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Program 1.9 - Vice Chief of the Defence Force

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group's mission is to develop, deliver, enable and ensure Defence Joint Capability in order to protect and advance Australia's national and strategic interests. The group provides advice and planning on military strategic effects and commitments, joint military professional education and training, logistics support, health support, ADF Cadet and Reserve policy, joint capability coordination, coordination of the Defence preparedness management system, and joint and combined ADF doctrine.

The VCDF Group has responsibility for the Australian Civil-Military Centre, the Australian Defence Simulation Office, the ADF Parliamentary Program, the Federation Guard, ADF ceremonial activities, the ADF Investigative Service, Strategic Communications Branch, the US Force Posture Review Implementation Team and the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force.

Joint Logistics Command continues to deliver logistics reform through the Defence Logistics Transformation Program, including commencing transition to the new Land Materiel Maintenance contract and commencing construction of new warehouses and workshops.

Considerable effort has been put into ADF workplace reform. At the forefront has been the implementation of Project Suakin, which will put Defence into a position to meet future workforce challenges by establishing a contemporary and flexible workforce structure. Suakin will offer a range of full-time, part-time and casual service options that will make it possible for ADF members to continue to serve as their circumstances change across their working life.

Work on increasing the Reserves' support capability included updating Defence policies to reflect contemporary employment practices, establishing memorandums of understanding with employers of Reservists, and expanding the supportive employer program. Defence hosted Employer Support awards throughout Australia to recognise employers who support Reserve service. The number of registered supportive employers of ADF Reservists has increased from approximately 500 in 2012, to more than 1,000 by 30 June 2013. A comprehensive review was undertaken of post-operational support for returned Reservists and a plan developed for implementation of its recommendations.

Health reforms include a review of ADF health services and the implementation of its recommendations; and the implementation of the ADF mental health reform program and the ADF Health Services Project. As a result, governance frameworks within Joint Health Command are being significantly improved to ensure services are optimal and policy advice remains accurate and current.

The CDF issued a Directive providing general direction and guidance for administering the ADF Cadets. Following a review of governance of the ADF Cadets, new arrangements for greater policy alignment between the Cadet Services have been agreed.

Table 3.26 - Program 1.9 deliverables

Table 3.26 - Program 1.9 deliverables
Deliverable Status
Lead the preparation of departmental military strategic advice to government via ministerial submissions, ministerial representations, Question Time briefs and Cabinet submissions Met
Provide military strategic expertise to CDF in order to prepare direction from CDF to subordinate headquarters Met
Deliver agreed savings and reforms within the VCDF Group including in the areas of Logistics, Reserves, and Preparedness and Personnel and Operating Costs Substantially met
Deliver coordinated logistic advice and services to the ADF, and provide oversight and assurance of the Defence Logistic Capability Met
Provide policy advice and deliver services to optimise the health of ADF personnel Substantially met
Enhance Defence, inter-agency and combined capability coordination Substantially met
Manage education and training for the defence workforce Met
Enhance capacity of Reserves to support Defence capability Met
Provide a coordinated, coherent and well-governed approach to Youth Development Programs in the Australian Defence Organisation in order to provide a positive youth development experience Met
Promote best-practice civil-military engagement through the Australian Civil-Military Centre Substantially met

Table W3.27: Program 1.9 key performance indicators

Table W3.27: Program 1.9 key performance indicators
Key performance indicator Status Comment
Timely, accurate and widely consulted advice provided to Government Met This key performance indicator continues to be met. Wherever timelines from government allow, wide and detailed consultation has been completed.
High level of engagement with Joint Operations Command, International Policy Division, Strategic Policy Division, Australian Civil-Military Centre, and other government agencies, for operational matters Met On almost all issues, Military Strategic Commitments Division consulted widely within the department. Key areas include International Policy Division, HQJOC and the Services. Further, the division has consistently engaged with external agencies, with particular focus on the AFP, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on matters requiring interdepartmental consultation.
Advice is readily sourced and made available to the Offices of CDF and VDCF to support strategic decision making Met The offices of CDF and VCDF were consistently provided with support to these key principles. Support includes management and reporting on operational issues, parliamentary reporting and direction within the department.
ADF operational tempo is managed within concurrency constraints Met Continual liaison between HQJOC and the Services ensures concurrency constraints are identified and managed.
Group-specific reform and savings have been achieved Substantially met Reform in these areas continues to be a focus within the group.
ADF operations and exercises receive effective logistics and health support and services Substantially met This key performance indicator has historically been met. VCDF Group, through Joint Logistics Command, has:
  • coordinated responsive logistic support to ADF operations, major exercises and directed activities to enable mission success
  • coordinated effective and efficient logistic support to enable Services to meet their Raise, Train and Sustain functions.
Health support to operations continues to improve with emphasis on the agility of the support organisations to deliver required levels of support in a timely manner (led by Joint Health Command). There is a marked improvement in integration between deployed and deployable force elements and key enablers (Joint Health Command/Joint Operations Command/Joint Logistics Command/Defence Materiel Organisation). Equipment modernisation is ongoing and is being actively managed by Joint Health Command as the capability coordinator.
ADF joint and combined operational capability Substantially met Joint Capability Coordination has attended planning meetings and international battlespace awareness exercises to inform a decision on ADF involvement in 2014. Involvement in existing NATO and US/UK/Canadian activities will inform development of related concepts and major capital projects. Specific initiatives include establishing a bilateral review of current and potential interoperability interactions between the ADF and the Singaporean Armed Forces based on a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief scenario. The review could be the baseline for a stronger, broader interoperability framework between the two countries. Joint Capability Coordination has also started development of a number of joint operating concepts with an estimated completion time of late 2014.
Delivery of learning outcomes that deliver the skills required for defence capability Met The Australian Defence College leads the strategic direction of education and training in Defence. Responsive to learning outcomes and capability requirements specified by the Services and groups, curriculum changes are made in response to emerging requirements and lessons learnt.  The college is continuing to evolve through the progression of education and training shared services arrangements. Delivery of ADF and APS specified learning outcomes was achieved within allocated resources.
Planning and policy frameworks are developed to enhance the contribution of the reserves to Defence and the wider community Met A new employer support payment determination establishes value for money as a key factor in decision making.Defence policies have been monitored and reviewed to ensure that they are ‘Reserve friendly’. Defence negotiated 28 leave policies and eight MOUs with employers. The number of active Reservists has increased from 23,771 at 30 June 2007, to 25,446 at 1 April 2013.On 1 April 13, there were 842 Reservists undertaking continuous full-time service, compared to 1,074 on 1 April 2012. The variation is due to reduced operational tempo, primarily the drawdown from Timor-Leste.More than 13,000 Reservists have been deployed on operations since 2002.
Governance and accountability frameworks enhance the youth development experience within the ADF Cadets Substantially met A tri-service approach to youth policy including the ADF Cadets has been endorsed, to be incorporated in a youth policy manual that will be a single authoritative source of policy for Defence Cadet and youth programs. ADF Cadet policies on staff selection, Cadet weapons, Defence firearms and health conditions have been updated. Further tri-service policies are under development. A standardised 'Cadet Reference' for a Cadet's record of service is under development.A Defence Instruction on Child Protection has been drafted.In the period 2009 to 2012, the number of cadets increased by 8.6%, from 21,863 to 23,740.
Australian Civil-Military Centre delivers its goals effectively and efficiently in accordance with government instructions Substantially met  
ADF investigations are supported by effective and efficient administration Substantially met The dedication and commitment of a combined APS and ADF workforce has provided the ADF Investigative Service, other components of the Service Police community and other internal and external agencies, including the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, with sustained administrative support during a period of high investigative workload and suboptimal staffing. This support enabled ADF investigators to focus solely on investigation operations in the domestic and deployed overseas environments. Additionally, administrative support in the form of information management has enabled investigators and other clients to meet their strategic outcomes. The ADF Investigative Service continues to experience public service staff shortfalls in the Service Police Central Records Office and the Service Police Intelligence Office that are affecting the ability to provide timely responses.
Deliver group-specific outcomes and programs on time and within agreed resources Substantially met