Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2009 Contents 22
mission, and as Defence’s
new Chief Audit executive
he is looking forward to the
challenges that the newly-
created position will present.
His Campbell Park Office is a long way
from the frantic pace of Abu Dhabi, Jakarta or
Singapore where he has worked in the past,
however Mr Brown is confident that his extensive
experience in senior management, accounting
and internal audit roles in the private sector has
prepared him well for his time at Defence.
“I have been in the role for more than a month
now and have been pleasantly surprised with the
quality of people in my team, their professionalism
and their work ethic,” Mr Brown said.
“My objective is to have Audit Division
viewed as a partner to management, and be seen
as a first point of contact for advice and support in
the development and implementation of internal
control and risk management systems - both across
the organisation and down through the Services
Mr Brown said he sees no difference in the
range of opportunities in Defence to improve
control awareness and process improvement, to
those in the private sector.
“It is important that audit become a driver of
risk management through the organisation and
I see my role as assisting people to understand
this,” Mr Brown said.
And Mr Brown can see big opportunities for
Defence to develop in several key areas.
“When I first arrived the big thing I noticed
was that accountabilities are often not clearly
defined - a person is in a role but it’s fuzzy where
his or her responsibilities stop and someone else’s
start,” Mr Brown said.
“This is not the case in the business environment
where most large organisations have clearly defined
limits of authority and position responsibilities that
link to the authority limits, as well as key performance
indicators that are closely aligned to the organisations
strategic and tactical goals.
“There are opportunities to improve business
practices here in Defence, particularly in the area
of defining accountabilities, but this will require a
change in behaviour from people – they will need
to accept more responsibilities and accountability
for their actions.”
For Mr Brown, focusing his attention on
operational activities and the inherent risks that
are involved is very important.
“At the end of the day my understanding
of this business, Defence, is that it is about
deployment,” Mr Brown said.
“This whole structure exists to support the
deployment of people and equipment - to make
sure that the right people go to the right place with
the right equipment being operationally ready – we
are driven by that objective.”
Mr Brown admits that for many, audit is seen as
boring and sitting outside the real business. But he
has big plans to change both the role of Audit Division
and the way the Division is viewed across Defence.
“I want Audit Division to be seen by all Groups
as the knowledge centre for risk management and
internal control process improvement as well as for
managers and staff within Defence to view it as
the place to come to accelerate your career.
“I want the brightest thinkers to come and
be part of our team. Audit touches all parts of
the organisation, and there is really no limit
organisation has that scope or what I prefer to
While reporting directly to the Secretary, Mr
Brown will work closely with the Chief Finance
Officer, Deputy Secretary Strategic Reform and
Governance, and the Defence Audit and Risk
Committee to ensure that Defence complies
with its operational, financial and governance
obligations and that it understands and manages
By Leila Daniels
CHIeF AuDIt eXeCutIVe
- Defence’s Chief
Mr Geoff Brown.
There are opportunities
to improve business
practices here in
in the area of defining
accountabilities, but this
will require a change in
behaviour from people –
they will need to accept
and accountability for
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