Senate debates

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Questions on Notice

Defence (Question No. 2080)

Photo of David JohnstonDavid Johnston (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 20 August 2012:

(1) For the period 1 January to 30 June 2012:

(a) where specifically have the provisional savings of the forecasted total been made under the SRP;

(b) can a detailed explanation be provided of where these savings have been realized; and

(c) what one-off savings have been made?

(2) As at 30 June 2012, what workforce savings, both in personnel reductions and dollar savings, per area as specified in the Budget Audit Review, have resulted where the gaps to average performance have been:

(a) improved and realized; and

(b)    reduced to zero?

Photo of Bob CarrBob Carr (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (a) Cost reductions under the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) are based on a reduction of annual budgets. The rate and timing of the achievement of cost reductions over the reporting cycle varies from stream to stream depending on the initiatives they are measuring. Providing information on their achievement on a six month basis does not give a meaningful picture of stream performance. However, SRP governance closely monitors stream activities to ensure that planned activities remain on schedule.

Cost reductions under the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) are based on annual budgets. In 2011-12 the cost reductions under the SRP are $1284 million. These will be achieved through initiatives under seven SRP streams distributed as follows:

*Summation variances are due to rounding.

(b) and (c) SRP savings are tracked, reported and managed on a stream-by-stream basis. They are not broken up by sub-categories of productivity, one-offs or other descriptors. The annual budgets for activities targeted through streams have been reduced by amounts that reflect cost reductions agreed by Government.

Defence will publish the stream cost reductions achieved for the full financial year in the Defence Annual Report 2011-12.

(2) (a) and (b) Outcomes of the Budget Audit Review are being achieved across three specific areas covering Workforce Reform, Business Process Improvements and Shared Services.

Through Workforce Reform, 512 military and 660 contractor positions have been reduced and replaced with APS employees. Combined with Efficiency and Effectiveness reductions of 311 APS the reforms have delivered $245.4m in savings.

Twenty military and 233 APS reductions generating $42.8m in savings have been achieved through Business Process Improvements primarily as a result of consolidation of regions, reduction in administration support to Senior Officers, amalgamation of ADFIS, pooling of paralegals and rationalisation of help lines.

Improvements to Shared Services have seen reductions of 124 military and 202 APS generating $54.5m in savings. This has been achieved largely through reforms in Education & Training, Career Management and Payroll and Personnel Administration.

Reforms are being implemented across the department in a wide range of areas. Many of these areas are integrating and implementing multiple reforms. The effort and attendant cost of monitoring and reporting changes in performance, and attributing the changes to specific reform initiatives is prohibitive.