section 2(3C) of the Royal Commissions Act 1902 (Cth) (RC Act); and
    2. the information is to be produced to the Commission in the form of a document that has been assigned a classification of PROTECTED or above,
      then the Commonwealth must produce to the Commission:
      1. an unredacted version of the document with appropriate classification markings;
      2. where possible, a declassified version of the document that has only so much of the information within the document redacted as is necessary to declassify the document, having regard to the PSPF; and
      3. a classification certificate substantially in the form of Annexure 1 signed by the person who made the final determination as to the document’s classification and declassification.

Classification Certificate

Notice Reference: [e.g. NTG-ABC-001]

Name of Organisation or Deponent: [e.g. Department of Defence / Joe Bloggs]

Relevant Document: [insert Doc ID for classified document(s)]

Declassified Version: [insert Doc ID for declassified versions of the relevant document(s)]

I, [name of relevant person], certify to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide that I believe, having regard to the contents of the Relevant Document:

  1. that the Relevant Document has been appropriately classified as [insert classification] in accordance with the Protective Security Policy Framework; and
  2. only so much of the Relevant Document as is necessary has been redacted for the purposes of declassifying the Declassified Version.

Signature:

Name of relevant person: [insert]

Date: [insert]