A report by the Commonwealth Ombudsman says the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) needs to be more publicly accountable.

Specifically, the Ombudsman wants CASA to open up about its responses to coronial recommendations.

The report is available in PDF form, here.

“Between 2009 and 2013, 153 people in Australia died in 120 general aviation aircraft accidents,” Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave said.

“Many of these accidents were the subject of coronial inquests, which perform an important function in publicly examining questions around public safety and making recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths in the future.

“Yet a lack of public response or visible action by CASA to these inquests made it difficult for the public – and other coroners considering similar matters – to establish whether CASA had considered or acted on the coroners’ recommendations.”

Mr Neave said his report made eight recommendations.

“In particular, we recommended that CASA respond publicly to all coronial recommendations directed to it, to outline its reasons for accepting or refusing recommendations, and what it has done or will do to implement an accepted recommendation,” he said.

“We also recommended it review its internal record-keeping arrangements to track its assessment and implementation of coronial recommendations.”

CASA has agreed to all six recommendations in full and two either in principle or with minor qualifications.

“CASA was very responsive to our requests for information in relation to this investigation and we are confident of the steps it will take and is already taking to implement our suggestions,” Mr Neave said.