Report calls for overhaul on Australia Navy's maintenance and management practices

14:07, July 19, 2011      

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A critical review report on Monday called on Australian federal government for an overhaul of the Australian Navy's maintenance and management practices.

Defense Minister Stephen Smith in February commissioned the chairman of the Defence Audit and Risk Committee, Paul Rizzo, to conduct a review after three Navy ships were unable to assist in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi due to ongoing maintenance issues.

The review report released on Monday blames poor asset management, organizational complexity and blurred accountabilities.

Rizzo, also a director of the National Australia Bank, said that there has been long standing, wholesale institutional failures in Navy.

"Cooperation between defense and Defense Material Organization (DMO) must be of the highest order to achieve the common capability goals," the report said.

"At present there is an us-and-them feel to this relationship." The report also identified a "cultural problem" with Navy and DMO over maintenance.

Smith said Defense fully accepts the recommendations and will implement them.

"The report is a damning report of what has occurred in the past, but importantly it provides us a very clear pathway for the future and a very clear pathway for reform," Smith said in a statement on Monday.

Smith said Navy engineering will be rebuilt and reorganized, while the office responsible for maintaining amphibious ships will be expanded by 20 positions.

Another change will see the creation of a head of engineering post inside the Navy, which has been handed to the Director General Munitions and Director General Major Surface Ships, Michael Uzzell.

Source: Xinhua
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