Australia — Release of the 2011 On Line Public Defence Capability Plan

Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith and Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today released the full elec­tron­ic ver­sion of the 2011 Pub­lic Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan (the DCP).
The DCP pro­vides infor­ma­tion for the Defence indus­try on Defence’s planned cap­i­tal equip­ment acqui­si­tions.

This is the third full update of the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan since the 2009 Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan was released by then Defence Min­is­ter Faulkn­er.

The DCP changes over time as Defence pri­or­i­ties and strate­gic cir­cum­stances change, new projects enter the DCP, and as projects are approved and removed from the DCP

This update includes adjust­ments made since the sec­ond DCP update was released in Decem­ber 2010.

This 2011 DCP update includes adjust­ments to the DCP since the update in Decem­ber last year, and which were pub­licly advised on 29 June 2011 with the release of a DCP sup­ple­ment, includ­ing the approval of 18 projects com­pris­ing:

  • Sec­ond Pass approval for nine projects at an esti­mat­ed total cost of around $4 bil­lion includ­ing the acqui­si­tion of 24 new naval com­bat heli­copters.
  • First Pass approval for nine projects, with fund­ing approved of around $100 mil­lion to fund capa­bil­i­ty devel­op­ment activ­i­ties. 

Three new projects have been intro­duced to the DCP and approved since the Decem­ber 2010 update: an addi­tion­al C-17 heavy lift air­craft, the Largs Bay amphibi­ous ship (to be com­mis­sioned as HMAS  Choules ) and 101 addi­tion­al Bush­mas­ter vehi­cles.

The adjust­ments also include the can­cel­la­tion of the project to acquire addi­tion­al C-130J air­craft fol­low­ing the Government’s acqui­si­tion of the addi­tion­al C-17 heavy lift air­craft.

 The on-line update includes a small num­ber of addi­tion­al changes from the Decem­ber 2010 update which were not includ­ed in the June sup­ple­ment.  Fur­ther adjust­ments reflect the ongo­ing refine­ment of the infor­ma­tion in the DCP, in par­tic­u­lar vari­a­tions to sched­ule and cost.

Today’s release ful­fils the Government’s com­mit­ment to con­tin­ue to update the DCP

While the DCP has been enhanced fol­low­ing the Government’s response to inde­pen­dent advice from the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI) on ways to make it a more use­ful and more trans­par­ent doc­u­ment, the Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to believe that it needs to be improved to be more use­ful to indus­try.

I have pre­vi­ous­ly dis­cussed with Indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives the need to improve the qual­i­ty of pre-first pass infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed to Indus­try.

The new Asso­ciate Sec­re­tary (Capa­bil­i­ty) in Defence will be respon­si­ble for review­ing capa­bil­i­ty pro­pos­als before they are con­sid­ered for inclu­sion in the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan, to ensure they reflect the Government’s strate­gic require­ments and that all risks are well under­stood.

Pro­pos­als for inclu­sion of new projects in the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan will ini­tial­ly be sub­ject to an assess­ment by the Asso­ciate Sec­re­tary (Capa­bil­i­ty) whose man­date will include the review of all poten­tial capa­bil­i­ty pro­pos­als to ensure that they align with strate­gic require­ments and that cost and risk is under­stood and account­ed for.

After agree­ment by the Sec­re­tary and the Chief of the Defence Force, new pro­pos­als for inclu­sion in the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan will be con­sid­ered by Gov­ern­ment bi-annu­al­ly, in con­sul­ta­tion with Cen­tral Agen­cies.

Addi­tion­al mea­sures to improve the qual­i­ty of infor­ma­tion in future Pub­lic DCPs include that future DCPs will have reduced lev­els of over pro­gram­ming.

 The over­all DCP pro­gram is devel­oped tak­ing into account the avail­able fund­ing, the deliv­ery sched­ules for projects and the capac­it

The prin­ci­ple behind over-pro­gram­ming is to pro­vide flex­i­bil­i­ty and to aid in ensur­ing that best use is made of avail­able fund­ing in the event of delays to the devel­op­ment of indi­vid­ual projects.

It is a delib­er­ate strat­e­gy to man­age the risk of projects being delayed, so that fund­ing can be divert­ed to oth­er high pri­or­i­ty Defence capa­bil­i­ty projects.

All ver­sions of the DCP since it was first pub­lished in 2001 have been over pro­grammed.

Defence will imple­ment improved plan­ning to reduce over-pro­gram­ming in the DCP by bet­ter align­ing capac­i­ty with resources and strength­en­ing man­age­ment focus.

This process will be under­tak­en in con­junc­tion with the next Defence Plan­ning Guid­ance process.

As out­lined in the 2009 White Paper, the Defence Plan­ning Guid­ance is the Government’s pre­mier Defence plan­ning doc­u­ment between White Papers.

The Defence Plan­ning Guid­ance process aligns strate­gic guid­ance, capa­bil­i­ty deci­sions and resource plan­ning on an annu­al basis.

Future iter­a­tions of the DCP will be more close­ly linked to this process.

Link­ing updates to the DCP with the Defence Plan­ning Guid­ance will ensure that infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed to Indus­try is based on the lat­est nation­al secu­ri­ty tasks set by Gov­ern­ment. 

This also under­lines the fact that the DCP is pri­mar­i­ly a nation­al secu­ri­ty doc­u­ment.

It is not of itself an indus­try pol­i­cy doc­u­ment, but guid­ance to indus­try.

The pro­pos­als in the Pub­lic DCP rep­re­sent the var­i­ous capa­bil­i­ties need­ed to achieve a bal­anced force capa­ble of meet­ing con­tin­gen­cies that the ADF may be faced with over the next two decades,” Mr Smith said.

Get­ting these projects right and deliv­er­ing them to the Aus­tralian Defence Force on time is an essen­tial con­trib­u­tor to the ADF meet­ing these future chal­lenges.”

A small num­ber of projects are not includ­ed in the Pub­lic DCP due to their nation­al secu­ri­ty clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

This release of the full, updat­ed Plan pro­vides addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion and con­text for the Sup­ple­ment released at the Defence and Indus­try Con­fer­ence on 29 June, and meets the com­mit­ments we made to release the full elec­tron­ic ver­sion of the Pub­lic DCP.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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