Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Damning study examines failed Defence leadership and management

"In short, Defence and the DMO have been able to keep Navy tied up in port to an extent not achieved by any enemy force."


Air Power Australia has published a new paper by Air Commodore Ted Bushell AM (Retd). It is called Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology.

It is a companion piece to An Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed published in February 2011; also by the same author.

The paper covers a wide range of issues such as the failed experiment known as the DMO (my words), the horrible leadership situation in senior Defence (again, my words) and the over-all dumbing down of various positions that require technical know-how as opposed to bureaucratic group-think.

In identifying why and how the fundamental management models that have evolved both within Defence, DMO and the Services have failed, and will continue to fail, this paper will:

Firstly, analyse the causal factors that the Minister maintains led to the decayed state of Australia's Naval capabilities as a good, topical example, while noting that these factors are also common to RAAF and Army.

Secondly, analyse, from the top down, how the management methodologies that have evolved within Defence and the DMO have led to the problems and failures being seen in the management of the Military and the acquisition and sustainment of Australia's military capabilities, and hence Australia's national security.
It is a good read and media people that report on these matters should keep it within easy reach when referring to any number of Defence stuff ups. It would also be good material for any number of Australian media pros brave enough to ask some real questions when interviewing various Defence suspects.

Both the above mentioned papers would be useful for our politicians when engaged in Defence related hearings.

How Australia expects to have a non-dysfunctional Defence leadership is anyone's guess. Primarily because there is so much work to do in order to someday make things right.

4 comments:

Perplexed said...

Gees Eric you will upset the apologists no end.

Perplexed said...

Where is Essington Lewis when you need him?
Must be rolling in his grave.

Albatross said...

I posted the comments below on another thread, but this one might be the more appropriate one.

Reports elsewhere say that the RAN is looking to recruit 1000 (one thousand!!) trained RN personnel who are excess to requirements in the Old Dart as the RN is gutted to fund the UK's welfare state.

It's a disturbing parallel to what happens in Australian country towns at fruit picking time - hundreds of back packers and newly-arrived immigrants come in to the towns to pick the fruit while hundreds and hundreds of fit and able unemployed young locals sit on their ever widening arses and do nothing more productive than to pick up their dole cheques every fortnight.

What's happening to the ADF/RAN training pipeline? Does the ADF have one (or one that's in any way credible) any more, or was that sacrificed along with much of its effective fighting forces a a cost-saving measure under the 'enlightened' leadership the ADF has 'enjoyed' over the last decade?

Bushranger 71 said...

There are 3 separate ministries governing the Australian armed forces.

A Public Service/military diarchy functions under the Minister for Defence.

The Defence Material Organisation has its own separate Minister. There have been maybe 6 Parliamentary Secretaries/Ministers appointed to govern this organisation since Election 2007, all seeking to make their own mark endorsing profligate defence spending. The latest is deposed Minister for Industry Senator Carr who is a strong advocate of taxpayer subsidisation for industry, so expect more costly defence projects to be endorsed soon.

The Defence Science & Technology Organisation has its own Ministry, also embracing defence personnel.

How can the military function efficiently under such a fragmented system dominated by the Public Service and particularly regarding manpower aspects when it does not have direct control of personnel administration?

Abysmal governance by both of the major political parties that such an organisational shambles should have been allowed to develop.