Annex C - International Defence Reform - DRT Benchmarking

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International Defence Reform

DRT Benchmarking

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Annex C - International Defence Reform - DRT Benchmarking


  • DRT international benchmarking project
  • Research observations
  • International initiatives of interest
  • Next steps


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Why benchmark?

  • Understand how others are adapting to similar fiscal and security challenges
  • Enhance dialogue on business of defence – learn from successes and mistakes of others
  • Identify areas of possible interest to future Canadian reform efforts
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Benchmarking Project

  • Methodology
    • Open source survey of selected countries (Departmental and Parliamentary reporting, audits, etc)
    • Identification of initiatives for further assessment
  • Deliverables
    • Catalogue of international reforms aligned against Canadian Defence Renewal portfolio initiatives
    • Briefing notes on key countries
    • Reference placemats mapped against DR initiatives
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Initial Observations

  •  Scale and scope of reforms varies, Canada among more modest of current reformers
  • Types of initiatives depend on previous reform efforts, current imperatives, long-term transformation objectives
  • Better to seek nuggets of wisdom than measure through comparison
  • Understanding implementation process as important as knowing content of reforms
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Initiatives of Interest - Governance and Accountability

  • Streamlining senior committee structures, increasing Ministerial engagement
    • UK: Smaller and more strategic Head Office, creation of Defence Board chaired by Defence Secretary
    • France: Review of decision-making structures
  • Holding to Account/accountability mechanisms
    • UK: Holding to Account (H2A) process
    • Australia: Increased individual accountability
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Initiatives of Interest – Procurement

Reallocating, relocating senior personnel

  • Netherlands: executive pool for restructuring projects
  • UK: redistribution of senior positions, movement Service Chiefs outside Head Office
  • France: consolidation of Paris headquarters

Enhancing financial practices, including improved cost estimates for acquisition and operations

  • Australia: Group Chief Financial Officers network
  • UK: re-establishment of Cost Assurance and Analysis Service
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Initiatives of Interest – Procurement

  • Early Indicators Warning System
    • Australia:  Early assessment of projects, steps taken to remedy before delays or cost increases unavoidable
  • Projects of Concern List
    • Australia:  Identification of particularly troublesome projects, bringing range of resources to bear, could include “naming and shaming” of suppliers
  • Incorporating private sector expertise
    • Australia:  Negotiation cell established for advice, training
    • United Kingdom:  Exemption granted from Treasury HR policies; freedom to recruit, reward and release personnel 
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Initiatives of Interest – Personnel

  • Outsourcing of recruitment
    • Australia: successful recruitment in partnership with private contractor since 2003
    • UK Army: current implementation hampered by IT failures; project delays, target failures
    • Partial outsourcing: NZ, Netherlands (considering)
  • Flexible staffing – Whole/total force concept
    • Australia, NZ: civilianization and flexibility
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Initiatives of Interest – Infrastructure

  • Base consolidation and divestment
    • France: Regional support base concept, Balard
    • Netherlands: Colocation with OGDs
  • Renegotiation, rationalizing base services contracts
    • Australia: Retendering of base services contracts to rationalize, create tension among competitors 
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Initiatives of Interest – Innovation and Engagement

  • Innovation ideas
    • UK: GEMS Online system for collecting and tracking action on suggestions
  • Internal communications
    • France: Ministerial townhalls with Defence personnel on reform implementation 
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What next?

  • Ongoing monitoring and analysis of reform-related developments 
  • Enhance international dialogue on reform/renewal, capture insight
  • Focused outreach on initiatives of interest with L1 organizations, Canadian Defence Attachés

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