This section reports on performance against the priorities included in the People Matter sections of the Portfolio Budget Statements 2002-03 and in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2002-03.
Establish the Strategic Workforce Planning Review
The Strategic Workforce Planning Review was completed with the Defence Committee endorsing the final report in May 2003. The implementation of review recommendations has commenced.
Develop the Defence Workforce Plan
The Defence Workforce Plan addresses high priority workforce risks to capability in terms of skills, numbers and costs over the next ten to 20 years. Significant progress has been made in developing the plan, which will be submitted to the Defence Committee for endorsement in late 2003.
Establish the Defence People Plan
The Defence People Plan is now being developed with the aim of being operational from 2004-05. The plan will include specific initiatives and a budget that will be updated each financial year. The focus for 2002-03 was the completion of the Strategic Workforce Planning Review as the overarching framework for people planning in Defence. The People Plan will be developed against the framework of the Strategic Workforce Planning Review to link people initiatives to workforce capability.
Review of Australian Defence Force Remuneration
In 2001, an external review of the ADF's remuneration policies, practices and arrangements (The Nunn Review) was undertaken. The review resulted in a report, Review of Australian Defence Force Remuneration 2001, for consideration by the Ministers for Defence and Finance and Administration. The report was released in August 2001.
In 2002-03, Defence proceeded with a parallel activity which is consistent with the Nunn Review, dealing specifically with remuneration reform. The Remuneration Reform Program, currently in progress, proposes a phased approach to rationalising some elements of existing allowances with the outcome of developing a new pay structure for the ADF by the end of 2003-04.
The Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2002-03 was implemented following certification in April 2002. Implementation progressed well, with positive feedback being received from staff during consultation workshops for the replacement agreement. Some provisions will be carried over into the 2004-06 agreement, which is under negotiation.
Develop a Replacement Workplace Remuneration Arrangement for the ADF
The current ADF workplace remuneration agreement was agreed by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal in November 2002, and provides for a six per cent pay rise over the period of the arrangement (from 7 November 2002 to 6 May 2004). The replacement enterprise productivity arrangement for the ADF is required to be in place by May 2004. Consultation with the ADF is in progress. Arrangements for the ADF will be developed in parallel with the Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2004-06.
The exposure draft of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Bill 2003 was released for consultation on 27 June 2003. The bill remained an exposure draft until 31 August 2003 to allow time for the ADF and veteran communities to comment. Current planning is that the bill will be introduced during the spring session of Parliament in 2003. The objective is for the new Act to be operational from July 2004.
Conduct Defence Census 2003
The Defence census was conducted as scheduled on 18 March 2003. The current census database has been used extensively by Defence, relevant external agencies and academic institutions in developing personnel policy. Data analysis is in progress and the final census report will be available in November 2003.
The following policies have been implemented for the ADF:
- emergency child care for ADF members recalled to duty away from their normal place of residence; and
- the Defence School Transition Aid Program to provide in-school advice and support to children of ADF members who are required to relocate.
The following policies were developed for Defence civilians and are outlined in the Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2002-03:
- access to flexible working hours;
- access to home-based work;
- flexible leave provisions including parental leave;
- assistance in meeting dependant care costs where job demands impose additional dependant care costs; and
- access to the use of Defence provided child care, where places are not taken by the ADF.
Develop and implement a coordinated approach to 360-degree-feedback reporting across Defence
A 360-degree feedback program has been developed and implemented across senior levels of Defence. Senior leadership and feeder groups have accessed the program. The 360-degree feedback instrument has been aligned with the Defence leadership model as the basis for informing senior leadership performance.
Establish a new agreement between Defence and the University of New South Wales for the delivery of educational and select support services at the Australian Defence Force Academy
The new agreement arose from an independent review by Professor Ian Zimmer into the educational arrangements at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Negotiations with the university have been completed. The new agreement has been developed and is under ministerial consideration.
In December 2002, Defence identified a more strategic approach to developing business skills of staff. The business skilling review is aimed at developing options for a whole-of-Defence business skilling system. The final review report was submitted to the Defence Committee in September 2003.
Implement the Defence e-learning strategy
The Defence e-learning strategy is a White Paper undertaking that will deliver common standards for a whole-of-Defence e-learning system. Funding has been approved for the implementation of the strategy over a three-year period. A tender for the selection and procurement of an integrated learning management system was completed. Implementation commenced in May 2003.
The Defence Workforce Equity and Diversity Plan 2003-2005 is directed at ensuring that equity and diversity principles are integrated with the way Defence conducts its business. The plan has been developed and is being implemented.
Develop and implement a Defence-focused package for overseas conditions of service
Prior to 1 July 2002, conditions of service and rates of all allowances for Defence personnel serving overseas were based on those provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. A new specific Defence-related package aims to ensure more targeted and cost effective measures for those overseas locations where Defence personnel are located.
Establish a centre for military and veterans' health to provide post graduate training for ADF health professionals
The Centre for Military and Veterans' Health is to be established at the University of Queensland School of Medicine. The partners for this initiative are the University of Queensland, Adelaide University and the Menzies School of Health Sciences. Contracts were signed in August 2003, with the centre expected to be operational in February 2004.
Implement Phase 1 of HealthKEYS to allow the capture of injury statistics and assist in the development of injury prevention strategies
Implementation of HealthKEYS commenced with pilot projects in late 2002. It was halted due to software problems and slow network response times. The issue of slow response times has been resolved and other issues are being addressed. Pilot activity re-commenced in August 2003. ADF-wide implementation is scheduled to take place in the first half of 2004.
Implement the ADF Mental Health Strategy (including the ADF Alcohol Management Program)
Implementation of the ADF mental health strategy has been steady, although some milestones were not met. Initiatives that are being successfully implemented include:
- strategies for improved mental health literacy;
- improved information sharing among professional groups; and
- enhanced mental health service delivery including the development of a tri-Service model for the mental health management of ADF members involved in critical incidents and a preventative program focusing on adjustment issues for ADF members returning from peacekeeping and overseas operations.
Activities undertaken as part of the ADF alcohol management program included evaluations of the Navy alcohol and drug program and the alcohol rehabilitation and education program. A training package for ADF health and welfare staff was developed and is being implemented. Planning is well advanced for an all hours support line and improved counselling support.
Develop a Defence Injury Prevention Program
The program was developed at a number of pilot sites covering 15 per cent of the full-time ADF population. Within the sample selected for pilot testing, the program has resulted in a 95 per cent reduction in rates of pelvic stress fracture for female Army recruits, elimination of serious knee injuries in recruits negotiating an obstacle course and ten to 45 per cent reduction in rates of injury in other ADF groups.
In February 2003, the Defence People Committee endorsed an expanded program to provide improved employment opportunities to partners of ADF members. The new program, the Services Workforce Access Program for Partners, was launched on 10 October 2003 at HMAS Albatross. Service-supplier arrangements are being finalised with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and selected national recruitment agencies.
Implement recommendations from research on the impact of mobility of the ADF on education outcomes of children
The research is linked to the findings of a study entitled Changing Schools: Its Impact on Student Learning, the result of a joint project conducted on behalf of Defence and the Department of Education, Science and Training. The purpose of the study was to investigate issues associated with student mobility and to document policies and practices used to identify and support students who frequently relocate. Two national projects have emerged from the report's recommendations. Defence and the Department of Education, Science and Training have entered into a memorandum of understanding to jointly sponsor the two projects. The project reports are due in early 2004.
In 2001-02, a five-year child care expansion initiative was developed by the Defence People Committee to increase the number of child care centres and places in areas where the local communities are unable to support Defence child care needs. During 2002-03, planning commenced for the establishment of new child care centres in the high-need areas of East Sale, Williamtown, Puckapunyal and Holsworthy, with construction to take place during 2003-04.
In addition, the number of non-centre-based child care places in areas of high need was increased, including family day care, outside school hours care and occasional care. To address a national shortage of child care workers, a scheme has been initiated to assist Defence spouses seeking employment to work as registered carers. Child care needs analysis surveys have been conducted in Adelaide and Rockingham to determine Defence family needs in these areas.
Continue evaluation of a southern region trial of private sector provision of ADF recruitment services
The evaluation was completed. The Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence announced, in September 2002, that Defence would proceed with a national collaborative arrangement with Manpower Services Australia Pty Ltd to deliver recruiting services to the ADF. An amendment to the existing contract between Manpower and Defence was signed in November 2002. The collaborative organisation formed under this contract and known as Defence Force Recruiting, became operational on 1 July 2003.
In September 2002, a research study was undertaken to investigate aspects of officer entry into the Australian Defence Force Academy. The study was an initial phase of qualitative research seeking to gain a better understanding of target market attitudes. In 2002-03, a trial, based on this study, was conducted for the centralisation of the Australian Defence Force Academy's officer selection boards with the objective of improving officer recruitment. A recruiting campaign to be conducted in 2003-04 will focus on major activity in the secondary school environment and will supplement achievement of officer entry recruiting targets for the Academy.
Develop a training program aimed at eliminating workplace harassment
The training program is available to Defence personnel in a PowerPoint presentation format and as an on-line initiative. It describes workplace bullying and provides direction to staff on identifying and managing such behaviour.
The development and piloting of 50 modules of training under the nationally recognised Public Service Training Package has been completed. Customisation of some materials has been undertaken to meet specific Defence needs. A national review of the training package is under way, with the revised package being launched in 2004. Defence is represented on the National Steering Committee.
Conduct an analysis of social and demographic environments to assess the quality of infrastructure and social services available to ADF members
A comprehensive study, Northern Territory/Kimberly area personnel project towards enhancing retention, was undertaken to better understand personnel retention issues, including infrastructure and social services, specific to northern Australia. This model of investigation will be followed for other regions on a priority basis.