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Australian Dept of Defence Annual Report 2006-07


Defence Annual Report 2006-07

The Department of Defence today presented its Annual Report 2006-07 to the Senate in accordance with the caretaker conventions.

The Australian National Audit Office declared Defence's 2006-07 financial statements as "true and fair," except for general stores inventory.

"This is a significant achievement and is proof that the reforms we are making in Defence's financial management are working and moving in the right direction," said Secretary of Defence, Mr Nick Warner.

"The Chief Finance Officer has done an outstanding job in getting the statements to this position, particularly in eliminating uncertainty around $2.2 billion worth of repairable items."

The report also highlights the success of the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) recruitment initiative. The ADF recruitment figures show that 8,924 Australians joined the ADF as either full-time or reserve members over 2006-07, which is an improvement of 1,125 over the figures from the previous year.

Air Chief Marshal Houston also praised the performance of the ADF on operations. "Defence has again been working at a high operational tempo, undertaking a diverse range of roles in a variety of regions. The men and women of the ADF and in Defence as a whole have risen to the challenge and performed with distinction. I am very proud of the work they do and their efforts are highly regarded by the nation, our allies and coalition partners.

"The Secretary and I would also like to acknowledge the vital contribution made by our people across the entire Defence organisation that enables our success on operations," said Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

"Civilian public servants in the Defence Department are a vital part of our capability in areas ranging from policy advice to intelligence analysis, equipment procurement and personnel support. We commend our people for their dedication and hard work," Air Chief Marshal Houston and Mr Warner said.

While Defence has made significant improvements over 2006-07, particularly in its financial management and recruitment, the reform program has only just begun.

"The improvements over 2006-07 mark the beginning of a much broader process of change that we will implement over the coming years. This will include, but not be limited to, the Defence Management Review, which provides an opportunity for reform, not a blueprint," said Mr Warner and Air Chief Marshal Houston.

"We are strongly committed to improving our business systems, governance and accountability, people management and our support to the Minister and the ADF and its operations, and that will be the focus of our change agenda over 2007-08 and into the future."

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) annual report for 2006-07 also released today records that DMO's financial statements have been endorsed by the Auditor–General without qualification.

In providing through-life support for ADF equipment the DMO delivered in-service support to 100 diverse categories of Defence specialised military equipment, ranging from major platforms such as aircraft and ships to individual items such as vehicles, rifles, tents, support and clothing.

DMO is continuing to address a critical skills shortage through the Skilling Australia's Defence Industry (SADI) initiative.

The annual report for 2006-07 is available at:

http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/06-07/dar/index.htm

ENDS

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