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Defence eyecare provider dismissed for sending data offshore

OPSM’s parent company Luxxotica Australia has been relieved of its duty as the Australian Defence Force’s optometry provider, after it sent claims information overseas in breach of its $33.5 million contract.

All ADF personnel were swiftly notified of the issue by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, who also outlined interim arrangements for optical services.

“Both the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, and I are treating this issue very seriously,” Griggs said.

A Defence spokesperson said on Friday it was assumed that the issue affected all ADF personnel who have received optical services through Luxottica since it took on the role in late 2012, as the exact nature and amount of information sent offshore was still being confirmed.

Luxxotica was a subcontractor to Medibank Health Services, which inked a $1.3 billion deal two years ago to manage all of Defence’s health service needs until mid 2016, the first time such a contract was offered.

At the time, the eyecare corporation — which owns the brands OPSM, Budget Eyewear and Lubmank & Prank — announced it had been successful partly on the basis of its track record providing services to the ADF in Western Australia and South Australia as well as its “extensive geographical reach”.

MHS advised Defence that it had terminated the contract on Friday and apologised to all ADF members. It also confirmed that none of its other subcontractors were sending data offshore.

Author Bio

Stephen Easton

Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.