Part 2 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) establishes an Information Publication Scheme (IPS) for Australian Government agencies that are subject to the FOI Act. The IPS commenced on 1 May 2011 and requires the Specialist Medical Review Council (SMRC) to publish a broad range of information on its website, and to make it available for downloading where possible. The SMRC is also required to publish an Agency Plan that explains how it intends to implement the IPS.
Information Publication Scheme
On request from an eligible person or organisation the SMRC reviews Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) decisions in respect to the contents of a Statement of Principles, or a decision of the Repatriation Medical Authority not to issue a Statement of Principles, or a decision of the Repatriation Medical Authority not to amend a Statement of Principles, or a decision by the Repatriation Medical Authority not to carry out an investigation under section 196C(4) of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth). See the SMRC Members Handbook for more information about the process of review.
Following appointment by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Councillors are selected by the Convener of the SMRC for a particular review (3-5 Councillors) on the basis of their expertise in the injury or disease relevant to the Statement of Principles subject to review.
A. Agency Plan
The SMRC is an independent statutory body responsible to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.
The legislative authority for the SMRC is contained in Part XIB of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth).
The SMRC consists of medical practitioners and medical scientists appointed as Councillors by the Minister. See our members page for more information about the appointment of members.
The SMRC’s Secretariat staff are employees of Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The Secretariat staff are accountable to the Registrar of the SMRC:
As part of the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio the SMRC provides on request a service to a person eligible to make a claim for a pension under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) (and organisations as provided for in the same Act), and a person eligible to make a claim for compensation under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cth) (and organisations as provided for in the same Act). See our members page for more information about applications to the SMRC.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs includes information on SMRC activities in its annual reports. The SMRC does not prepare separate annual reports. Refer to the DVA website for more information on annual reports.
The SMRC does not undertake public consultation on specific policy proposals.
The SMRC does not routinely receive FOI requests for access to information in documents.
The SMRC does not routinely provide information to the Parliament.
The Registrar of the SMRC can be contacted about access to the SMRC’s information or documents under the FOI Act:
The SMRC publishes the rules, policies, principles and procedures that it applies in making decisions or recommendations that affect members of the public in its Members’ Handbook.
|Document||Accurate and up to date||Publication restricted / prohibited||Description||Access|
|Specialist Medical Review Council Application for Review Information for Applicants – D305||Yes||No|
|SMRC Members’ Handbook||Yes||No||Outlines how the SMRC makes its decisions, who can apply for a review and details how written submissions are made.|
|Submissions and Submission Guidelines||Yes||No|
|Submission Form – D1390 0914||Yes||No|
|Ministerial appointment details – SMRC Councillors||Yes||No||Outlines how SMRC members are appointed.|
|Decisions and declarations of the Specialist Medical Review Council since its inception in 1994||Yes||No||All decision documents are posted on the SMRC website, and each provides details of the process of review, the reasoning of the SMRC, and the declarations list of SMRC members involved in the review.|
|Current Reviews and Written Submissions – due dates||Yes||No||Details all applications received and the gazetted due date for submissions.|