The Federal Government has announced a raft of new initiatives designed to address a number of deficiencies in the Australian Defence Force’s payroll and pay system.
Announced by defence minister Greg Combet, the initiatives include the creation of an ADF Task Force for Payroll and Pay System Reform will be co-chaired by vice chief of the Defence Force, lieutenant general David Hurley, and deputy secretary (Defence Support), Martin Bowles.
As part of the reforms the ADF will also create a specialist civilian payroll administration aimed at driving consistency between in-theatre and in-country payroll processing.
Additionally, The ADF’s current performance management regime will also be widened to include control and compliance reporting on payment of ADF allowances, and a systematic 'forward looking' audit program to support the controls and compliance reporting around payroll processing will be put in place.
According to Combet, the Government has also endorsed a long term plan which would replace Defence's current three pay systems with a more modern personnel ICT system.
"This will result in complex transactions and manual processing being undertaken by one central authority, not fragmented as is currently the case,” Combet said in a statement.
"Defence has already embarked upon a technical refresh of the current human resource and payroll system. This refresh will upgrade the technology and provide a modern platform that will stabilise the current system and prepare for the development of a robust payroll system of the future.”
Commenting on the need for reform, Combet said that the volume of manual transactions related to payroll – more than three million in 2009 - meant that human error was a contributing factor to payment irregularities and errors.
"The Task Force will drive the ongoing reform of the ADF pay and personnel processes, and report to ministers on a monthly basis,” he said. “In keeping with the Strategic Reform Program, this will include the consolidation of all military payroll processing under one area of responsibility within 18 months."