Further steps have been taken by the Defence Leadership to implement the Review of the Defence Accountability Framework (the Black Review).
A key recommendation of the Black Review was to improve and streamline the operation of committees and decision making processes in Defence.
Black concluded there were too many committees with an unclear purpose which were not utilising the time of senior officers efficiently. Defence committees were not able to adequately set direction, drive change or most importantly provide the personal and institutional accountability that is essential to maximise performance.
“The Secretary and CDF have now extensively overhauled the committee and decision making processes, consistent with the changes recommended by Black”, Mr Smith said.
As a first step, a number of top level senior committees, including the Workforce and Financial Management Committee and the Defence Information and Communications Technology Committee have been abolished, with their functions merged into a single Advisory Committee.
This new Secretary and CDF Advisory Committee will be the primary decision making forum for the Secretary and CDF for week to week management of the Defence organisation. This Committee comprises the Secretary and CDF only, as the key Defence decision makers, with other participants invited as necessary in an advisory capacity. This committee met for the first time on 16 January 2012.
Further senior Committees will be rationalised in coming weeks.
The Defence Committee will continue to operate but will meet monthly only. This Committee will focus on strategic, whole of Defence issues and the implementation of the Defence Corporate Plan.
The Chiefs of Service Committee will continue to meet in its current format, providing military advice to assist the CDF in discharging his responsibilities.
Another key concern of the Black Review was the inconsistent quality of proposals coming before committees. As part of committee reform, the Secretary and CDF have established a central secretariat that will provide support and quality control across key committees.
The secretariat will ensure that decisions are promptly implemented and there is coherence across the work of the committees.
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Department of Defence: (02) 6127 1999