Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 9 2009 Contents 39
s I look back on 2009, my third
year as Deputy secretary
Defence support, I am proud
and satisfied as I reflect
upon the challenges and
achievements our staff have
addressed and met during the year.
From a whole-of-Defence perspective, the
release of the Defence White Paper in May
2009 by the Prime Minister and then-Minister
for Defence, and the ambitious Strategic Reform
Program to enable us to deliver upon the White
Paper, is a significant milestone that sets out the
way forward for Defence for the next 20 years.
Defence support reform
In March 2009, I set up a Defence Support
Reform team to progress internal reform across the
Group. This team then evolved into the Strategic
Support Reform Team after the release of the
White Paper in May 2009, and is led by Dr Ian
Williams. This small team is working with DSG
staff, and key stakeholders in Strategic Reform
and Governance and throughout the Groups and
Services to progress both strategic reform and
Defence Support’s internal reform efforts.
As part of Defence Support’s internal reform
activities, earlier this year I worked with the
Defence Support Executive to adopt and implement
a new operating model. This model included
grouping the management and delivery of all
products and services with an on-the-ground focus
and presence into a single division – Defence
Support Operations – led by Major General Liz
Cosson. This saw the amalgamation of 12 former
DSG regions into five new, larger regions, which
underpins a broader reform program in Defence
Support to improve consistency and standardisation
of service delivery.
We have also made significant inroads to
moving to a genuine shared services delivery
model in Defence. Defence Support currently
provides shared services to Defence in many ways,
but we are often administering these services in
conjunction with other Groups and Services. This
means many different cells are operating together
or alone to get a similar organisational outcome.
This leads to inconsistency in service delivery and
inefficiencies in timeliness and costs of service.
For example, DSG processes 40 per cent of
Defence accounts through ISIS – but accounts are
also processed by various areas across Defence.
This leads to a lack of standardisation, consistency
and timeliness in the payment of accounts. Within
Defence Support, we have been transferring all
suitable DSG accounts processing activities to
ISIS. We will then work with the Groups and
Services to roll this out across the organisation.
By consolidating and reforming the accounts
payable process, Defence can achieve savings by
streamlining and standardising its processes and
becoming more efficient, with an overall capability
to deliver a consistent and timely service.
Similar opportunities exist in payroll management.
In the last 12 to 18 months, we have been working
with our customers in the Services to broaden
the take-up rate of the PMKEYS Self Service tool,
particularly pay transactions and leave processing for
ADF members. This has resulted in significant benefits
to Defence. It has reduced the administrative overhead
associated with processing these requests, saving
time, improving output and efficiency and ultimately
achieving greater value for money. It is these types
of improvements that position Defence Support to
realise its contribution to the Defence Strategic Reform
Program (SRP) and the Defence White Paper.
Defence Support has a lead role in non-
equipment procurement (NEP) reform stream of
SRP. NEP reform savings are valued at $4 billion
for 10 years, with Defence Support contributing
around $1.5 billion. This presents significant
challenges and opportunities as we work with you,
our Group and Service counterparts, to identify
improvement and efficiencies.
The establishment of a centre of procurement
and contracting excellence is a key component of
NEP reform for Defence Support. This centre will
provide guidance and strategies to ensure Defence
non-equipment procurement is undertaken with
an improved commercial approach, and ensure
efficiencies and consistencies across Defence.
DSG is also working closely with People Strategies
and Policy Group to progress reform initiatives in
the shared services and workforce reform streams.
Along with our contribution to SRP, Defence
Support is also continuing to progress its
existing reform program, including the successful
implementation of the Base Accountabilities Model.
Business as usual achievements
DSG has also made significant progress
across its broad ranging responsibilities to support
Defence capability and enable Defence priorities.
Following the High Court ruling on 26
August 2009 that deemed the Australian Military
Court unconstitutional, Defence Legal provided
exceptional support to introduce legislation to
establish an interim military justice system. This
interim legislation was passed in Parliament on 14
September 2009. This work continues to be a high
priority for Defence Legal to develop a model for
the longer term.
In July 2009, Defence Support set up a new
specialised team, Defence People Solutions, led by
Mr Neville Tomkins. This team takes responsibility
for code of conduct, case management,
rehabilitation management, Group safety and
compliance, health and injury prevention and
the associated advice, support and training. It
also includes management of the Defence Work
leAD the wAy
LeFT: Getting the lowdown
on practical field craft and
was all part of the work
experience program at the
Royal Military College.
Photo: Phillip Vavasour
By Deputy Secretary Defence Support Martin Bowles
hen 37 students
experience at the Royal
Military College (RMC),
Canberra to launch the
Defence national Work
experience Program on 1 December
2008, this was just the beginning.
One year on and 1 122 students have attended
work experience placements at various bases
throughout Australia, experiencing first-hand a range of
skills and trades used in the Australian Defence Force
and the Australian Public Service on a daily basis.
Director Work Experience Program Terry
Watson explained that the program launch marked
the start of a Defence Support Group-coordinated,
Defence-wide approach to providing work experience
opportunities for students across Australia.
“Students can experience what it is like to be
a member of Defence and hopefully this in turn will
motivate them to consider a career in Defence when
they finish school,” Terry said.
“It is also a way for Defence to contribute to the
wider community by developing the skills of young
people and easing their transition into the workplace.
“The program also fosters community
awareness of Defence as an employer of choice
that offers a wide variety of career opportunities
for people within the Australian Defence Force and
the Australian Public Service.”
The Work Experience Program team has also been
busy during the last 12 months promoting the program
at career markets and expos across Canberra.
Feedback from students who have participated in
the work experience program has been very positive
for the continued success of the program.
“It was interesting, enjoyable, exciting, and
fun and showed jobs and employment careers I
never knew about,” one participant said.
Comments from other participants were
“I already wanted to join the Army. But now I
know I want to join for sure.”
“I have a greater understanding of what is
expected and how to act in a military environment.”
“I absolutely loved the experience that I had
at RMC. It made me realise the dedication and
effort involved in Defence. I have a huge amount of
respect for all those involved.”
“Defence has shown the way that it operates
and treats its staff. It shows that it is an organisation
that rewards courage, discipline and integrity.”
In 2010, there are 529 placements currently
available at a variety of Defence bases and
establishments across Australia. The program
team hopes to add additional placements next year
involving all three Services and the APS.
“Details of these placements will be published
on the Work Experience Program website in early
December 2009,” Terry said.
More information on how to participate,
including details of placements is available on
the Defence Work Experience website
by emailing DefenceWorkExperienceProgram@
Experience Program. This program, launched one
year ago, has proved a valuable tool to enable
young people experience working in Defence (see
accompanying feature story on the program).
On the personnel administration front, DSG’s
Personnel Services team achieved a remarkable
outcome, in consultation with People Strategies
and Policy Group and the Services, to implement
the Graded Other Ranks Pay structure. This
initiative was one of the largest remuneration
reform activities ever undertaken by Defence.
Its aim is to provide a simpler, more flexible pay
structure, moving from a 16 to 10 grade structure.
This required DSG staff to enact more than 100 000
pay-related transactions into the payroll system,
and was successfully implemented across all three
Services with minimal disruptions or errors.
DSG has also had success in recognition
of excellence in infrastructure projects. The
Headquarters Joint Operations Command and
Single LEAP Phase 1 projects were nominated
by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia for
National Infrastructure Project of the Year. Both
projects were managed by DSG’s Public Private
Partnerships Branch. The HQJOC project won the
National Infrastructure Project of the Year award.
Defence Support has made significant
progress towards our goal of being an innovative,
agile and cost-effective support service that
enables and enhances the delivery of Defence
capability. While our fundamental role is to provide
timely and effective support, to achieve this
we must operate in an increasingly constrained
environment, and to be smart in how and what we
deliver to our military and civilian customers. We
need to ensure we are delivering the right products
and services, at the right time, to the right people.
I look forward to continuing to work with
DSG staff and my colleagues across Defence in
2010 as we work together to lead reform and
improvements across Defence.
Defence Support has made
significant progress towards
our goal of being an innovative,
agile and cost-effective
support service that enables
and enhances the delivery of
Deputy Secretary Defence
Support Martin Bowles
By Nicole Jeffers
defence magazine ›
In July 2009, year 11 and 12 students from St
Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill participated in
activities at RAAF Richmond, HMAS Kuttabul
and the School of Military Engineering at
Moorebank. Students were exposed to the various
operational and administrative areas of each
base and participated in the Weapons Training
Simulator System, observed military working dogs
undergoing training and also participated in a
vehicle security training exercise.
The Royal Military College (RMC) in Canberra
conducted two work experience programs in
2009 hosting 40 students for five days. Students
participated in a range of activities including
the battle efficiency and obstacle course,
simulated weapons training, a demonstration of
light infantry weapons, practical field craft and
camouflage, concealment and living in the
field as well as presentations on recruiting and
the history of RMC.
aBOVe: Work experience
students get a feel for
simulated weapons training
at the Royal Military College.
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