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Review of the Defence Accountability Framework

On Tuesday, 9 August 2011, the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced further Accountability Reforms for Defence.

This builds on reforms to Defence that the Government has already announced in 2011.

The Minister for Defence said the new key reforms are:

  • the establishment of two Associate Secretary positions to strengthen Defence's capacity to implement the Black Review;
  • the strengthening of personal and institutional accountability, particularly in the areas of capability development and acquisition;
  • increasing rigour and contestability within capability development, including the establishment of a new process for the inclusion of projects into the Defence Capability Plan;
  • improving project management skills, implementing three year postings for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel into capability projects, and developing employment incentives to retain key civilian staff in the capability area;
  • reforming Defence planning, decision-making processes and performance management; and
  • substantially reducing the number of Committees in Defence.

The Minister for Defence also released the "Review of the Defence Accountability Framework" (the Black Review) commissioned by the Secretary of the Department of Defence and the former Chief of the Defence Force and conducted by Dr Rufus Black. The reforms announced today fully implement the Black Review.

The Black Review is the first comprehensive review to examine personal and institutional accountability in Defence as a whole.

It has found that there are significant problems with performance in many parts of the Defence Organisation. Much of this goes to Defence management and the quality of its management systems.

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