The background character checks involved individuals employed as private security guards working on Australian military bases, senior public servants with access to sensitive information, staff in our overseas embassies and airline air marshals.
Within weeks of starting employment with the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency at Victoria Barracks in March 2010, five whistleblowers sensed something was terribly wrong.
Whistleblower Monica Bennett-Ryan says there was a bullying culture at the Victoria Barracks and threats not to speak out.
"We were not allowed to complain or ask questions. If you broke the rules the penalty was instant dismissal. We were disposable."
"Evidence provided to the inquiry confirmed that the substance of the allegations was true: incorrect data had been inserted in the vetting process," Thom reported.
"Now I have very little faith in the Defence Department and the Labor Government, and especially Defence Minister Stephen Smith," says Janice Weightman, another whistleblower.
Monica Bennett-Ryan says the issue of bullying at Victoria Barracks remains unresolved.
"The bullying has never been looked at despite complaints," she says.
"Defence lied and lied and no one is making them accountable. We were treated appallingly."
"We just want the bullying to stop."
The security breach Defence tried to hide, Des Houghton, The Courier-Mail, 3 March 2012 : http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/the-security-breach-defence-tried-to-hide/story-fn6ck620-1226287784790