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Program 1.1 - Office of the Secretary and CDF

The primary role of the Office of the Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force (OSCDF) Group is to support the Secretary and the CDF to lead and manage the operational and corporate Defence enterprise. This includes delivering high-quality policy advice and exercising strategic leadership.

The group comprises the personal offices of the Secretary and the CDF, the Strategy Executive, the Audit and Fraud Control Division, and three military justice agencies.

The release of the 2013 Defence White Paper on 3 May 2013 provided the Government's strategic direction to Defence. It also outlined the Government's approach to implementation of agreed Posture Review recommendations. The White Paper gave direction to Defence activities and was reinforced through the Government's priorities in the 2013-14 Budget.

The group made progress in 2012-13 in strengthening accountability, planning and risk management. Key achievements include the following:

  • A new Defence Corporate Plan 2012-17 and the supporting Defence Annual Plan was introduced, with a quarterly enterprise performance and risk report. The Defence Committee is actively monitoring performance throughout the year.
  • The implementation of the Defence Enterprise Risk Framework and the completion of initial risk profiles provide Defence with mechanisms to anticipate and manage its material risks, which can inform prioritisation and resource allocation.
  • The Reformed Accountability Model pilot was rolled out to Defence Support and Reform Group as the test environment. This pilot, which includes enhanced training on accountability, objective setting and performance management as part of Defence's executive and senior leadership courses, will strengthen the capacity of Defence's future leaders to display and supervise strong accountability behaviours and practices.

Defence will now focus on integrating these products within Defence planning, budgeting and decision-making processes.

The Defence Fraud Control Plan Number 10 was approved, after a fraud risk assessment was conducted. The plan outlines Defence's strategic approach to the prevention and detection of fraud and how Defence will respond when fraud occurs. Defence also strengthened its fraud control framework by integrating the Defence enterprise risk management system to ensure closer alignment with Defence's strategic priorities.

Defence managed a program of bilateral and multilateral outcomes with a wide range of key partners. During the year, deliverables included:

  • participation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defence Ministers Meeting
  • progression of initiatives related to enhanced cooperation with the United States
  • signing of the Defence Cooperation Arrangement with Indonesia and implementation of an enhanced strategic dialogue structure (including the Australia-Indonesia High Level Committee)
  • enhanced defence collaboration with Japan and the Republic of Korea, including holding the fourth counterpart meeting with Japan and participation in the Republic of Korea's proliferation security initiative exercise Eastern Endeavour 2012
  • a ministerial dialogue with China; a People's Liberation Army ship visit to Sydney including a seminar on anti-piracy; and holding the practical humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise Cooperation Spirit in Queensland with the People's Liberation Army and the New Zealand Defence Force
  • the first visit to Australia by an Indian Defence Minister
  • expansion of the Defence Cooperation Program with Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the signing of an Australia-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement
  • continued provision of policy advice to support ADF operations in Afghanistan
  • the drawdown of ADF operations in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands
  • enhanced strategic dialogue with Vietnam, including the inaugural annual Defence Ministers' meeting and new government and academic dialogue
  • the entry into force of the Australia-Philippines Status of Visiting Forces Agreement.

The Australia - United States Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty commenced on 16 May 2013 and the treaty-related provisions of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 commenced on 6 June 2013. Treaty guidance in the form of the Australian Community Manual, compliance policy and other information resources were developed in consultation with industry and made available on the Defence website. Defence has begun processing applications from industry to join the treaty arrangements.

Implementation of the Woomera Review recommendations continued, with the moratorium on new mining exploration applications ending and the transition phase starting in October 2012. The Bill to support the co-existence scheme, which will balance Defence's war materiel testing needs with non-Defence user access to the Woomera Prohibited Area, was passed by the House of Representatives and referred in June 2013 to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade for inquiry and report. The draft Rules to support the Bill's implementation were also released for public consultation.

Defence, through the Defence Export Control Office, issued 2,960 export permissions and 2,673 pieces of advice in 2012-13 to industry, individuals and government agencies for a range of goods covered in the Defence and Strategic Goods List.

Table 3.3 - Program 1.1 deliverables

Deliverable Status
Ensure group-specific reform and savings initiatives have been achieved Substantially met
Review the recommendations of the Australian Defence Force Posture Review and incorporate them as appropriate into the 2013 Defence White Paper Met
Enhance Defence's governance framework, through clearer authority and accountability and more rigorous performance management, risk management, assurance and audit processes Met
Align Defence's corporate, enterprise risk and strategic planning functions, including through Defence's annual and corporate plans Met
Ensure policy advice provided to the Government is accurate, timely and responsive and offers practical and cost-effective approaches to fulfil the Government's defence responsibilities Substantially met
Ensure both Defence strategic policy and corporate strategy align with Government direction and priorities, including fiscal policy Met
Ensure Defence's international relationships complement broader foreign policy, promote security and enhance productive Defence partnerships, particularly regionally, including through the Defence Cooperation Program Substantially met
Provide policy advice on arms control and international collaborative programs Met
Manage export control of defence and strategic goods Met
Implement the legislation for the Australia - United States Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty and appropriate treaty guidance to Australian defence industry Met
Implementation of the recommendations of the Review into the Woomera Prohibited Area Met
On behalf of the Secretary and CDF undertake independent audits of Defence activities, and coordinate Australian National Audit Office activity in Defence Met
On behalf of the Secretary and CDF, take a leading role in the prevention and detection of fraud, undertake fraud investigations, and produce the Defence Fraud Control Plan Met

Table 3.4 - Program 1.1 key performance indicators

Program 1.1 key performance indicators
Key performance indicator Status Comment
(i) Group-specific outcomes and programs are delivered within allocated resources and meet directed efficiency, economy and cultural measures Substantially met OSCDF Group continued to strengthen its regional engagement activities including through policy discussions with regional partners and through enhanced Defence Cooperation Program initiatives in the South Pacific.
(ii) Staff skills are developed and personnel management practices successfully balance competing priorities Met Over the past 12 months a substantial investment has been made into the personal and professional development of staff across the group, with particular attention paid to the enhancement of both individual and team skills. Alignment of individual roles with a structured learning program has assisted the workforce planning strategy by better planning for competing priorities and work–life balance.
(iii) Policy guidance is
forward-looking, timely, innovative and practical
Met This KPI was achieved in 2012-13. The group led the development of the 2013 Defence White Paper, which provided the Government's overarching policy guidance and direction to Defence. This policy direction was supported by more detailed functional policy guidance, including through the group's delivery of the Quarterly Strategic Review, Maritime Strategy, Military Foundations for the Defence of Australia, and strategic guidance to capability development. The group married its strategic policy direction with enterprise policy and prioritisation through its leadership of the
2012-13 Defence Annual Plan and the 2013-17 Defence Corporate Plan. The corporate and annual plans provided direction on how the Defence enterprise would give effect to strategic and organisational priorities, and included regular reporting on progress against these implementation priorities, and associated resource considerations. The group's achievements demonstrably matured Defence's strategic planning and policy direction capability

Defence Cooperation Program

The Defence Cooperation Program has the broad aim of enhancing defence-related capabilities of regional partner nations.

Papua New Guinea

In 2012-13, the Defence Cooperation Program was further expanded to ensure that it continued to meet the evolving needs of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and that it was commensurate with the priority Australia assigns to this relationship. In 2012, the program continued to provide support to the PNG Defence Force through a program of training, exercises, technical advice and infrastructure upgrades, facilitated by ADF personnel posted to in-line and adviser positions within the PNG Defence Force. In the future, the program will look to further increase its training and adviser support to the PNG Defence Force and PNG Department of Defence, and provide additional assistance to planning and management functions.

Key achievements in 2012-13 included:

  • working directly to the PNG Secretary of Defence
  • consolidating program support to the PNG Defence Force Air Transport Wing through the lease of three helicopters, which assisted in managing logistics challenges during Papua New Guinea's national election
  • signing the Defence Cooperation Arrangement, which will provide a framework and act as a reference point for future defence cooperation
  • establishing a civilian Governance Adviser in the PNG Department of Defence.

Defence engagement in Papua New Guinea will continue to focus on assisting the PNG Defence Force to revitalise its capability in core areas, including border and maritime security, contributions to United Nations and multilateral peacekeeping missions, and cooperation with the ADF in areas such as disaster relief.


In Timor-Leste, the Defence Cooperation Program supports a maturing defence relationship increasingly focused on capacity building, following the end of operations Tower and Astute in 2012-13 and the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste and the International Stabilisation ForceDefence Cooperation Program's Timor-Leste Defence Force and Secretariat of Defence, education, infrastructure development, mentoring and exercises.

Key achievements during 2012–13 included:

  • increasing living accommodation for the Timor-Leste Defence Force at Metinaro
  • strengthening the Timor-Leste Defence Force’s engineering and nation-building capabilities
  • conducting a governance and finance management training course for Secretariat of Defence staff
  • implementing a new curriculum for the in-country English language program.

South Pacific region

In 2012-13, the Defence Cooperation Program in the South Pacific continued to provide assistance to regional defence and police forces through support to the Pacific Patrol Boat Program; the provision of in-country advisers; capability and infrastructure development; and support for participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises. Australia continued to support the deployment of Tongan and Papua New Guinean contingents to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands and the deployment of Tongan contingents to Afghanistan. Defence engagement with Fiji remained suspended.

Key achievements in 2012-13 included:

  • providing support to the inaugural South Pacific Defence ministers' Meeting in Tonga
  • improving facilities and providing equipment to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force explosive ordnance disposal team
  • the provision of safety equipment and enforcement tools for boarding operations in Cook Islands
  • the refurbishment of Tongan Defence Service facilities in Vava'u
  • infrastructure upgrades to the Vanuatu Police Maritime Wing's Mala Base.

Pacific Patrol Boat Program

The Pacific Patrol Boat Program is a key element of Australia's defence engagement in the Pacific region and provides financial, technical, logistics, maintenance, training and other support to 19 patrol boats across 11 Pacific island countries (not including Fiji). The boats are the sovereign assets of the Pacific nations and are used principally for maritime surveillance and law enforcement tasks. Defence's support is underpinned by 26 Navy maritime surveillance and technical advisers located across the Pacific (two of whom are Royal New Zealand Navy personnel). In June 2013, a new training contract was established for the provision of training services in support of the program.

Key achievements in 2012-13 included:

  • financial and advisory support to facilitate joint and multilateral maritime patrols of neighbouring Exclusive Economic Zones
  • support for chartered aerial surveillance patrols of the Tongan and Samoan Exclusive Economic Zones
  • the provision of maritime law enforcement training to program crews.

The 2013 Defence White Paper confirmed Australia's commitment to replace the current patrol boats as they progressively reach their end of service life from 2018. The follow-on Pacific Maritime Security Program will see replacement platforms provided to all states currently operating Pacific patrol boats, including Fiji when this nation returns to democracy. Timor-Leste will also be invited to join the program. The platforms will have a network of in-country advisers, comprehensive training and maintenance and operational support. Under the new program, aerial surveillance capabilities will be enhanced and new support will be provided to existing regional coordination centres.

South-East Asia

In 2012-13, Defence continued to work closely on security cooperation with partner countries in the region, specifically Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Priority areas for cooperation include counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, maritime security, defence reform and English language training.

In 2012-13, further strategic dialogue mechanisms were developed with Vietnam through the first annual Defence ministers' meeting in March 2013 in Canberra and the inaugural Defence 1.5 track dialogue in March 2013 in Hanoi. The program also provided continued support to Vietnam in English language training and subject matter exchanges on medical and engineering issues as the Vietnam People's Army prepares for its inaugural United Nations peacekeeping deployment.

Senior visits between Australia and Thailand were prominent, with the Australian Chief of Defence Force visiting Thailand in August 2012, and Thailand's Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army conducting separate counterpart visits to Australia in February 2013.

The entry into force of the Australia-Philippines Status of Visiting Forces Agreement in September 2012 marks a significant milestone for Defence's relationship with the Philippines, allowing Defence cooperation to be reviewed and the Defence Cooperation Program's exercise program to be expanded.

The program has increased strategic dialogue with Indonesia, establishing new annual Defence ministers' and Defence Force chiefs' meetings in the reporting period. Indonesia sent four fighter aircraft to the July 2012 Exercise Pitch Black, the first time these aircraft had been deployed outside Indonesia. The Defence Cooperation Arrangement signed by Australian and Indonesian Defence ministers in September 2012 establishes a strong framework for expanded future defence cooperation. Also in September 2012, new attachments of Indonesian National Defence Forces personnel were hosted by Australian Army units. The inaugural bilateral peacekeeping Exercise Garuda Kookaburra was conducted in May 2013, and a new humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise in June 2013.

The relationship with Singapore was advanced through numerous senior-level visits and strategic dialogues, including the agreement between Australia and Singapore to hold an annual Defence ministers dialogue in 2013 and the cooperation of both countries in Afghanistan.

The program continued to strengthen Defence's relationship with Malaysia by launching the Malaysia-Australia Defence Alumni Association in June 2012, and continued Defence's peacekeeping engagement through co-delivery of training courses under the Joint Malaysia-Australia Peacekeeping Training Initiative.

Multilateral general assistance

In 2012-13 Defence continued to provide strong support to regional multilateral security institutions such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Minister's Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Australia and Malaysia have co-chaired three meetings of the ADMM-Plus maritime security experts' working group: in September 2012 (Langkawi), November 2012 (Sydney) and May 2013 (Penang). Australia and Malaysia hosted a maritime security table top exercise in September 2012 and Australia will host the inaugural ADMM-Plus maritime security field training exercise in October 2013. Australia contributed to practical activities in other ADMM-Plus working groups, including the ADMM-Plus exercise on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and military medicine in Brunei in June 2013.

Five Power Defence Arrangements

Australia's membership of the Five Power Defence Arrangements remains a key element of defence cooperation between the five member nations: Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Now entering its 41st year, the arrangements have effectively evolved and adapted to the regional strategic environment over the last few decades. The arrangements continue to provide a stabilising influence in the region.


In 2012-13, more than 140 Australia-based training and education course places were offered to Pakistan, with the aim of enhancing Pakistan's counter-insurgency capability. The counter-insurgency exchange between respective staff colleges continued into 2012-13, as did the Australian supported secondment of a Pashto-Urdu linguist from the Pakistan military to teach at the ADF School of Languages. Australia supported the secondment of a Pakistani instructor to teach at the Royal Military College Duntroon. The Defence Cooperation Scholarship Program with Pakistan, which offers support for masters level study at Australian tertiary institutions, continued as a key element of the Defence Cooperation Program. The scholarship program aims at building people-to-people links and exposure to Australia among the Pakistan military.

Middle East

Australia's defence cooperation activities in the Middle East continued to focus on training and capacity building in Iraq and Jordan. Key achievements during 2012-13 included new training initiatives with the Jordanian Armed Forces in the fields of armoured reconnaissance and non-commissioned officer training; inaugural military talks with Turkey and reciprocal Anzac Day visits; the hosting of a counter-piracy conference in July 2012; and the signing of an agreement with the Seychelles for the transfer of personnel detained on suspected pirate activity.

Table W3.1 Defence Cooperation Program expenditure, 2011-12 to 2012-13

Table W3.1 Defence Cooperation Program expenditure, 2011-12 to 2012-13
  2011-12 2012-13 2012-13 2012-13
  Actual result Budget estimate Revised estimate Actual result
  $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Papua New Guinea 11,485 21,410 19,457 20,043
South Pacific region 29,884 31,691 29,737 31,288
South-East Asia [ 1 ] 18,064 18,270 16,957 16,952
Other regional activities 6,319 7,291 6,469 5,885
Defence International Training Centre[ 2 ] 5,327 5,464 5,334 5,066
Total 71,079 84,126 77,954 79,234
  1. The Defence International Training Centre provides training in Australia to the defence forces of South-East Asia and South Pacific nations and to other selected overseas personnel.
  2. The Defence International Training Centre is managed by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group.

Table W3.2: South Pacific region expenditure, 2011-12 to 2012-13

Table W3.2: South Pacific region expenditure, 2011-12 to 2012-13
  2011-12 2012-13 2012-13 2012-13
  Actual result Budget estimate Revised estimate Actual result
  $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Timor-Leste 4,743 4,862 4,385 4,241
Vanuatu 879 1,096 964 1,112
Solomon Islands 909 924 924 893
Tonga 1,802 2,394 2,044 2,728
Western Samoa 59 108 169 202
Cook Islands 158 134 114 151
Republic of the Marshall Islands 296 289 269 142
Federated States of Micronesia 138 267 238 94
Tuvalu 251 255 294 329
Kiribati 367 171 351 360
Palau 109 235 214 284
Defence Cooperation Program Housing 1,691 1,820 1,720 2,731
Multilateral general assistance 18,482 19,136 18,051 18,021
Total 29,884 31,691 29,737 31,288

Table W3.3: South-East Asia region expenditure, 2011-12 to 2012-13

Table W3.3: South-East Asia region expenditure, 2011-12 to 2012-13
  2011-12 2012-13 2012-13 2012-13
  Actual result Budget estimate Revised estimate Actual result
  $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Singapore 103 82 71 70
Philippines 3,857 3,307 3,546 3,574
Thailand 3,117 3,152 2,903 3,160
Malaysia 3,324 4,148 3,723 3,599
Indonesia 4,360 4,105 3,569 3,419
Vietnam 2,021 2,102 1,903 1,837
Cambodia and Laos 1,237 1,353 1,230 1,291
Brunei 45 21 12 2
Total 18,064 18,270 16,957 16,952