Pressure on the Defence Department to ensure that the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) succeeds has increased with the Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, linking the full implementation of the program to the ability of Australia to defend itself in the future.
In a recent address to the Defence Senior Leadership Group in Canberra, Faulkner said the SRP was not only about delivering savings and efficiencies, it was an integral component of the Government’s Defence strategy white paper.
“It is the means by which we will build an organisation capable of delivering and sustaining Force 2030,” he said. “To be blunt, while we have already started to build Force 2030 through decisions over the past year, achieving it in its full potential will not be possible without achieving the SRP in all its dimensions."
He added: "Reform will not be easy. We have the opportunity and responsibility to make the SRP a reality. In doing so, we will create the Defence organisation Australia needs to help secure its future."
Force 2030 is Defence’s plan to equip the military to deal with strategic change in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Force 2030 report identified that Defence's ICT environment is fragmented to the point that less than half of the $1.2 billion spent by the agency is visible to the CIO, resulting in inefficiencies in delivery.
“By 2012, the Information and Communications Technology reform program will build an improved Defence Information Environment to support both Defence war fighting and business reform objectives through to 2030,” the report reads. “To drive this deep reform, an investment of around $700 million is required. Through this investment, savings of $1.9 billion over the decade and around $250 million per annum thereafter would be achieved.”
Faulkner also noted that the Government had considered and endorsed the implementation plan for the Defence SRP.
"The SRP is designed to give Australia a stronger, more agile and harder-hitting Defence Force. After endorsing the detailed implementation plan, the Government is confident that Defence is well placed to achieve fundamental reform," he said.