Home' Defence Magazine : White Paper 2009 Contents 10
n the past 12 months, I’ve spoken
about the need for reform and
the need to fix Defence’s broken
backbone. I’ve spoken about
how the less visible parts of
our business, such as ICT, logistics
and explosive ordnance have been
compromising our reputation and the
morale of our people. And I’ve spoken
about how they had the potential
to compromise the way we defend
Australia and the national interest.
In the past 12 months, we started to fix the
broken backbone of Defence, but we were always
working at the edges and focused on the more
immediate threats and high end risks.
We were always waiting for the moment when
we had the roadmap for deep, holistic and strategic
reform that would realise tangible and long-term
change in Defence.
That moment has now come.
The White Paper’s Strategic Reform Program
will drive savings and efficiencies in Defence and
ensure we deliver the ADF of the future and improve
the ADF of today.
Through its reform streams, the Program will
change Defence at its core, middle and outer edges.
And in the process it’ll deliver very significant
savings. But the savings won’t be delivered in the
old fashioned way, by simply slicing and dicing
The savings will be delivered in a sustainable
way, through direct and indirect means.
Yes, there’ll be cost cutting. But savings will also
be delivered indirectly through significant changes
to the way we do business. Changes that will mean
that in about five years time Defence’s processes,
systems, technologies and approaches to work will
look very different from the way they do today.
They will be consolidated, integrated, standardised,
modernised, automated and wherever possible,
world’s best practice – like our ADF operations.
In dollar terms, the Strategic Reform Program
will deliver around $20 billion in savings over the
next 10 years. These savings incorporate and build
on the $10 billion savings initiative directed by the
Minister last year. They’ve been earmarked for
reinvestment in current and future capability. And
they are absolutely critical to better supporting and
equipping the ADF of today and tomorrow.
why is this different?
I know that some will wonder if the Strategic
Reform Program is any different from the many other
reform programs of the past.
I know that some will think that, given the way
previous reform programs have gone in Defence, it’s
just a question of time and waiting this one out. That
it will all go away if we hold our breath long enough.
But this time it’s different.
First, because we’ve learned lessons from
previous reform efforts.
We’ve learned to pay close attention to
implementation planning and coordination,
integration and oversight.
We’ve learned that effective communication
and change management is imperative to success.
We’ve learned that senior leaders must be held
to account for their contribution to reform.
And, most importantly, we’ve learned that
genuine savings will only come through genuine
reform of every part of the Defence business.
Probably the closest thing we’ve got to the
scale of this reform program in recent history is the
Defence Reform Program.
But while the Defence Reform Program did
deliver savings, it did so by almost solely focusing
on the bottom line, by placing too much emphasis on
grabbing dollars and not enough on implementing
initiatives to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
That’s where the Strategic Reform Program
is different – and by its nature harder and
more challenging. Because what we’re doing
here is driving savings, while at the same time
fundamentally changing the way we do business.
This Program also has buy in. It’s been
developed by the senior executive, for their Services,
Groups and the Defence Materiel Organisation.
It’s been the subject of countless Defence
Committee meetings and consultations. It’s been
created from close and constructive collaboration.
Every Defence Committee member has agreed on
the improvements that need to be made, and every
Defence Committee member has agreed on how
they’re going to be made.
This reform program has been grown
by Defence to meet our future strategic and
organisational objectives. It hasn’t been imposed
on us – it’s been driven by us. And our decisions
have been based on rigorous strategic, financial and
This reform program is also very clear about who
is responsible for achieving what. Senior executives
will regularly report to CDF and to me on progress.
Blockers and blockages will be exposed
The Strategic Reform Program savings targets
are ambitious and the changes that underpin it
won’t be easy.
But the Program will fundamentally overhaul
Defence, driving efficiencies without compromising
effectiveness and creating significant savings.
The Strategic Reform Program will give Defence
a genuinely strategic and national advantage –
because the savings will be reinvested in capability
and our call on national resources constrained.
The future of the ADF – the ADF of the future
and indeed the future of Defence, depends on
the successful and complete implementation of the
Without the Strategic Reform Program savings,
we will not be able to deliver the White Paper.
ChIeF oF the DeFenCe ForCe’s ColuMn
ou would be aware that the
Prime Minister has released
the 2009 Defence White Paper,
Defending Australia in the Asia
Pacific Century: Force 2030.
This White Paper is a very good outcome for
the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It is exactly
what we need to ensure we have the long term
guidance, planning and force structure to provide
Australia with a military that has the capacity to
protect Australia and her interests.
Since becoming Chief of the Defence Force in
2005, my vision for the ADF has been that we will
be a balanced, networked and deployable force,
staffed by dedicated and professional people who
operate within a culture of adaptability and excel
at joint, interagency and coalition operations. This
White Paper will deliver this force for Australia.
Force 2030 will be a joint force. Our single
Service capabilities and systems will be bound
together into a seamless whole. Joint task forces
will be the standard. Force 2030 will be networked.
Maritime, land, air and the intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance elements will
share information that will provide unprecedented
situational awareness. Force 2030 will be balanced
and flexible—a force with depth that is able to
adapt rapidly to diverse tasks.
I am delighted with the capability decisions
that have been made and the balance between
the three services. The Service chiefs are equally
delighted with the White Paper decisions
applicable to their Service. Force 2030 will be
able to achieve an operational tempo and level of
precision not previously possible.
However, this commitment from the
Government requires a return commitment from
us all to improve the way we do business. The
White Paper process highlighted hollowness
and degradation within Defence caused by the
prioritisation of urgent equipment acquisition
over less urgent but important parts of Defence.
We have now reached a point where our budget,
capability and support services require immediate
remediation. It is imperative that Defence’s support
functions be managed effectively and efficiently—
these systems will be critical to our Force 2030.
In addition to this remediation, Defence
will be undergoing a Strategic Reform Program
(SRP). The SRP comprises a comprehensive set
of reforms that will overhaul Defence, producing
efficiencies and creating significant savings of
about $20 billion, which the Government has
agreed to reinvest in capability. The reforms will be
comprehensive and cover areas such as: capability
development, estate, information communications
and technology, intelligence, sustainment,
logistics, non-equipment procurement,
preparedness, personnel and operation costs,
reserves, science and technology, shared services,
strategic planning, and workforce management.
In total, these reforms will generate savings of $3
billion over the next four years alone. I stress that
while efficiencies can be found in support areas,
safety and quality will not be compromised.
I know you might have some concerns about
these reforms. However I assure you they will be
carefully planned, led and managed on a whole-
of-Defence basis. There will be a high level of
collaboration and cooperation across the groups
and services. You will be critical to the process.
We will draw on your skills, knowledge and
commitment, and we will communicate regularly
with you about how you can contribute and the
changes you can expect. Together, we will make
Defence a more business-like organisation and a
better place to work.
This White Paper has been a lengthy,
consultative and comprehensive task. I stress
that every facet of our organisation has had the
opportunity to contribute to the development of
this document. I congratulate all involved Defence
members on a job well done. The future security of
our nation has been strengthened with the release
of this White Paper.
Defence senior leadership—that is myself,
the Secretary, the Vice Chief, the Service chiefs,
the Deputy Secretaries, CEO DMO and the chiefs
of Joint Operations and Capability Development—
fully endorse this White Paper. We all look forward
to embarking on this exciting transition with you.
I will be making some base visits over the
coming weeks. I look forward to meeting with you
and to answering any questions you may have
about the White Paper, the remediation of our
support services and the SRP.
in the Asia Pacific
Century: Force 2030
ADF of the future
depends on reform
comprehensive task. i stress that every facet of our organisation
has had the opportunity to contribute to the development of
this document. i congratulate all involved defence members
on a job well done. the future security of our nation has been
strengthened with the release of this white paper.
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