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Wednesday, 22 August 1984
Page: 216

(Question No. 721)

Senator MacGibbon asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence Support, upon notice, on 27 March 1984:

(1) Has a committee been established, with reference to the budget allocation of $1m for the improvement in the Department of Defence Support's efficiency and effectiveness.

(2) If a committee has been established, who are the members of this committee and what rationale was used to choose the members, and are any of the members from the private sector.

(3) What brief has been given to this committee, and when is the report on their deliberations due for release.

(4) Is the committee giving consideration to the establishment of a strategy for the involvement of private industry, and on how private industry can best support Australian defence.

(5) How is that allocation being used to increase effectiveness and efficiency of your department, if no committee has been established.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence Support has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) and (5) A committee has not been established. The Department undertakes a broad range of activities to improve efficiency and effectiveness as part of the continuing management responsibility. The $1m provides an additional resource to extend the Department's activities in this area. In particular resources are being used to further improve management accounting and control systems, personnel management operations, production and inventory management and marketing operations.

Broadly, the improvement initiatives fall into two categories:

The use of consultants (in accordance with the arrangements determined by the Public Service Board).

Acquisition of computing equipment and computer software (in accordance with the arrangements determined by the Department of Administrative Services).

The improvements will be of benefit to all elements of the defence industry, providing a stronger basis for private industry involvement, particularly in the areas of Australian industry participation and the offsets program.

(2), (3) and (4) Not applicable in the light of the above answer.