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Issue 3 2016 Defence
4 Defence Issue 3 2016
The First Principles Review
assesses the program’s performance
through the first 12 months
The First Principles Review Implementation Committee. Front row: Neil Orme, Rebecca Skinner, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, Dennis Richardson and Roxanne Kelly.
Back row: Jarrod Howard, Frans Lombard, Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, Brendan Sargeant, Kim Gillis, Phillip Prior and Air Vice Marshal Neil Hart.
Photo: Lauren Larking
N JULY the First Principles Review
passed the one-year mark of its two-year
implementation program. In recognition
of this milestone, Defence Magazine
sought the views of the First Principles
Review Implementation Committee on how
implementation was going.
The Implementation Committee is chaired
by the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence
Force. Membership comprises the Associate
Secretary, Vice Chief of the Defence Force,
Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and
Intelligence, Chief Finance Officer, Deputy
Secretary People, and Deputy Secretary
Capability Acquisition and Sustainment.
The committee is the decision-making body
for implementation, with the Implementation
Office providing advice to assist in its work.
The committee meets weekly to drive the
delivery of the First Principles Review
Thank you for taking the time to discuss the
First Principles Review. Can I firstly ask how
do you think implementation is going?
Dennis Richardson, Secretary: By and large
we are making reasonable progress, with 36 of
the 75 recommendations completed in July.
There has been a lot of good work across the
organisation, particularly with other demands
such as delivering the 2016 White Paper, the
Integrated Investment Program and the Defence
Industry Policy Statement.
At its heart, the review is focused
on strengthening decision-making and
accountability. The work focused on the
strategic centre is important for strengthening
our advice to government as well as improving
the way we set direction, make decisions and
monitor our performance.
The three senior committees are now
established and operating, with the Defence
Committee having a smaller membership and
being supported by the Enterprise Business
Committee monitoring in-year performance
and the Investment Committee managing future
investments. I am also pleased that we now have
Rosemary Huxtable, a Deputy Secretary from
the Department of Finance, on the Investment
Committee and we recently invited Allan
McKinnon, Deputy Secretary from the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to also
participate. This is demonstrating our commitment
to openness and transparency, which is an
important change recommended by the review.
Slippage is, however, occurring across
the workstreams with a lot of activities being
pushed back to 2017. The Implementation
Committee is closely reviewing this.
Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, Chief of the
Defence Force: I am pleased with our progress
and our commitment to fully implementing the
remaining recommendations from the review.
The emphasis on One Defence is critical
for continued improvement across the entire
organisation, including the ADF. It is important
that ADF members and APS staff alike are not
only aware of the changes being implemented
through the First Principles Review, but of how
these changes will affect them.
The updated Ministerial Directive
clearly describes the individual and joint
accountabilities of the Secretary and myself.
This, combined with the Defence Legislation
Amendment (First Principles) Act 2015 – which
now formally recognises the authority of the
Chief of the Defence Force and the Vice Chief
of the Defence Force – are key elements of the
One Defence approach.
I am also pleased that we have strengthened
the Service Chiefs’ role as capability managers
by clarifying their responsibility for identifying,
developing and delivering Defence’s capability
needs. In practical terms, the chain of command
and the day-to-day operations of ADF members
will remain largely unchanged and the legislative
changes will have no effect on ADF members’
obligations or entitlements. However, people will
begin to see more simplified governance as we
gradually replace the Defence Instructions issued
by each individual Service with a single set of
As work stream leads, what do you see as the
key achievements over the past 12 months?
Brendan Sargeant, Associate Secretary: I have
responsibility for three workstreams – enablers,
which covers service delivery, information
management and estate; behaviours; and
In information management, we have focused
on getting the governance right as we need to
break down our current siloed approach so we
can provide the best possible information to war
fighters and senior decision makers. For the first
time, we have a detailed and comprehensive
implementation plan that identifies a credible
path over the next five years to implement the
In the estate area, we have focused on
developing an estate strategy, plan and profile
that will help us align our estate footprint with
our current and future force requirements. We
have also focused on streamlining our internal
processes for disposal of properties, once agreed
Creating an integrated service delivery system
for the corporate enablers is a strong focus for me.
We are running “proof-of-concepts” at Defence
establishments around the country to create an
integrated customer interface for lodging service
requests. We are also creating a single web
interface and establishing 1800 DEFENCE as an
entry point for corporate services.
The Integrated Service Delivery Model
is involving both providers and customers in
designing ways to improve how customers access
services and it places the customer’s experience
at the forefront of the improvements.
Rebecca Skinner, former Deputy Secretary
Defence People: I work with Brendan in
delivering on the workforce and behaviours
workstreams. The first year of implementation
has brought several changes to our workforce,
particularly at the senior levels. Seven Band
3 positions and one three-star position were
abolished, and a voluntary redundancy program
was conducted for SES and Executive Level
We are now focused on finalising the strategic
workforce plan. Part one, which focuses on
“THERE HAS BEEN A LOT
OF GOOD WORK ACROSS
OTHER DEMANDS SUCH
AS DELIVERING THE 2016
WHITE PAPER, INTEGRATED
INVESTMENT PROGRAM AND
DEFENCE INDUSTRY POLICY.”
SECRETARY OF DEFENCE
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