Report into abuse of power and cover-up of official improbity by Army Psychology Corps officers

The case of ex-Major A K Warren, RACT

This is one of a number of documents concerning ex-Major Allan K Warren.

Go to index page for all Warren documents.

This material is located on the

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in the section on Documents


1. This report uses documents presented by Army as legal evidence in Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) hearing and for Ministerial investigations and decisions.

2. At the centre of this case is the corruption of the officer report appraisal and promotion system used to destroy MAJ Warren's reputation, career and livelihood. This report focuses on specific aspects of Psychology Corps-Army attempts to cover-up that corruption.

3. This report does not address the many other attempts by Army to cover-up. The destruction of and attempts to make legal evidence disappear from Department of Defence archives have been covered in a separate ministerial submission. MAJGEN Carter's attempts to submit under oath other false and misleading evidence to a 1993 AAT hearing and that tribunal's conflict of interest to protect one of its own members from exposure of improbity are detailed in separate ministerial submissions. The improbity, if not corruption of the then Director of Army Legal Services, BRIG J Ewing in 1981, is detailed in a separate report.



4. See 'The Case of Ex-Major Warren - Summary'. For a comprehensive report on the case see 'More Vicious Than Virtuous'. Laura Tingle gives an accessible account in the article 'Military justice?'



5. At the August 1993 AAT hearing MAJGEN G D Carter, Acting Chief of the General Staff, presented himself as an Army expert on the officer report appraisal system and its statistical based T-Score ratings. Under oath he used Director of Psychology-Army (DPSYCH-A) policy documents.

6. MAJGEN Carter attempted to use the T-Score as proof of Warren's unprofessionalism and gross incompetence. He used the December 1977 report on Major Warren, T-Score 32. According to MAJGEN Carter's evidence this T-Score placed Warren's performance in the bottom 1% of peer group Majors. Yet the reporting officer had written that MAJ Warren "works well in his present appointment" and recommended he be promoted, attend Staff College and command troops. The Head of Corps agreed with the report and decisioned that it was "an average report on an average officer." But Carter argued in his written evidence to the AAT that this report was evidence of MAJ Warren's incompetence. In cross-examination Mr Warren challenged the integrity and competence of these T-Scores in performance appraisal and MAJGEN Carter's assertion of their statistical legitimacy as used by Army in tribunal evidence.

7. The Tribunal ruled against Carter's 'expert' opinion on the December 1977 report.

8. Under further cross-examination by AAT members MAJGEN Carter defended the T-Score system. Warren argued that the T-Scores used on his confidential reports were erroneous or fraudulent or both. And this was at the time when, unlike MAJGEN Carter, he had neither the policy documents nor knowledge of the statistical methodology used.



9. In December 1993 the AAT ruled against MAJGEN Carter and directed certain officer report records on ex-MAJ Warren be annotated in his favour. This led to a nineth ministerial investigation into the circumstances surrounding MAJ Warren's forced resignation in disgrace from Army. LTCOL B Salmon, QC conducted his investigation from 30th September to 6th December 1994. In the wake of the AAT ruling his report conceded what Ministers of Defence, the Prime Minister and the Governor-General had denied in eight previous ministerial investigations and decisions - that MAJ Warren had been denied natural justice. Salmon QC found none of the four officer confidential reports and five letters of warning cited by the Army's generals as evidencing MAJ Warren's unprofessionalism and gross incompetence in fact did so. But Salmon QC refused to hold accountable any officer for this gross miscarriage of justice. He also upheld the competence and integrity of Army's T-Score system.

10. On 25 October 1994 LTCOL Salmon QC wrote to Mr Warren that as part of his ministerial investigation "I certainly intend to examine" the T-Scores used against Warren. On that same day he also wrote to Director General Manning-Army (DGM-A) seeking evidence of the correctness and fairness of assessments made by MAJ Warren's reporting officers which were used to calculate T-Scores on his confidential reports 1978 to 1980.

11. Colonel Hall, DPSYCH-A, gave Salmon QC copies of the T-Score policy documents used in legal procedures against Warren. COL Hall also undertook for Salmon QC an audit of Warren's report T-Scores 1970 to 1980. This audit of 10 assessments over 10 years claimed, except for minor adjustments, Warren's T-Scores to be correct

12. The DPSYCH-A policy documents given by COL Hall to Salmon QC for his ministerial investigation were:

i) an 8 page audit and explanation of MAJ Warren's report T-Scores 1970 to 1980.

ii) a 7 page policy document titled 'T-Scores from the EDRO(PR19)' i.e. Evaluation and Development Report - Officers.

iii) a 3 page policy document titled 'Confidential Report System'. Paragraphs 7 and 8 are sub-titled 'Structure and Statistical Basis'. It is these paragraphs that are important and are of concern in this paper. A copy is enclosed as ANNEXURE 2 - 'Confidential Report Systems.'

13. The significance of ANNEXURE 2 is that it purports to corroborate:

i) Army's T-Score weights that have been in use by DPSYCH-A for at least the entire period of Warren's military career 1966-1981.

ii) evidence used by MAJGEN Carter under oath at AAT hearing in August 1993 as his confirmation of Army's weights as applied to T-Scores.

iii) the weights given by COL Hall, DPSYCH-A used to audit Warren's T-Scores 1970 to 1980 in Salmon QC's 1994 investigation report at the behest and to the then Minister for Defence Personnel, Mr Gary Punch.

14. These documents are explicit DPSYCH-A expert evidence by Army that assert legitimate statistical methods used by it to T-Score and grade officers performances against each other. They are also documents used as explicit legal evidence by DPSYCH-A to verify and support Army's legal and rational justification for the destruction of Warren's reputation and career. LTCOL Nick Reynolds, Commanding Officer, Army's 1st Psychological Research Unit states he is the author of a number of reviews and studies of the legitimacy of Army's T-Score System. LTCOL Salmon QC upheld the integrity of the T-Score system in his report for the Minister dated 6 December 1994.

15. On 25 November 1994 LTCOL Salmon QC interviewed Mr Warren as part of his ministerial investigation. At this interview he told Warren to put aside any doubts he had as to the veracity and integrity of the Army T-Score system. In turn Warren warned Salmon QC not to trust the policy documents given to him by COL Hall. Warren gave sound reasons. The documents contained misleading, illogical and conflicting information.



16. On 3 April 1995 Mr Warren made yet another representation to the Prime Minister. This time he used those same policy documents that Salmon QC had accessed from Col Hall, DPSYCH-A. Warren gave sound evidence against the deceit and incompetence at the highest levels of Army leadership and against the corruption of the officer career management and promotion system. It exposed the:

i) illusion and nonsense in DPSYCH-A policy documents given to LTCOL Salmon QC for ministerial investigation and for personal decisions by ministers against Mr Warren.

ii) corruption of the Army officer confidential report system by its managers

iii) improbity of Army generals under which this corruption has thrived and has been covered up.

17. Mr Warren sent copies of his Prime Ministerial representation to selected Members of Parliament including the Defence Personnel Minister, Mr G Punch. On 10 April 1995 the Minister's officer replied to Mr Warren. In part it reads:

"We thank you for your letter and advise that you will receive a detailed response when the inquiry has been completed."

18. On 10 May 1995 the Minister for Defence Personnel, Mr G Punch wrote to Mr Warren inter alia:

"There was no deliberate misstatement of 'T-Scores' in your case and there was no unfair, misleading or improper Defence administration in the calculation of the 'T-Scores'."

19. On 28 June 1995 Mr Warren submitted a detailed Prime Ministerial submission in response to the LTCOL Salmon QC Report. This Army report on Army was a discrepant effort that wilfully failed to come to terms with the improbity and corruption within the officer career management system. It also failed to come to terms with the ineptness of the T-Score system. Mr Warren sent copies of this submission to selected Members of Parliament. His substantive complaints and evidence have not been honestly nor competently addressed by the Prime Minister or the Australian Government.



20. In 1995 Mr Warren got a university to examine and evaluate COL Hall's policy documents that had been used as evidence by Army for the LTCOL Salmon QC investigation. Ministers have upheld the integrity of these documents in their decisions against Warren's grievances.

21. In September 1996 the independent university analysis of the ratings, ranking and T-Score system of the confidential reports used by ministers and Army was published in the Australian Defence Force Journal (ADFJ). That investigation has undone the integrity and statistically legitimacy of the confidential report on officers system - past and present. It was used by Army to help destroy MAJ Warren's reputation and career. The portfolio responsible minister has remained silent whilst Army attempts to cover-up the improbity and gross incompetence that Mr Warren has encountered.

22. In extraordinary acts of more maladministration and military incompetence Psychology Corps - Army senior officers appear to have entrapped themselves in immense foolishness, improbity and deceit.



23. LTCOL Reynolds has now publicly but falsely declared Army statistical methods legal and valid. He is the Commanding Officer, Army's 1st Psychological Research Unit. He has a PhD from the Australian National University. He is a Member of the Board of Organisational Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society. He is the technical co-ordinator of the development of Army's assessment and evaluation of officers system. Dr D MacLean's university report overwhelmingly dismissed the integrity and credibility of this officer career management system and its T-Score rating method. His investigation examined DPSYCH-A policy documents and T-Score weights and ratings that were used by Army to help destroy MAJ Warren's career in 1981 and again used to obstruct justice in AAT legal proceedings in 1993 and for ministerial investigation in 1994.

24. In a letter to the editor ADFJ, No 121 Nov/Dec 1996, LTCOL Reynolds attacked Dr MacLean on a personal basis. He accused him of failing to gather adequate scientific and empirical evidence (hence implied professional incompetence) and of acting with intent to cause mischief in the officer corps (hence implied professional improbity).

25. Furthermore as the Army expert on the officer appraisal system and its statistical control LTCOL Reynolds implies that Dr MacLean's use of weights 1-5-10-13-16 (and/or 20) to analyse Warren's reports were wrong. He claims the real weights are 2-7-10-13-18. This is yet another hypocritical and fraudulent attack on Dr MacLean's competence.

26. If as claimed by LTCOL Reynolds he is Army's expert author of a number of detailed statistical analysis of the officer report system then surely:

i) his analyses of it would have revealed the too numerous errors and illegalities in it that Dr MacLean has discovered.

ii) he would know that the weights used on Warren's reports are 1-5-10-13-16 (and/or 20). These are the weights verified and used by his own Head of Corps - COL Hall - to support legal evidence used by the Acting Chief of General Staff MAJGEN Carter in AAT hearing in August 1993. These weights are again used by COL Hall for audit of ex-MAJ Warren's officer reports 1970 to 1980 for ministerial investigation by LTCOL Salmon QC, December 1994. They are the weights used by MAJGEN Carter to justify the T-Score on his own 1979 confidential report.

iii) he would not need a motive to deceive the public and the officer corps by:

a) misappropriating professional text - the 'Lake Wobegon report - when attempting to discredit Dr MacLean's findings. see ANNEXURE 3- 'BRIEF BY EX-MAJOR WARREN ON ARMY'S OFFICER T- SCORE SYSTEM AND THE LAKE WOBEGON PHENOMENON'.

b) knowingly misleads that Dr MacLean used wrong weights to analyse Warren's reports 1970 to 1980.

c) making personal attacks on Dr MacLean's professionalism.

27. LTCOL Reynold's use of the 'Lake Wobegon' research report for academic support exposes his attempt to deceive the officer corps and the Australian public. Why?

28. Firstly, his premise is nonsense. Contrary to what he asserts, school teachers can conceptualise the performance of their students within reasonable competent borders. They are usually experienced teachers with an accumulated knowledge base which is their skill and craft. Certainly some junior teachers may lack these skills.

29. Secondly, his reasoning is nonsense. It is psychologically and statistically questionable, if not perverse, to attempt to compare USA teachers' gradings of 6-9year old elementary school students against Australian Army Commanding Officer's grading of relatively senior subordinate officers working in their chosen professional management positions. The aims, missions, methods and resources of these two different groups have nothing in common. Their agendas are different and their performance indicators are worlds apart.

30. Thirdly, his deduction is nonsense. He (falsely) asserts that at Lake Wobegon a study of school student gradings showed the vast majority to be "above average", and hence this is a very strong indicator that Australian Army Commanding Officers are incompetent to appraise the performance of subordinate officers relative to peer group.

31. Fourthly, his evidence is nonsense. It does not support his premise, reasoning or deduction.

32. Fifthly, his evidence is fraudulent. Lake Wobegon does not exist and he has misappropriated a research text to deceive his audience (see ANNEXURE 3- BRIEF BY EX-MAJOR WARREN ON ARMY'S OFFICER T-SCORE SYSTEM AND THE LAKE WOBEGON PHENOMENON)

33. Sixthly, his judgment is foolish. Not only does Reynolds misappropriate the 'Lake Wobegon' report but it is an academic text that Reynolds should never have drawn attention too. Why? It gives sound support to Dr MacLean's findings that test scores are not synonymous with achievement because of bias and flawed use of statistics i.e. "that neither high nor low gradings may represent the reality of an officer's performance". It also gives the powerful evidence that corrupt managers of performance appraisal systems abuse statistical data and pervert public administration. These are the very matters that have permeated the Australian Army officer merit system as exemplified by the Major Warren case. The managers of this army officer appraisal system have acted to cover-up this improbity rather than remedy it by attempting to dress up old corruption in new policy rhetoric.

34. So why would LTCOL Reynolds so easily compromise his public responsibility, professional probity and competence? He did not act hastily in his decisions. He had the technical training, the expertise, the rank and power. He had easy and unlimited access to all relevant data on the officer report and T-Score system. As the technical co-ordinator of the officer merit system he has a high level of responsibility for the protection of its probity, ethics and competence. Yet guaged by his response to Dr MacLean's report it would appear he has failed on most if not on all counts.

35. And the damage done by LTCOL Reynolds to the integrity of the officer corps worsens. His own conduct lays waste to the myth that army officers have a "high performance culture". His analytical and research skills are highly questionable if not improper.

36. LTCOL Reynolds gives evidence that Dr MacLean was wrong to use 1-5-10-13-16/20 as the weighting scale for his examination of the DPSYCH-A documents offered by Army to AAT and for Ministerial investigation set up to determine the fairness or otherwise of MAJ Warren's dismissal from Army. This is an extraordinary testimony for LTCOL Reynolds to give. He implies the real weight scales used in the officer report system were and are 2-7-10-13-18. If this is true then LTCOL Reynolds has, by default, made very serious incriminations against MAJGEN C Carter, COL HALL DPSYCH-A and others. They used the weighting scale 1-5-10-13-16/20 as legal evidence against ex-MAJ Warren to prove his alleged gross incompetence. Dr MacLean states that this mix of numbers, if used, represents a mischievous use of numbers. Reynolds asserts the methods used by Army are valid and that Dr MacLean is wrong. But it is now known that LTCOL Reynolds' T-Score system, irrespective of any weightings used, has as from June 1997 been banished from the officer merit system in the wake of Dr MacLean's report.

37. Why would LTCOL Reynolds attempt to mislead the officer corps and the public with his litany of contradictory or implausible information? It only serves to raise grave doubts about the integrity of the managers of the officer appraisal and promotion system, including himself.

38. But LTCOL Reynolds has motives!

39. Prior to the publication of Dr MacLean's damning university analysis of the Army T-Score system, Mr Warren, in March 1996, wrote to the Minister for Defence. Mr I McLachlan. He made detailed submission and gave sound reasons for an inquiry into the misleading and improper evidence presented by COL Hall, DPSYCH-A for use by MAJGEN Carter in AAT hearing in August 1993 and for the Salmon QC ministerial investigation, December 1994. The minister remained silent.

40. In September 1996 Dr D MacLean's university report was published. It found DPSYCH-A's officer appraisal system to be of dubious value for anything. He found the T-Score system used against MAJ Warren to be statistically illegal and illogical. He concluded the entire regime to be a mixture of hocus-pocus and ignorance. He found the T-Scores used against MAJ Warren to be arrant nonsense and punitive.



41. LTCOL Reynolds had responsiblity for Army's statistical analysis of the report system. This includes Army's response to Dr MacLean's analaysis of the weights and T-Scores used against MAJ Warren. He had every opportunity to honestly, competently and objectively reply to Dr MacLean's damning report. Not only did he fail to do so but his defence has been exposed as improper or incompetent or both. This is a clear case of conduct that is misleading and deceptive.

42. LTCOL Reynolds has acted to subvert policy information on the officer merit and promotion system. This system came under direct and personal ministerial scrutiny and decison-making against ex-MAJ Warren. Responsible ministers found that there was no unfair, misleading or improper T-Score administration used by Army against him. Dr MacLean has effectively exposed those ministerial decisions to be false.

43. DPSYCH-Army's position has been that Army officers are characterised by a 'high performance culture' whereby the vast majority of officers are assessed as being "above average" on their performance appraisal report. Dr Doug MacLean's analysis of Army's policy documents and statistical methods exposed this position as a nonsense. In his reply in defence to Dr MacLean's report LTCOL Reynolds now claims that commanding officers are unable to competently assess their subordiante officers. What LTCOL Reynolds has tried to do is shift blame and failure in accountability from DPSYCH-Army to the officer corps and in particular to Commanding Officers, Head of Corps and the Director of Officer Career Management (formerly the Military Secretary). At stake is LTCOL Reynolds' own accountability and that of DPSYCH-Army for what it has done.

44. The legitimate and serious question now raised is "Is the responsible minister now shielding Army's mismanagement and corruption of the officer performance appraisal system or does LTCOL Reynolds' current conduct demonstrate gross disloyalty and betrayal of the minister and hence the Australian public?"








1. The system has these general attributes:

a. Regularity. With minor exception, an A26 is generated at a fixed time for each year for every officer of worn rank Colonel and below.

b. Acceptability The concept and form of the A26 is well understood by all officers. Its use is governed by a clear, explicit Military Board Instruction to be found in every unit orderly room. In particular, the subject officer cites (sic) the completed report, and is in fact required to initial it. If he wishes, he can submit his own written rejoinder which then accompanies the report through the system.

c. Hierarchical. Provision is made for a least two superiors to contribute to the report, more commonly three - the officer's CO, his superior and the officer's Head of Corps at AHQ.

2. The form has been revised a number of times in the post war years. Currently a fairly comprehensive review is in progress.


3. The rationale is that officer effectivenss (or efficiency, or any other general qualilty) is compunded of three sets of variables:-

a. task competence (e.g. judgment; knowledge etc); b. interpersonal competences (e.g. colleagues; subordinates etc);

c. personal qualities (eg. interest; appearance; speaking ability).

4. This general rationale is followed in:-

a. industrial rating systems;

b. ARA report systems (A26s; OTU; WO/NCO system prototype)

c. other ABCA Armies, and Aust defence forces, though the particular statements may differ.

5. Apart from knowledge which is required to be related to rank and experience all factors are assessable on an objective, uniform basis.

6. The A26 is no designed for all purposes. In particular, it is not the only means to adverse reporting. Hence qualilties such as emotional stability and integrity are excluded.

Structure and Statisticial Basis

7. Items are structured to allow degrees of opinion; they arerandomised and some are inverted (so that 'S' means outstandingly bad in some items).

8. Each shade of opinon has a corresponding weight attached, as follows.

Appearance 1-5-10-13-16

Interest 1-5-10-13-16

Quickness of Apprehension 1-5-10-13-20

Judgment 1-5-10-13-20

Knowledge of Work 1-5-10-13-16

Attention to Detail 1-5-10-13-16

Paperwork 1-5-10-13-16

Acceptability as Colleague 1-5-10-13-16

Management of Subordinates 1-10-13-20

Ability to Speak 1-5-10-13-16

9. In order to encourage the award of unfavourable ratings where they are deserved, space for "compensatory" comment in alowed. (Note that unit undermanning need not detract from individual, as distinct from unit, efficiency).

10. Each report yields a total score. These are converted statistically to a common scale with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation (measure of dispersion) of 10. The conversion is done:

a. to allow immediate comparisons between officers of the same and different ranks;

b. to provide a single and easy to use descriptive statistic that always has the same reference points i.e mean 50, SD. 10.

11. The converted score is called a Standard T Score. To offset the effects of bias resulting, for example from random personality clashes, the obtained T score is further manipulated by doubling it, adding last year's T score and dividing by three.

12. A separate analysis is made of raters to identify characteristically lenient or harsh reporting officers, and this information is used in "management's" interpretation of reports.

Developmental History.

9. The evolution of the A26 has been in the direction of greater specificity of characteristics (on the basis that if you are interested in specific competences you have to ask specific questions about them.) and provide a structure which will yield information which is reliable and independent of the literacy skills of raters. The relevance of the competences in questions is supported by current leadership theory and research.




REFERENCES: * An Analysis of a Rating System by Dr D MacLean, Southern Cross University, published in Australian Defence Force Journal (ADFJ) Sept/Oct 1996

* Reply to above by LTCOL Dr N Reynolds in letters to the editor, ADFJ Nov/Dec 1996

LTCOL Reynolds attempts to defend the Army's T-Score system and the officer appraisal report (PR19) against severe criticisms by Dr MacLean. But his reply is weak, misleading and does not withstand scrutiny. He cites, then uses a 1987 United States of America case study - the 'Lake Wobegon'. This is a misappropriation of subject matter by LTCOL Reynolds to attempt to discredit the critical analysis report by Dr MacLean. It also misleads the officer corps.

The 'Lake Wobegon' report is about 'statistics use' incompetence by American officials and teachers cheating on tests given to junior school students to exaggerate achievement standards so that all concerned look good when held accountable for these students' results. Lake Wobegon does not exist. It is a mythical place. And contrary to LTCOL Reynolds' claim, no study could ever have been undertaken there in which school teachers were asked to grade their students against others. 'Lake Wobegon' is a reference to Garrison Keillor's mythical community in which "the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average".

In the summer of 1988 the journal 'American Educator' published an article by Daniel Koretz, senior social scientist, RAND Corporation. It is entitled "Arriving in Lake Wobegon - Are Standardized Tests Exaggerating Achievement and Distorting Instruction". He warns "test scores are not synonymous with achievement".

The subject of his investigation is a 1987 published booklet entitled "Nationally Normed Elementary Achievement Testing in America's Public Schools: How All Fifty States Are Above the National Average". Its absurd finding, as revealed in the title, earned the booklet the nickname the 'Lake Wobegon' report. It was principally authored by a Dr John Jacob Cannell, a physician in Beaver, West Virginia. Its main findings have generally been agreed with by all critics.

The thrust of Dr Cannell's work was to expose official malfeasance or misconduct as a principal cause for the vast majority of students being rated 'above average' on performance tests. Their motive for cheating was that the test results could also be used as a primary accountability measure to judge the competence of the officials. Subsequent studies of his work have focused on two causes of the 'Lake Wobegon' phenomenon:

* official evil doing and misconduct

* technical weakness in testing programmes

Dr Cannell's booklet and later material accused officials of "fraud" and labelled their activities as "deceptive". He strongly implies "deliberate wrongdoing". Daniel Koretz's study of Dr Cannell's work supports these findings. The two most important recommendations in his article are:

l. official malfeasance must be hunted down and expunged - he calls for external scrutiny.

2. "Gather the evidence" and establish reasonable efforts to discern test based accountability.

The Dr Cannell booklet and Daniel Koretz's article are about teachers and administrators cheating to raise the grades of their students on set tests and incompetent use of statistical methodology to report their results.

I feel LTCOL Reynolds perverts the academic and intellectual context of the 'Lake Wobegon' text and its field of inquiry. He misleads the officer corps to whom he has a duty of professional integrity in this matter. Why? He:

* claims a study of school teachers in Lake Wobegon supports Army's position on the officer performance appraisal system, and

* misuses 'Lake Wobegon' to advance his opinion "that people cannot conceptualise performance in these terms" (i.e. teachers grade the vast majority of their students above average).

Two observations are immediately obvious. Firstly, there was not study of teachers in Lake Wobegon. That is as mythical as Lake Wobegon itself. Secondly, the 'Lake Wobegon' phenomenon targeted official malfeasance, cheating and incompetent use of statistics as principal causes why the vast majority of junior students were being marked "above average". And this is how and why LTCOL Reynolds misappropriates the 'Lake Wobegon' report to the officer corps.

No one, not even LTCOL Reynolds, claims Australian Army officers are cheating to coach subordinate officers to achieve distorted high marks on their appraisals. i.e. T-Scores on their PR19s, as in 'Lake Wobegon'. Reynolds also states that he is the author of a number of detailed statistical analysis on the officer report system and that the methods used are not incompetent, as in 'Lake Wobegon' The foregoing two points are extrapolated from the 'Lake Wobegon' text. It finds USA junior school student's gradings are made artificially high by maladministration. But this is not the Australian Army's position on officer performance gradings. Army argues because officers are the cream of society the vast majority score "above average". Hence the argument would be - unlike the 'Lake Wobegon' - observation there is no need for cheating and abuse of statistics. Army argues authentic 'above average' scores for the vast majority of officers, unlike 'Lake Wobegon'.

But LTCOL Reynolds argues Lake Wobegon teachers could not conceptualise their students performance against others and this is a very strong indication that Australian Army officers cannot conceptualise subordinate officers performance against others. This is nonsense. In the former, faulty statistics and cheating pushes scores up. In the later high scores are achieved because they are the 'cream', or so Army argues.

LTCOL Reynolds' reply to Dr MacLean's criticism only raises further doubts to the integrity of the officer report system.

Signed: A K Warren 28 February 1997