Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2010 Contents 10 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
Strategic reform. It’s an all-pervasive phrase in Defence at the moment.
SRP: the opportunity to
create and innovate
As most of you are now aware, the Strategic
Reform Program (SRP) package was agreed by
Government in late March, and was subsequently
announced by the Minister for Defence on
7 April. Since then, the CDF, other members of
the Defence Committee and I have been, through
the last several months, discussing the SRP
with members of Defence wherever possible –
something we will continue to do.
The Government wants us to live within our
budget, deliver on the SRP and deliver on
the Government has committed $2.4 billion during
the term of the SRP to invest in reform activities.
At the time of the White Paper, the early reforms
had very clear and implementable initiatives.
DSTO has rolled out most of its initiatives, and
we have already seen several improvements to
the capability development process. We have
changed the way we approach strategic planning,
and are revising the way we undertake the White
Paper process. We are increasing the role of our
capability managers, and we have seen DMO
become more commercial in its approach to
There will be benefits for all of us as members
of Defence from SRP. The cost reductions from
SRP are to be reinvested in current and future
capabilities as outlined in the White Paper and in
the Defence organisation itself.
The Information and Communication Technology
reforms will significantly improve ICT services
across Defence. Across the next decade, Defence
will invest around $1.2 billion in its ICT systems. By
2012, we will have a single desktop environment
using multi-level security technology that will
allow unclassified, restricted and secret domains
to be accessed from a single box, and will simplify
software delivery and updating.
Reforms to the acquisition process of non-military
goods and services will see us deliver cost
reductions of about $4 billion across 10 years.
The Smart Sustainment stream is about sustaining
ADF capability while ensuring it remains safe,
effective and affordable. This represents the
largest SRP stream in financial terms and combines
more than 100 smaller reform projects, generating
about $5.5 billion in savings for the next 10 years.
But the SRP is not about slash and burn. We have
the opportunity to be creative and innovative.
We are taking the next step toward a more
centralised shared services model. Defence will
convert around 700 contractor positions to APS
jobs; during this financial year we have already
converted 245 positions. Between 500 and 600
uniformed military support positions will be
civilianised between 2010 and 2014, resulting in
a benefit of around $400 million during the life of
We understand that changes to an organisation’s
workforce are not easy. However, as a result
of previously planned growth and White Paper
initiatives, Defence will see a net growth of its
workforce including approximately 3800 additional
ADF positions and 1500 APS positions during the
decade (which is a larger number than previously
So while the overall workforce will grow
throughout the next decade, it will also have to
handle much greater activity. As we move toward
a leaner business model, the workforce mix will
need to be re-balanced. Some areas, such as
administrative processing and office functions, will
see a reduction in workforce numbers, but changes
in these areas will be carefully managed and
reductions will be managed primarily through the
attraction, re-training and relocation of staff.
Planning is one of Defence’s strengths, and the
planning effort for the SRP has been meticulous,
which means we are well-positioned for its
implementation. However, to effectively implement
a program of this scale, we all need to think and
work smarter. For the organisation to change, the
people must be prepared to change with it.
To support the implementation of the SRP, a set
of reform behaviours has been developed in
consultation with staff across the organisation,
which aligns with the Defence values and Code
of Conduct. I encourage you to spend some time
familiarising yourself with these behaviours, and
to consider how they relate to the way you work
“The SRP provides Defence
with the chance to deliver its
future force and to shape its
own future, and we intend to
- Secretary of Defence Dr Ian Watt
The SRP provides Defence with the chance to
deliver its future force and to shape its own future,
and we intend to grasp it.
While the SRP presents us with a great
opportunity, it also brings with it an even greater
responsibility of using our resources wisely. We
must make everything we do count – every minute,
every dollar, every round.
Many of you will already be familiar with the
origins and development of the SRP package,
starting with the Defence White Paper, Force 2030,
released in May last year.
In order to fund Force 2030, the Defence funding
model needed to be enhanced. Our implicit
agreement with Government is that the cost-
reductions stipulated by the SRP will provide $20
billion in funding to help deliver Force 2030, and
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