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Chapter 2 - Defence overview


Role

The Defence mission is to defend Australia and its national interests.

Our primary role is to protect and advance Australia’s strategic interests through the provision of military capabilities and the promotion of security and stability, and to provide support for the Australian community and civilian authorities as requested by the Government.

Strategic direction

The Government expects Defence to be able to defend Australia and its national interests, to play an active role in contributing to regional security and stability, and to contribute to coalition operations across the world where our interests are engaged. Delivering on these requirements requires the strong, unified and integrated One Defence organisation being created through First Principles Review implementation, which will continue throughout 2016–17.

The 2016 Defence White Paper describes Australia’s strategic defence interests in a secure and resilient Australia, a secure near region, encompassing maritime South-East Asia and the South Pacific, and a stable Indo-Pacific region and rules-based global order that supports our interests. Securing these interests will require Australia to build on its strong network of bilateral and multilateral relationships. Through regular dialogue and practical cooperation, Defence will strengthen its engagement with partners to support shared responses to shared challenges.

Defence will continue to build its strategic centre to strengthen accountability and top-level decision making and improve policy formulation and the quality of advice provided to the Government. The strategic centre comprises the three Defence senior committees: the Defence Committee, chaired by the Secretary; the Enterprise Business Committee, chaired by the Associate Secretary; and the Investment Committee, chaired by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force. Together, the strategic centre sets the performance requirements for Defence, provides the resources to the Groups and Services to operate, and monitors and measures performance to ensure Defence delivers on Government policy direction effectively and efficiently.

Purposes

In fulfilling its mission, Defence has 10 purposes, as shown in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1: Defence purposes

Figure 2.1: Defence purposes

Purposes are defined by section 8 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 as ‘the objectives, functions or role’ of an entity.

The Defence purposes are described in Chapter 3–Annual performance statements.

Organisational structure

The joint leadership of Defence by the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force is known as the ‘diarchy’. The diarchy reflects the individual and joint accountabilities and responsibilities of the Secretary and the Chief of the Defence Force through directions given by the Minister for Defence. Figure 2.2 shows the Defence organisational structure as at 30 June 2016.

The Associate Secretary is responsible for Defence enterprise planning, performance and risk management functions, and the integration of all corporate enabling services, including facilities and estate security, information and communications technology, information management, human resources, legal, audit and security vetting services. Activities for which the Associate Secretary is accountable are mapped to the Defence Executive Support program in the Defence Portfolio Budget Statements.

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force is responsible for the operation of the capability lifecycle, designing and developing Defence joint capability, delivering military enablers and managing Defence preparedness.

The Navy, Army and Air Force are responsible for raising, training and sustaining forces.

Figure 2.2: Defence organisational structure as at 30 June 2016

Figure 2.1: Defence organisational structure as at 30 June 2016
Note:
this organisational chart is correct as at 30 June 2016. For a more current view, visit www.defence.gov.au/aboutus.asp.

In addition to the three Services of the Australian Defence Force, Defence comprises nine Groups:

  1. Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group—delivers high-quality advice to the Secretary, the Chief of the Defence Force and the Government
  2. Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group—designs the Australian Defence Force structure and delivers military enabling capabilities
  3. Joint Operations Command—plans, controls and conducts military campaigns, operations, joint exercises and other activities in order to meet government direction
  4. Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group—purchases and maintains military equipment and supplies in the quantities and to the service levels that are required by Defence and approved by the Government
  5. Defence Science and Technology Group—delivers science and technology support for Defence capability and national security
  6. Defence People Group—delivers the people capability required to operate and support Defence equipment and systems, and to manage the business of Defence
  7. Chief Finance Officer Group—delivers enterprise resource planning and budget management
  8. Chief Information Officer Group—delivers a secure and integrated information environment to support Defence business and military operations
  9. Estate and Infrastructure Group—delivers integrated services to support Defence people, equipment and systems, including base support for the Australian Defence Force.

Each Group and Service has a role in developing and enabling the capability Defence needs to deliver Government-directed outcomes.

Changes in senior leadership

The following changes in senior leadership occurred during 2015–16:

Air Marshal Gavin Leo Davies was appointed as Chief of Air Force on 4 July 2015.

Air Marshal Geoffrey Brown, the previous Chief of Air Force, transferred to the Standby Reserve on 31 August 2015.

Lieutenant General John Caligari, the previous Chief Capability Development Group, transferred to the Standby Reserve on 19 August 2015.

Mr Kim Gillis was appointed to the new position of Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment on 31 August 2015.

Mr Warren King, the previous Chief Executive Officer – Defence Materiel Organisation, retired from the Australian Public Service on 25 September 2015.

Mr Peter Baxter, the previous Deputy Secretary Strategy, was appointed Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and Intelligence on 5 February 2016.

Mr David Gould, the previous General Manager Submarines, ceased his non-ongoing employment contract on 22 July 2015.

Mr Colin Thorne, the previous General Manager Land and Maritime, resigned from the Australian Public Service on 2 October 2015.

Ms Shireane McKinnie, the previous General Manager Joint Systems and Air, retired from the Australian Public Service on 11 December 2015.

Mr Harry Dunstall, the previous Deputy Chief Executive Officer/General Manager Commercial Defence Materiel Organisation ceased his non-ongoing employment contract on 24 February 2016.

Portfolio structure

The Defence portfolio consists of a number of component organisations that together are responsible for enabling the defence of Australia and its national interests. The most significant bodies are:

  • the Department of Defence—a department of state headed by the Secretary of the Department of Defence
  • the Australian Defence Force—commanded by the Chief of the Defence Force and consisting of the three Services, which are commanded by Service Chiefs.

In practice, these bodies work together closely and are broadly regarded as one organisation known simply as Defence.

The portfolio administers a number of Acts and regulations that contain small entities, including a number of statutory offices, trusts and companies that are regulated by the provisions outlined in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). These entities are independent bodies; however, the stakeholder management or administration of these bodies reside within Defence. These include, among others, Defence Housing Australia, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a number of Services trust funds and canteen services.

The Defence portfolio also contains the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and associated bodies, as it is designated as part of the Defence portfolio in the Administrative Arrangements Order. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is administered separately to Defence and performance information related to the department may be found in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs annual report.

As a result of the First Principles Review, the Defence Materiel Organisation was delisted and reintegrated into the Department of Defence. To reflect this change to Defence’s organisational structure and accountabilities, the Defence Outcome 1 program structure was revised, as shown in Figure 2.3.

Figure 2.3: Defence portfolio structure as at 30 June 2016

Figure 2.3: Defence portfolio structure as at 30 June 2016
Note:
1. Appointments made under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982.

Outcomes and programs administered by Defence

Government outcomes are the intended results, impacts or consequences of actions by the Government on the Australian community. Commonwealth programs are the primary vehicle by which government agencies achieve the intended results of their outcome statements. Entities are required to identify the programs that will contribute to government outcomes over the financial year and the forward estimates (that is, the next three years).

Defence portfolio outcomes are shown in Figure 2.4, together with related programs administered by the department in 2015–16.

Figure 2.4: Defence outcomes and programs, 2015-16

Figure 2.4: Defence outcomes and programs
Note:
An explanation of changes to the program structure for Outcome 1 during 2015–16 is provided in Table 4.4.

Resource summary

As at 30 June 2016, the Defence departmental net cash spend was $31.5 billion. This was an underspend of $356 million when compared to the revised estimate in the Defence Portfolio Budget Statements 2016–17, primarily as a result of an underspend of $326 million in no-win/no-loss operations funding and foreign exchange movements.

People summary

Defence’s workforce includes Australian Public Service employees and Australian Defence Force members of the Navy, Army and Air Force. A snapshot of the Defence workforce at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2015 is provided in Figure 2.5.

Figure 2.5: Australian Defence Force and Australian Public Service workforce snapshot, 2015 and 2016

Figure 2.5: Australian Defence Force and Australian Public Service workforce snapshot, 2015 and 2016

The actual funded strength of the Australian Defence Force as at 30 June 2016 increased by 860 to 58,578 in 2015–16. This figure does not include the Reserve workforce, other than those on continuous full-time service. The actual full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing level for the Australian Public Service reduced by 1,364 to 17,423—the lowest level since 2001–02. These actual staffing figures include adjustments for part-time personnel and are the most reliable indicator of end-of-reporting-period staffing levels.

The average funded strength of the Australian Defence Force grew by 549 to 58,061 in 2015–16, and is forecast to increase in future years towards the 2016 Defence White Paper allocation.

The reduction in Australian Public Service employees continues the downward trend of the previous three years and is also evident in other workforce measures. The average number of FTE employees for 2015–16 was 18,071, a decrease of 1,271 from 2014–15 (19,342), and the downward trend is expected to continue in 2016–17. As the Australian Public Service workforce trends down, the average FTE figure will always be above the end-of-year actual figure.

Defence’s APS headcount for the year also showed a downward trend from 19,967 at 30 June 2015 to 18,578 at 30 June 2016, a reduction of 1,389. The headcount figure includes paid and unpaid employees, counting full-time, part-time, ongoing and non-ongoing employees equally.

ADF and APS staffing figures for 2015–16 and for 2014–15 are shown in tables 2.1 and 2.2.

Table 2.1: Australian Defence Force staffing figures, 2014–15 and 2015–16

ADF staffing measure

2014–15

2015–16

Variation

For workforce planning purposes

Actual funded strength (paid strength as at 30 June)

57,718

58,578

+860

Average funded strength (over the financial year)

57,512

58,061

+549

For other statistical data

Permanent headcount (on duty/leave and paid/unpaid)

57,404

58,035

+631

Note:
Funded strength figures include the ADF Gap Year. For consistency with other tables in Chapter 7, the headcount figures do not include the ADF Gap Year, which had 219 participants on 30 June 2015, rising to 395 participants on 30 June 2016.
Funded strength figures do not include the Reserve workforce, other than those on continuous full-time service who are paid through the same mechanism as Permanent Force members. For consistency with other tables in Chapter 7, the headcount figures do not include Reserve members.

Table 2.2: Australian Public Service staffing figures, 2014–15 and 2015–16

APS staffing measure

2014–15

2015–16

Variation

For workforce planning purposes

Actual FTE (paid strength as at 30 June)

18,787

17,423

–1,364

Average FTE (over the financial year)

19,342

18,071

–1,271

For other statistical data

Headcount figure (on duty/leave, full-time/part-time, paid/unpaid)

19,967

18,578

–1,389

Note:
Figures include both ongoing and non-ongoing APS employees.

Further details about the workforce are in Chapter 7—Strategic workforce management.

Changes in ministerial responsibilities

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 20 September 2015 of changes to the ministry, the following changes occurred on 21 September 2015:

  • Minister for Defence—Senator the Hon Marise Payne replaced the Hon Kevin Andrews MP
  • Assistant Minister for Defence renamed Minister for Defence Materiel and Science—the Hon Mal Brough MP replaced the Hon Stuart Robert MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence renamed Assistant Minister for Defence—the Hon Darren Chester MP
  • Minster for Veterans’ Affairs—the Hon Stuart Robert MP replaced Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 13 February 2016 of changes to the ministry, the following changes occurred on 18 February 2016:

  • Minister for Defence allocated defence science portfolio responsibilities
  • Minister for Defence Materiel and Science renamed Minister for Defence Materiel—the Hon Dan Tehan MP replaced the Hon Mal Brough MP
  • Assistant Minister for Defence—the Hon Michael McCormack MP replaced the Hon Darren Chester MP
  • Minster for Veterans’ Affairs—the Hon Dan Tehan MP replaced the Hon Stuart Robert MP.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs is in the Defence portfolio but reports separately through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs budget statements and annual report.

These ministerial responsibilities are correct as at 30 June 2016. Details of the current allocation of portfolio responsibilities for Defence are online at www.minister.defence.gov.au/allocation-of-portfolio-responsibilities.