Te­han fires back at DVA claim

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

THE Depart­ment of Veter­ans’ Af­fairs has been forced to al­lay fears it will be scrapped and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties shifted to the Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices af­ter a so­cial me­dia post went vi­ral at the week­end.

The widely cir­cu­lated Face­book post claimed the Fed­eral Govern­ment was try­ing to dis­band DVA with its re­spon­sib i l i t i e s , i n c l u d i n g m i n i s t e r i a l , to be taken up the Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices. The post claimed there was to be a meet­ing to­day where the changes would be signed off.

The post also made the claim that govern­ment de­part­ments had be­gun a re­cruit­ment drive for Mus­lim em­ploy­ees and had al­lo­cated rooms “for prayer rooms”.

DVA and De­fence Per­son­nel Min­is­ter Dan Te­han said in a state­ment that the Govern­ment was com­mit­ted to a stand- alone Depart­ment of Veter­ans’ Af­fairs.

“This has been an elec­tion com­mit­ment by the Coali­tion over suc­ces­sive elec­tions and re­mains Govern­ment pol­icy,” he said. “There are no plans to merge DVA with the Depart­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices.

“There is no meet­ing planned for this week and there is no agree­ment to be signed in the near fu­ture to sub­sume DVA into DHS.”

Mr Te­han said DHS man­aged DVA’s in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture un­der a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing that was signed in 2011. Prior to this agree­ment, the in­fra­struc­ture was out­sourced to IBM.

In re­sponse to the claims on Mus­lim re­cruit­ment, Mr Te­han con­firmed there had been no change to DVA’s re­cruit­ment pol­icy.

Dan Te­han.

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