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Defence Management Reform

MEDIA RELEASE

THE HON. JOHN MOORE, MP Minister for Defence

Monday, 26th June, 2000 MIN144/00

Defence Management Reform

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, has welcomed the changes in senior management in the Department of Defence, announced today by Secretary, Dr Allan Hawke, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie.

"I have clearly indicated to the Secretary that developing a more contemporary level of management in the Department is a high priority of the Government. These changes represent a significant step in meeting that objective and improving the professionalism, accountability and corporate governance at the senior levels of Defence."

The Minister said he was particularly pleased with the creation of a Chief Finance Officer in Defence.

"The CFO, a three-star equivalent appointment, will have overall responsibility for the total financial management of Defence and will report directly to the Secretary. The creation of the CFO position is a major step in improving financial accountability and management in Defence, particularly with respect to capability investment.

"I am also pleased the Secretary and CDF have accepted my suggestion for the creation of a Defence Improvement Committee. This Committee will be the major vehicle for making continual improvements at all levels of Defence in management and accountability. The purpose of the Committee is to ensure that the Government and Australian taxpayers always receive value for money for the large amounts spent on Defence.

Minister Moore will chair the committee, which will comprise the Secretary, Chief of Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, and two independent external members, appointed by the Minister. It will meet on a quarterly basis.

The Minister also welcomed the decision to amalgamate the Acquisition and Support Command parts of the organisation.

"The Government has been very concerned at the inadequate level of management and accountability associated with many major projects in the Department.

"Today's changes are a clear sign of the priority which will be given to project management and to improved co-operation with Defence Industry," Mr Moore said.

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The Minister said the changes announced today are a critical first step in re-aligning the Defence organisation to ensure it is responsive to the priorities of the Government.

"The reforms outlined by Dr Hawke are a necessary precursor to the fundamental review of defence policy being undertaken by the Government through its forthcoming White Paper."

The Minister also welcomed staff changes associated with the reforms. In particular, he paid tribute to outgoing Deputy Secretary, Strategy, Hugh White, who will leave that position on 1st July to work full-time overseeing the Public Discussion Paper and Whiter Paper processes.

"For five years, Hugh has served successive governments diligently and professionally, as Deputy Secretary, Strategy. His knowledge and expertise will be of considerable importance to the Government as we develop the White Paper," said Mr Moore.

The Community Consultation Process to develop the White Paper will begin on 27th June, with the release of the Defence Public Discussion Paper. The Defence White Paper is expected to be released by the end of this year.

As part of the reforms announced by Secretary Hawke, Dr Richard Brabin-Smith will transfer from Chief Defence Scientist to Deputy Secretary Strategy.

"I am pleased that Dr Brabin-Smith has agreed to accept this important role at a critical time for our strategic policy development.

"At the same time, the Government is committed to ensuring the Defence Science Organisation remains one of the nation's pre-eminent science bodies. A wide search has begun to identify a suitable candidate to succeed Dr Brabin-Smith," Mr Moore said.


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