17 Apr 2013

Defence Minister questioned over suspended official

8:48 pm on 17 April 2013

The Defence Minister has come under pressure in Parliament over whether a senior defence official fraudulently filled out his security vetting form.

An inquiry into Commodore Kevin Keat has begun under the Armed Forces Discipline Act, although the Defence Force stresses that no one has yet been charged with any offence.

During Question Time on Wednesday, the Labour Party's defence spokesperson asked why Commodore Keat continues to be paid $225,000 a year when he was suspended months ago.

Phil Goff told Parliament it would take Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman 10 minutes to find out if Kevin Keat inaccurately and falsely filled out his high-level security vetting form.

Dr Coleman said Mr Goff seems to be asking for a legal process to be overridden - and Commodore Keat deserves the benefit of natural justice.