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Tuesday, 4 April 2000
Page: 15207


Mr Edwards asked the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 6 December 1999:

(1) Has the Government privatised defence force recruiting; if so, (a) why and (b) what expertise do Employment National and Manpower have in the specialised area of defence force recruiting.

(2) How many Service personnel are posted to defence force recruiting in each State, and where are they located.

(3) What role will personnel referred to in part (2) now have in the armed services.

(4) What guidelines and criteria have the Government given Employment National and Manpower to ensure that their recruitment campaigns select personnel who are suitable for Australia's armed forces.

(5) Has his attention been drawn to claims made by current serving personnel that the Government is more interested in a public relations campaign rather than proper recruiting procedures; if so, what steps is he taking to ensure that the current high calibre of service personnel is maintained through the new privatised recruiting procedures.


Mr Bruce Scott (Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Not at this time. However, following an open Invitation to Register Interest, five organisations (including an In-House Option Team) have been shortlisted and invited to tender for the provision of recruiting services to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

(a) In March 1997, the Defence Efficiency Review indicated that there was room for operational efficiencies to be gained in market testing identified Defence Force Recruiting Organisation (DFRO) activities. It recommended `a significant number of recruiting processes should be market tested'. In 1998, Coopers & Lybrand Consulting was engaged to review the recruiting function to identify activities and processes that could be market tested to achieve those efficiencies. The consultancy identified certain parts of the operational process that could, and should, be market tested. The tender closed on 28 February 2000 and the successful Recruiting Service Provider will be selected in April 2000 with a 12 month limited `pilot' contract being implemented on 1 July 2000. The `pilot' contract will provide the ADF with the opportunity to:

- ascertain if the Service Provider is able to deliver recruiting services at the agreed contractual standard prior to the full transfer of responsibility for recruiting services to the Service Provider;

- gain confidence in the delivery of recruiting services by the Service Provider;

- determine the Service Provider's capacity to work with the DFRO, the ADF and stakeholders to improve the efficiency of the recruiting function.

However, as a separate initiative in response to the situation in East Timor, Manpower has been engaged to provide interim support to field recruiting operations and assist in promoting ADF jobs through their regional offices. Manpower, however will not be conducting medical, psychometric testing or selection interviewing of applicants as part of this interim arrangement.

(b) No specialised recruiting expertise is required to provide the current interim support to field recruiting operations. The contractor has been provided with eligibility criteria (age, education, citizenship) and ADF career information to allow basic eligibility checks to be performed. Application vetting and applicant testing and selection interviewing, will be performed by ADF Recruiting Units.

(2) The numbers and locations of established permanent ADF recruiting staff are as follows:

HQ DFRO

Canberra

25

HQ DFRO

Albury

4

ADFRU (1) Sydney

Sydney

40

CRC (2) Sydney

Sydney

14

CRC Newcastle

Newcastle

10

CRC Parramatta

Parramatta

14

CRC Canberra

Canberra

10

CRC Lismore

Lismore

2

ADFRU Adelaide

Adelaide

23

CRC Adelaide

Adelaide

15

CRC Darwin

Darwin

5

ADFRU Perth

Perth

19

CRC Perth

Perth

16

CRC Karrakatta

Karrakatta

2

ADFRU Melbourne

Melbourne

31

CRC Melbourne

Melbourne

18

CRC Albury

Albury

12

CRC Dandenong

Dandenong

11

CRC Geelong

Geelong

12

ADFRU Brisbane

Brisbane

32

CRC Brisbane

Brisbane

30

CRC Toowoomba

Toowoomba

4

CRC Bundaberg

Bundaberg

4

CRC Townsville

Townsville

19

CRC Cairns

Cairns

4

ADFRU Hobart

Hobart

10

CRC Tasmania

Hobart

13

Total

399

Notes: ADFRU - ADF Recruiting Unit

CRC - Careers Reference Centre

(3) The personnel referred to in part (2) will continue to perform their current role during the interim arrangement with Manpower. Post-July 2000, it is expected that the Recruiting Service Provider will require uniformed ADF personnel to be `embedded' within their organisation for the purposes of describing `Service life experience' to potential applicants. As is the current practice, such personnel would be selected from volunteers from technical and non-technical trades and would generally serve up to three years in recruiting, before returning to their normal Service employment. However, it is anticipated that current ADF personnel numbers dedicated to the recruitment function will be reduced as a result of the market testing process and that any surplus personnel will be redirected to combat and combat-related functions.

(4) Manpower has no authority to select personnel for the ADF under the current interim arrangement. Their role will be to refer potential applicants to ADF Recruiting Units for testing and selection.

Post-July 2000, the successful Recruiting Service Provider will be required to adhere to detailed eligibility and selection criteria contained in the Request for Tender documentation. However, final applicant selection, from a list of suitable candidates, will remain with the ADF. The Key Performance Indicators and associated Service Provider remuneration system are based on achieving both quantity and quality standards for enlistees.

(5) The decision to market test ADF recruiting services originated from the Defence Efficiency Review recommendation that there was room for operational efficiencies to be gained in market testing identified DFRO activities and is supported by an independent recommendation by a consultant. Any decision to proceed with the outsourcing of recruiting services will be subject to the maintenance of current enlistment standards and operational effectiveness.