The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is constituted under the Defence Act 1903, its mission is to defend Australia and its national interests. In fulfilling this mission, Defence serves the Government of the day and is accountable to the Commonwealth Parliament which represents the Australian people to efficiently and effectively carry out the Government's defence policy.
The primary role of Defence is to defend Australia against armed attack.Australia's defence policy is founded on the principle of self-reliance in the direct defence of Australia, but with a capacity to do more where there are shared interests with partners and allies.
The Defence White Paper was released on 25 February 2016 together with an Integrated Investment Program and Defence Industry Policy Statement.
Defence White Papers are the Government's most important guidance about Australia's long-term defence capability. They provide an opportunity for the Government and community to understand the opportunities and challenges for Australia's future defence and security needs.
The White Paper provides a strategy aligned with capability and resources to deliver a future force that is more capable, agile and potent and ready to respond to future challenges.
Where applicable, Ministers or authorised Defence employees may exercise decision-making powers under the legislation that is administered by the Minister aided by the department. The list of matters dealt with by the department and legislation administered by the Minister is prescribed in the Administrative Arrangements Order [PDF 5MB] .
Details of current Department of Defence administered policies, programs or projects can also be found in the Department's Annual Report.
The Defence portfolio consists of a number of component organisations that together are responsible for supporting the defence of Australia and its national interests. The two most significant bodies are:
The portfolio also contains a number of smaller entities, including:
Visit the Defence leaders site to view biographies and high resolution images of key Defence leaders and senior managers.
Defence consists of the three Services:
And 9 groups that make up the Defence corporate structure:
|Mr Greg Moriarty||Secretary of Defence||4 Sep 2017||Section 58 of the Public Service Act 1999|
|GEN Angus J Campbell, AO, DSC||Chief of the Defence Force||7 Jul 2018||Defence Act 1903|
|VADM David L Johnston, AO, RAN||Vice Chief of the Defence Force||7 Jul 2018||Defence Act 1903|
|VADM Mike J Noonan, AO, RAN||Chief of Navy||7 Jul 2018||Defence Act 1903|
|LTGEN Rick M Burr, AO, DSC, MVO||Chief of Army||3 Jul 2018
||Defence Act 1903|
|AIRMSHL Mel EG Hupfeld, AO, DSC||Chief of Air Force||4 Jul 2019
||Defence Act 1903|
|BRIG Jennifer A Woodward, CSC||Director Military Prosecutions||1 Jul 2015||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|BRIG Mick Cowen, QC||Chief Judge Advocate||22 Sep 2017||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|GPCAPT Ian S Henderson, AM||Registrar of Military Justice||22 Sep 2018||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|RADM the Hon. Justice Michael J Slattery, AM, RFD, QC, RAN||Judge Advocate General||14 May 2015||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|CDRE the Hon. Justice Jack T Rush, RFD, RAN||Deputy Judge Advocate General - Navy||14 May 2015||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|BRIG His Honour Judge Paul E Smith||Deputy Judge Advocate General - Army||10 Mar 2019||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|AIRCDRE His Honour Judge Gordon B Lerve||Deputy Judge Advocate General - Air Force||18 May 2017||Defence Force Discipline Act 1982|
|Mr James Gaynor||Inspector General - Australian Defence Force||1 Dec 2016||Section 110G of the Defence Act 1903|
|Ms Rachel Noble, PSM||Director-General Australian Signals Directorate||27 Jan 2020||Section 27(b) of the Intelligence Services Act 2001|
On 16 May 2017, the Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet contacted all Portfolio Secretaries confirming their recent agreement to provide greater transparency of remuneration for Australian Public Service senior executives and other highly paid officials.
As such, all Commonwealth Entities and Commonwealth Companies have been requested to publish information detailing the scope and value of remuneration for these staff on our respective websites on an annual basis. The following tables reflect remuneration information, from FY17/18, for the Department of Defence.
Updates are in progress to the following reports. FY17/18 reports to be updated on completion.
The department's corporate governance arrangements are designed to ensure that strategy, capability and resources are aligned with Government direction to achieve intended results and outcomes. Major elements include:
In response to First Principles Review recommendations, Defence has undertaken a significant body of work to review and restructure the organisation’s senior committees, implementing the Defence Committee approved the Enterprise Committee Governance Structure in December 2018. The new structure and supporting framework has been designed to better recognise the significance of Defence’s deliberations and decisions on strategic policy, intelligence and military operations and the Department’s commitment to Work Health and Safety. It introduces a tiered approach to enterprise committees, with the three-tiered model aiming to take decisions to the lowest level, increase accountability and streamline decision-making.
The operation of the Enterprise Committee Governance Structure is described on the Defence Decisions page.
In line with the Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework, the Defence enterprise performance management aims to provide a clear line of sight between:
To enable this clear line of sight, the Defence Corporate Plan informs the development of the Portfolio Budget Statements. Further alignment is pursued through internal Defence planning and performance management with Defence groups and ADF Services under enterprise governance mechanisms, which support the operation of the One Defence Business Model.
Internal monitoring and reporting occurs at multiple levels to ensure appropriate management and alignment of resources to achieve intended results. This culminates in enterprise level reporting twice a year for Corporate Plan performance and risk monitoring and an end of financial year performance evaluation, which is reported both internally and externally via the Annual Performance Statements.
Risk management is an essential element in Defence’s framework of good governance. Defence maintains a system of risk oversight and management to support its capability to achieve strategic objectives.
Defence’s approach to risk management aims to enable effective communication of risk information, build a positive risk culture and ensure Defence is able to meet its obligations for risk management as required by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy.
Audit Branch provides independent and objective assurance to the Secretary and CDF, that financial and operational controls designed to manage the organisation's key risks and achieve Defence objectives are operating in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner. The Branch also assists Defence senior managers in accomplishing outcomes through the evaluation and improvement of Defence the business performance.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) provides all current and former public officials with a protected way to speak up about wrongdoing or maladministration in the Commonwealth public sector. In accordance with this requirement, Defence has implemented the Defence PID Scheme which replaces the former Defence Whistleblower Scheme (DWS).
Our employees conduct their duties in accordance with the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and the Australian Public Service Values. These are the foundation for our work and govern the way we relate to our stakeholders and to each other.
Without diminishing the existing single-Service and Australian Public Service (APS) values, or their use, specific Defence values have been established to provide a common and unifying thread for all people working in Defence. These values are:
Further details of Defence Values is available here [PDF-1MB].
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