The Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has asked the Department of Defence to enhance reporting on a number of areas to be more transparent.

Committee wants Defence to report more on topics like Project Suakin, the Joint Strike Fighter Program, the quantum of unfunded liabilities held by Defence, the Fuel Services Branch, and Defence and Veterans’ Affairs mental health programs.

In a report for its Review of the Defence Annual Report 2013-14, Committee suggests that it is important for the public to be aware of the progress in various significant projects presently undertaken by Defence, Senator David Fawcett.

“Through the course of the review, the Sub-Committee became aware of the lack of detailed information and transparency in reporting. Increasing the quality of reporting in a number of areas will enhance accuracy and increase transparency and accountability,” the Chair of the Defence Sub-Committee said.

Committee also recommends Defence to work more on the ‘Jobs Families Project’ to make sure employees have the relevant experience and are competent in their role. Defence should think of more innovative ways of recruitment, especially in fields like technology, science and engineering.

Further recommendations include ensuring that the physical standards are fit for purpose. Defence should exercise flexibility on a case-by-case basis, Committee suggests. Defence is also suggested to develop methods to collect and collate data on the On Base Advisory Service.

Committee also suggests that Defence should explore options to engage and collaborate with industry on fuel management and security. Defence should also prepare an effective consultation and communication framework for use in ongoing and future redevelopments, in partnership with Defence Housing Australia, Committee recommends.

According to Senator Fawcett, the Defence Sub-Committee considers to be a key part in reviewing Defence annual reports.

“This process is an important oversight activity that the Defence Sub-Committee considers to be a key part of its role,” he said.

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