• Fears for ADF because of concerns over Defence Materiel Organisation workforce

    Date: 2019.02.16 | Category: 南京夜网 | Tags:

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    Nanjing Night Net

    Australian Defence Force members sent to fight Islamic State could be at risk on operations because staff at a major government department may be underqualified.

    A leaked internal audit of the Defence Materiel Organisation – which employs 6500 public servants and spends $12.5 billion of taxpayers’ money annually – shows DMO staff might be signing off on equipment authorisations without the necessary skill level.

    A Defence spokesman said there had been no identified instances where this had happened and ADF capability had not been compromised.

    But the opposition called on the Abbott government to act urgently and one union said the report proved a highly skilled government workforce was crucial to national security.

    The audit found the DMO had no strategy to attract the correct engineering and technical skills in the future and had no idea of the skills gaps in the organisation which could lead to the ADF being put at risk.

    In detail, the June 23, 2014, audit report found: An 18 per cent vacancy rate in the organisation’s engineering and technical workforce which could result in critical vacancies given current recruiting constraints in the public service and potential future downsizing.For the DMO’s 2014 graduate intake, only 30 out of 45 engineers accepted offers. None were women. The existing recruitment strategy was “not working effectively”.The average age of the DMO’s engineering and technical staff was 52, meaning there could be a further shortfall in three to five years when the existing ageing workforce retired.The workforce management system was neither capable nor robust enough to deliver the goals of high employee satisfaction and staff retention.

    Opposition assistant defence spokesman David Feeney said the report outlined a “dire threat to Defence capability, and, therefore, our national defence and our ADF people”.

    He said Defence Minister David Johnston must take urgent action.

    “The minister and DMO leadership must inform themselves of the skills and deficiencies of their existing workforce,” Mr Feeney said.

    “They must ascertain the future needs of DMO and they must develop a plan to recruit, train and retain the skilled people we need to procure and sustain our Defence capabilities.”

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    Professionals Australia ACT director David Smith, an advocate representing Defence engineers, said the report highlighted the risks of having less in-house expertise and the “hollowing out of engineering capability”.

    Public servants fear two current reviews into Defence will support large-scale outsourcing resulting in more redundancies in the bureaucracy.

    “DMO is trying to do what it can to fix the gaps but can’t because of recruitment limits which, in themselves, are making Defence less of an appealing place to be,” Mr Smith said.

    Mr Smith passed on comments from one of his members who said: “Under-resourced projects due to [staff] cutbacks will mean that there will be often one engineer working on a large body of work and if they leave or are sick, there is no one to pick up the work. Corners are being cut due to projects being under-resourced.”

    The Defence spokesman said the DMO was subject to ADF technical regulation oversight mandating suitably qualified personnel were involved in equipment authorisation.

    “ADF regulators independently assure this occurs both in acquisition and in sustainment activities,” the spokesperson said.

    “The DMO regularly conducts internal audits to better understand the state of the organisation.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.