Substantiating HOSM advice to government
From: Trav S
Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,
On 26 September 2013 the Assistant Secretary Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch advised the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal's original purpose was to recognise "not-for-profit humanitarian service".
Primary source documents publicly available in National Archives conflict with this assertion. The HOSM's instituting Letters Patent states the Medal was instituted to recognise "persons who have given humanitarian service in hazardous circumstances outside Australia".
Government designed the HOSM to be flexible to accomodate government approval of operations conducted under the authority of international or national agencies. This is stated in primary source documents and evidenced by the Australian contingent to the rehabilitation program in Iraq carried out by the Coalition Provisional Authority being listed as an eligible organisation.
The public record shows for-profit contractors were awarded the HOSM in recognition of their service with this contingent. The public record also shows for-profit contractors have been awarded the HOSM in other operations. Many of the NGOs listed as eligible organisations for the HOSM employ personnel who work for profit. Everyone awarded the HOSM for their service with the Australian contingent in Iraq worked for profit and was well paid for their service.
With these facts in mind, I would like a copy of the document substantiating the Assistant Secretary's advice the HOSM's original purpose was to recognise "not-for-profit humanitarian service"