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Program 1.6 - Defence Support

Program 1.6 is delivered by the Defence Support and Reform Group. The group is responsible for delivering most of the shared services, base support, contracting and infrastructure services that support the ADF and Defence groups and is fundamental to generating Defence capability through the services it provides.

The group provides a range of products and services: capital infrastructure involvement, housing, a range of personnel support functions, support and timely advice to ministers, business services, base support services including catering, accommodation, cleaning and grounds maintenance, and managing, developing and sustaining the Defence estate.

The group continued to drive reform across its business during the year, including travel, removals and garrison support to deliver a sustained cost-effective, efficient service. A major reform initiative was the retender for base services, which will deliver estate and garrison services nationally and replace 21 current contracts. New contracts for Australian domestic base services are expected to be implemented progressively in 2014.

Other reform initiatives included bar hour reductions, the successful trial of a new relocations cost model and the expanded use of cheaper air fares. In March 2013, Defence completed the transition of travel to a whole-of-government arrangement. Work continued on developing the Garrison Estate Management System to support reform. The implementation of the non-materiel procurement shared service has been phased across each Defence group and Service, with more than half already transitioned. This shared service will be fully operational by July 2014.

The group continued to provide assurance of payroll processing and personnel administration for members deployed to Operation Slipper in Afghanistan, with the number of overpayments of International Campaign Allowance over $2,000 continuing to decrease, from 335 in 2009-10 to 12 2012-13.

Table 3.20 - Program 1.6 deliverables

Table 3.20 - Program 1.6 deliverables
Deliverable Status
Provision of timely, accurate and high-quality advice on Defence Support matters to the CDF, the Secretary and the government met
Ensure Defence input to Cabinet and the National Security Committee of Cabinet is timely, relevant and appropriately robust 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
Development and delivery of the 2012-13 Major Capital Facilities Program within scope and budget Substantially met
Development of options for changes to the estate which inform, and are informed, by the Force Structure Review 2013, the Australian Defence Force Posture Review, agreed US Global Force Posture Review initiatives, and Defence White Paper 2013 considerations Substantially met
Development of environmental policies and strategies in accordance with Defence's obligations towards the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and other environmental policies as outlined in the Defence Environmental Strategic Plan 2010-14 Met
Management of Defence's property leasing, acquisition and disposal programs Substantially met
Provision of facilities, housing and other support services to support the Enhanced Land Force Met
Administration of the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Met
Provision of garrison and other base support services to support Defence bases and establishments throughout Australia Substantially met
Continue implementation of the Base Accountabilities Model across all Defence bases to provide a clear separation of responsibility for base management and support services from responsibility for capability Substantially met
Implementation of group elements of the Base Security Improvement Program Substantially met
Continue to drive group reform including in the areas of Non-Equipment Procurement and contribute to the Shared Services Reform agenda Partially met
Provision through a centre of excellence of non-equipment procurement and contracting advice and support, and continuation of the improvement of procurement practices across Defence Met
Provision of nationally delivered whole-of-Defence corporate services, including accounts processing and travel ¹ Met
Establishment of business centres for simple procurement purchasing services and accounts receivable and the transition of accounts processing work from groups/Services² Met
Implementation of key pay structures and other military pay reforms in accordance with policy and business requirements, including rectifying current deficiencies in the ADF payroll system, and accelerating the introduction of an improved pay system in support of the ADF Payroll Remediation Task Force Substantially met
  1. On 1 July 2012, the accountability for the delivery of the accounts payable, accounts receivable and credit card management functions was transferred to the Chief Finance Officer Group.
  2. On 1 July 2012, all functions due to transfer to the Chief Finance Officer Group were transferred. These functions were the operational delivery of the finance data centre (previously known as the simple procurement purchasing centre), accounts payable centres and the accounts receivable centre.

Table W3.21: Program 1.6 key performance indicators

Table W3.21: Program 1.6 key performance indicators
Key performance indicator Status Comment
Improve business outcomes as part of broader Defence reform, including implementation of the revised responsibilities and accountabilities for base support Met The Defence Support and Reform Group consolidated transactional processing as part of the shared services reform. All bases have implemented base accountabilities that separate base support from capability delivery.
Deliver products and services on time and within budget to support the development and delivery of Defence capability Substantially met A whole-of-group product-costing capability has been developed, which will increase visibility and transparency of group support costs and facilitate the development and implementation of further reforms and savings. In support of the base services re-tender, the group undertook a review of the requirements for its products and services, and adjusted where possible in order to achieve efficiencies.
Develop industry engagement and collaborative relationships to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of products and services Met The group manages Defence industry engagement and published the Defence Non-Equipment Procurement and Estate Industry Engagement Charter. The group also engages with the industry through the CEO Breakfast program and facilitates the Defence procurement conference.
Provide ADF members with high-quality service residences, relocation and travel services using cost-effective contract arrangements Met The purchaser-provider arrangement between Defence and Defence Housing Australia has continued to provide quality housing to meet the operational needs of Defence. As at 30 June 2013, Defence Housing Australia had provided a total of 17,414 service residences for occupation by Defence personnel and their families.Toll Transitions is contracted to provide relocation administration services and removal services for Defence personnel. During 2012-13 Toll Transitions processed 22,513 applications for relocation and provided 19,221 removals.
Manage, develop and sustain the Defence estate to meet Defence and Government requirements by developing and delivering major estate and environment programs on time, to budget and compliant with all appropriate regulatory requirements Substantially met The group met this key performance indicator in 2012-13 and continues to deliver the major capital facilities program, the environment program, the facilities lease program and the property disposal program. The program of activity remains responsive to budget and scope changes. In delivering the program, identified areas of non-compliance are being addressed.
Ministers are satisfied with the timeliness and quality of advice, including Cabinet documentation, provided by the Department Substantially met A total of 9,769 items of advice and correspondence were completed in 2012-13; this total includes 201 question time briefs. This is a decrease of 363 items from 2011-12 and may be attributed to a more accurate reporting database being used to track and record completed items.
Promote and protect Defence's reputation by increasing public awareness of Defence activities and achievements Substantially met In 2012-13, Defence coordinated responses to around 5,841 media enquiries, managed 2,882 public enquiries and issued 1,321 media releases and alerts. There were 22,392 images and 822 web clips published online for media and public use, and 144 video news releases were sent to the media. Defence distributed more than 1m hard copies of the Service newspapers, and the online versions received more than 182,000 hits. Defence Magazine produced around 12,500 hard copies and the online version attracted 35,540 hits. The Defence and minister's websites received a combined total of 11.85m hits during the period.

Highlights of 2012-13 include:

  • The 2012-13 Major Capital Facilities Program achieved its expenditure target, successfully delivering $1,045.7m of capital facilities projects within scope and budget. This was $26.8m or 2.6 per cent above the revised estimate. Some projects were affected by delays in obtaining technical certification.
  • Future Defence estate options were considered in the context of the Force Structure Review 2013, the Australian Defence Force Posture Review, the United States Force Posture Review, the 2013 Defence White Paper and the Estate Consolidation Project.
  • Defence continued to meet its commitments under the Environmental Strategic Plan 2010-2014, including completion of environmental impact assessments; harmonisation of environmental management systems; development of pollution prevention policies; and revised guidance documents for bushfire management.
  • Defence achieved approximately $29.4m of gross receipts under the property leasing, acquisition and disposal programs. This result was approximately $4.1m less than the revised estimate, with the settlement of the Fortuna property occurring in late June and cash receipts from the sale to be received in 2013-14.
  • Defence held 916 revenue licences (on-base), which generated $7.4m in revenue and 478 domestic and 202 overseas expenditure leases (off-base), which cost the department $193.7m.
  • The Cultana Expansion Area Indigenous Land Use Agreement was registered on 28 June 2013. The South Australian Government is now able to grant Defence a miscellaneous lease for Defence purposes, which is expected to occur in late 2013. The Commonwealth’s proposed acquisition of part of the Corunna pastoral lease is subject to action in the Federal Court. A hearing is scheduled before the Federal Court in November 2013.
  • The enhanced land force initiative, stage 1 remains within budget, with the majority of the works now completed across multiple sites. The project is on track for completion in early 2014.
  • Gallipoli Barracks (Enoggera) works are well into delivery with many of the priority elements completed. The project remained within budget and contracted elements under construction continued to be on schedule. Completion of construction remains planned for late 2015.
  • Additional housing was provided in Townsville and Adelaide to support the enhanced land force initiative.
  • Work continued on the base security improvement program. The final two recommendations are linked to longer-term projects for the design and delivery of security-related infrastructure works, and the development and delivery of an identification, search and seizure regime. Both projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.