Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

Reviews of the Civil Aviation Authority and Aviation Security Service

The Ministry of Transport has released details of its review of the organisational culture of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Aviation Security Service (Avsec). 

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford directed the Ministry to perform the reviews. 

In announcing details of the review the Ministry said:  

The wellbeing of all current and former staff is a key priority and the Ministry is ensuring appropriate support is in place for individuals who come forward to contribute to the review process.  

The purpose of the review is to understand whether there are, or have been, significant areas of concern regarding organisational culture at the CAA or Avsec, and how the organisation has responded to those. This includes reviewing how previous reports and complaints of incidents of bullying and harassment were handled and responded to by the organisation. The review, although looking to the past, is intended to inform the path forward. 

The Ministry has commissioned consulting firm RDC Group to provide external specialist support.  The RDC team will be led by Doug Craig.  In addition, Barrister Rachael Schmidt-McCleave will provide additional expertise to the review team. 

The full terms of reference are available on the Ministry of Transport website.     

The Ministry is always keen to receive insights on the general aviation sector to help inform our work programmes on regulatory capability and performance, however in relation to this review we will only be considering information relevant to the terms of reference.  

As part of its regulatory stewardship role, the Ministry conducts ongoing monitoring and regulatory review programmes relating to civil aviation and the CAA. In addition to leading the review of CAA organisational culture, the Ministry is currently conducting an assessment of the regulatory system governing helicopters and small aircraft operating under Civil Aviation Rule Part 135.  

The regulatory systems assessment will take a detailed look at the performance of the system that governs small aircraft and helicopters operating under Civil Aviation Rule Part 135. It will involve targeted engagement and with key organisations and industry participants to understand how the system is currently operating. A report back to the Minister of Transport is expected in early 2020.  

Further to this work the Ministry is continuing its day-to-day monitoring of CAA performance.  

Thank you for your continued commitment to the aviation sector. It is important that we work together to continually improve the overall performance of the transport system and the performance of transport Crown entities. 

On its website, the Ministry of Transport says the review of CAA organisational culture will focus on three areas: 

  • reviewing reports of bullying and harassment to understand how they were addressed, 
  • conducting a workplace culture assessment, and 
  • ensuring policies, procedures and prevention controls for managing bullying and harassment. 

It is expected that the Minister will release the ministry's report, its findings and recommendations following completion of the review. 

The reviewers will interview current and ex-staff members, leaders, board members and stakeholders, and assess organisational resources and strategy. The website says the reviewers “will seek to identify any concerns regarding workplace culture and where relevant, propose changes for handling complaints and improving organisational culture.” 

The review will not reopen past complaints of alleged or upheld bullying and harassment, or investigate new reports of incidents or complaints against specific individuals.   

The CAA has commissioned a separate investigation to assess specific allegations of inappropriate behaviour and conduct within Avsec. This investigation is running concurrently to the Ministry led review of CAA organisational culture. 

The Ministry website also has the review terms of reference, FAQ and a guide for complainants.



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