Designed to succeed

Cover of the 2016 Integrated Investment Program , 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement and 2016 Defence White Paper
Cover of the 2016 Integrated Investment Program , 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement and 2016 Defence White Paper

Sea of activity

With the first half of the year behind us the level of activity in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and Defence more generally has been fever pitch - particularly in the maritime space. Since January we have seen the 2016 Defence White Paper delivered along with the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement (DIPS); Naval acquisition announcements on a scale never before witnessed in this country and now a Federal election just for good measure.

White Paper

As most of you would already know, the 2016 Defence White Paper outlines the Government’s $195 billion investment in Defence capability across the decade to 2025-26. The accompanying DIPS also centred on a $1.6 billion investment in the relationship between Defence and defence industry. Significantly for everyone in CASG, one of the key messages in the industry statement is the clear acknowledgment that Australian Defence industry is fundamental to the development of Defence capability. This is a most welcome policy initiative that further underpins our reform program. The 2016 Integrated Investment Program (IIP) is a robust long term plan, an investment plan that is affordable, achievable and sustainable. It is also fully costed and will deliver a more capable, potent and agile future Defence force. With this in mind, it is crystal clear to the SLG and I that it is fundamentally important that we in CASG maintain the momentum generated thus far to reform the way we do business. We have been making steady progress to date and we must continue to pursue the organisational goals we want to achieve to provide better results for our war fighters. To this end the reform program being undertaken across CASG is in full flight.

Key initiatives include:

  • Capability Life Cycle – From the beginning of April until end of July there will be a gradual transition of projects and processes into the new model.
  • CASG Business Framework The framework provides an integrated and uniform approach to doing business by providing clarity of accountabilities and roles and responsibilities. It will also drive performance in a logical and transparent manner, will simplify processes and allow our Group to operate in an aligned and coordinated manner.
  • Smart Buyer Under the Smart Buyer model we are ensuring Defence has the skills and decision making framework to make timely decisions on procurement. This is core business for us and the key plank in the revised Capability Life Cycle (CLC).
  • Australian Industry as a Fundamental Input to Capability – Along with the 2016 Defence White Paper and the DIPS, the Government also released the IIP. Together these three statements provide a comprehensive policy framework for Australian industry. Implementation of Australian industry as Fundamental Input to Capability is being managed through the development of Defence’s new CLC system, a key recommendation of the First Principles Review: Creating One Defence.

To further cement and underscore this policy, it is my intent to reset the partnership between Defence and industry by generating new levels of cooperation. I need each and every one of you to mirror this cultural shift in how we do business if we are to succeed as an organisation.

During the course of this year I have used various platforms to interact with Defence industry including appearances at Defence Watch at the National Press Club and other high level discussions with Defence industry across the country. Pleasingly, the feedback to date has been extremely positive, with my industry colleagues telling me that they now have the clarity and certainty to invest with confidence. This includes investment in their people and the infrastructure necessary to make the Government’s Defence capability plans a reality.

As I move around the country I’m proud and impressed by the way you have all accepted the need for change and risen to the inevitable challenges of steering an organisation as large as CASG in a new and dynamic direction.

Together we can achieve amazing results that will have an enduring legacy not only for our war fighters but for our country.

DEPSEC CASG Kim Gillis