Govt gives Defence reform thumbs up

The cogs of Australia's war machine have been cranked into overdrive after the government announced today that it has given the Defence Strategic Reform implementation plan a tick of approval.
Written by Colin Ho, Contributor

The cogs of Australia's war machine have been cranked into overdrive as Defence Minister John Faulkner announced today that the government had given Defence's Strategic Reform implementation plan a tick of approval.

A Super Hornet taking off from the USS Abraham Lincoln Flight Deck

(Super Hornet Fires Off USS Abraham Lincoln Flight Deck image by dvidshub, CC2.0)

According to the announcement made today, the Department of Defence is "on track" in delivering $797 million in cost reductions in the first year of the plan.

"After endorsing the detailed implementation plan, the government is confident that defence is well placed to achieve fundamental reform," Faulkner said in a media statement today.

"The [plan] extends over a decade and engages all areas of Defence. It will change how Defence works in fundamental ways," said Faulkner, adding that it will achieve "$20 billion in cost reductions over a decade from 2009-10, to reinvest in Defence capability."

$708 million will be spent on IT in order to gain savings of $1.9 billion over ten years.

Information Technology goals include the consolidation of 200 datacentres to less than 10, replacing existing ICT resources including desktops, telephone exchanges and networks with new equipment, the unification of communications on the Defence Secret Network, a rehaul of the software licensing management and the standardisation and a review of ICT equipment and projects.

According to plan documents, through to the 2018-2019 financial year the datacentre consolidation will save $240 million, the replacement of ICT resources will save $110 million, the communications unification scheme will save $30 million, whilst the software licensing management overhaul will save $90 million.

The plan also outlined an initiative to centralise human resources and information technology services and platforms across defence departments to facilitate information sharing and collaboration.

"Defence will introduce more centralised and standardised shared services and processes, make greater use of e-business, reduce internal red tape and simplify business processes. The Strategic Reform Program savings targets are ambitious and the reform initiatives that underpin them will not be easy," the department said in the 2030 report.

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