Foreword by the Minister
I am pleased to present this report on the activities and achievements of my Department during 2005. The Annual Report sets out the progress achieved on the goals and objectives included in the Department's 2005-2007 Strategy Statement as well as other important developments in 2005.
Since my appointment as Minister in September 2004, I have made the Defence Forces modernisation process a priority, with the overall objective of ensuring that we maintain a modern Defence Forces capable of meeting the needs of Government and the public and which deliver value for money. The modernisation process includes organisational, human resources, and equipment and accommodation elements and all three elements must be advanced if we are to meet our overall objective. I am pleased to report that we continued to make progress on each of these fronts in 2005 and I intend to build on that progress in the years ahead.
Among the significant developments that took place in 2005, were:
· the appointment of the first ever Ombudsman for the Defence Forces
· the conclusion of an agreement with the Banks that will see them repaying the full costs of Defence Forces cash escort duties to the Department – this is expected to bring in about €6m in 2006.
· the launch of the Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Plan
· the ordering of a further fifteen Piranha Armoured Vehicles for the Defence Forces at a cost of €37m
Funding of €19.5m was made available for capital expenditure on buildings in 2005, an increase of almost a million Euros on 2004. The provision and upgrading of accommodation, equipment and training facilities continued to be a priority.
The role played by the Defence Forces on peace support missions overseas is a major source of pride to everyone. Last year, the average number of Defence Forces personnel serving overseas was 770 and a total of 2,204 Defence Force personnel served overseas. This vital and important work will continue into the future.
The progress outlined in this report would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the staff of the Department and I wish to take this opportunity to record my appreciation for the work done by the Secretary General, the Chief of Staff and their civil and military staff.
Willie O’Dea T.D.
Minister for Defence
Secretary General’s Introduction
The report describes the progress we have made with the implementation of our Strategy Statement 2005 – 2007 and related developments and highlights many of the key objectives that were successfully delivered on during the year.
Each year brings with it many new challenges and demands and I am happy to report that yet again the staff of the Department has shown great professionalism and commitment in achieving our goals. The many achievements documented in this report were made possible by the commitment and professionalism of the staff of the Department. We are fortunate to have, at all levels, in the Department, staff who are deeply committed to their work, sometimes in challenging circumstances, and I would like to thank them sincerely for their efforts over the past year.
Particular credit is due to our Training and Development Section for coordinating the efforts of all of our business units in ensuring that the Department retained its ISO 9001-2000 accreditation in 2005.
In 2005 we witnessed the start of staff moving in and out of the Department for decentralisation purposes and we will see even more staff movements over the coming year. I know that this will present challenges to the Department as a whole but I believe that our implementation planning and our business process mapping project both provide us with a sound basis to face these challenges with confidence.
Section 1: The Department’s statutory basis, Mission and Strategic Objectives
Section 1: The Department’s statutory basis, Mission and Strategic Objectives
The Department was established by the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924, and has civil and military branches. The Act assigns to the Department “the administration and business of the raising, training, organisation, maintenance, equipment, management, discipline, regulation and control according to law of the military defence forces”. The Act provides that the Minister is head of the Department and the Secretary General is the “principal officer” of the Department. As such, the Secretary General is the Minister’s principal policy adviser. The Secretary General is also the statutory Accounting Officer for all defence expenditure.
Government policy on Defence is set out in the White Paper on Defence, published in February 2000.
The Office of Emergency Planning was established in the Department following the events of September 11, 2001.
The Department is responsible also for the administration of military pensions and has a range of responsibilities in relation to Civil Defence, the Irish Red Cross Society and Coiste an Asgard.
The Defence Forces are regulated in accordance with the Defence Acts 1954 – 2006.
The role of the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces is outlined in Section 2 below.
The Department’s Strategy Statement 2003 - 2005 set out our mission as being:
“to provide value for money military services which meet the needs of Government and the public and encompass an effective civil defence capability and to coordinate and oversee the emergency planning process.”
The appointment of a new Minister for Defence in September 2004 provided an opportunity to draw up a revised and updated Strategy Statement for 2005 – 2007 and this was published in July 2005.
The new Strategy Statement defined the Department’s mission as being: -
To meet the needs of Government and the public by providing value for money defence and civil defence services and by coordinating and overseeing the emergency planning process.
Meeting the needs of Government and the public requires that the organisation, civil and military, develops and maintains a very broad range of capabilities and delivers a variety of services and other outputs, both at home and overseas. The mission statement also requires us to provide value for money for the taxpayer.
In line with the mission, the Department’s high-level goals are:
(i) the creation of a modern civil and military organisation capable of achieving its mission and fully discharging its mandate and roles;
(ii) the creation of a high performance organisation in which people are expected and enabled to achieve their full potential and where merit and effort are acknowledged;
(iii) achieving value for money through the best use of the financial, material and human resources entrusted to us.
The Strategy Statement also sets out our strategic objectives for 2005 to 2007, which are as follows:
THE SECURITY OBJECTIVE: To contribute to the security of the State principally against the threat of armed aggression and to provide other services as required, thus contributing to political and economic well being;
THE EMERGENCY PLANNING OBJECTIVE: To promote the co-ordination of emergency planning functions across all Government Departments and other key public authorities and to oversee the emergency planning process in general;
THE WHITE PAPER OBJECTIVE: To continue Defence modernisation by implementing the White Paper on Defence and related modernisation initiatives;
THE CIVIL DEFENCE OBJECTIVE: To provide policy advice and support in respect of Civil Defence;
THE POLICY ADVICE AND SUPPORT OBJECTIVE: To provide the Minister for Defence with the best policy advice and support in relation to the management of Defence and to provide the full range of corporate supports.
Section 2 contains details of the resources available to the Department in 2005 to meet the challenges of our mission statement and strategic objectives. A report of progress with the implementation of the strategic objectives is set out in Section 3: “Achieving Defence strategic objectives in 2005” and in Appendix 1.
Section 2: Organisation structures, roles and resources
The Defence organisation is made up of civil and military elements, which have different but complementary roles in delivering the overall objectives contained in the Department’s Strategy Statement. The combined efforts of both are required to ensure organisational success.
Role of the civil Branches of the Department
The primary role of the civil Branches of the Department is to support the Minister as head of the Department and in particular to provide policy advice and support on Defence matters, including assistance with policy formulation and the implementation of policy as directed by the Minister.
The civil Branches also have a number of specific roles, which include the management of legal, regulatory and litigation, lands policy and related matters on behalf of the Minister; the management of the Department’s human resources and industrial relations; and the coordination of the delivery of security, emergency and community services by the Defence Forces. In addition, the civil Branches provide liaison between the Defence Forces and other Government Departments, public authorities, the EU and public representatives. The civil Branches also coordinate policy in respect of overseas operations, in furtherance of Ireland’s commitments in the area of international security and peacekeeping.
The Office of Emergency Planning is operated jointly with the military and has an important strategic responsibility in relation to emergency planning coordination and oversight.
Civil servants discharge financial management and audit functions in connection with the Secretary General’s role as Accounting Officer and provide administrative support services to the Defence Forces, including payroll, the management of major procurement and infrastructural programmes and the management of lands used by the military. The civil element is also responsible for the administration of military pensions and has a range of responsibilities in relation to Civil Defence, the Irish Red Cross Society and Coiste an Asgard.
In recent years a significant degree of delegation of financial authority to the Defence Forces has taken place, particularly in the area of the procurement of goods and services.
Military Element and command arrangements
The Department's military element consists of Defence Forces Headquarters, which is headed by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. The Chief of Staff is directly responsible to the Minister for the overall management of the Defence Forces, including responsibility for the effectiveness, efficiency, military organisation and economy of the Defence Forces. Legislative provision has been made to enable the Chief of Staff to delegate duties to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Staff (Support). The Chief of Staff is the Minister's principal military adviser.
Military command is delegated by the Minister directly to the General Officers Commanding (GOCs) each of the three territorial brigades (Eastern, Southern and Western), to the GOCs of the Defence Forces Training Centre and the Air Corps and to the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service. In practice, matters in relation to command are normally channelled through the Chief of Staff. In effect this means that day-to-day operational control of the Defence Forces rests with the Chief of Staff for which he is directly responsible to the Minister.
Roles of the Defence Forces
The White Paper on Defence sets out the roles of the Defence Forces:
to defend the State against armed aggression; this being a contingency, preparations for its implementation will depend on an ongoing Government assessment of the security and defence environment;
to aid the civil power (meaning in practice to assist, when requested, the Garda Síochána, who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State);
to participate in multinational peace support, crisis management and humanitarian relief operations in support of the United Nations and under UN mandate, including regional security missions authorised by the UN;
to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State’s obligations as a member of the EU; and,
to carry out such other duties as may be assigned to them from time to time, e.g. search and rescue, air ambulance service, Ministerial air transport service, assistance on the occasion of natural or other disasters, assistance in connection with the maintenance of essential services, assistance in combating oil pollution at sea.
Strategic Management Committee
The Strategic Management Committee (SMC) is a joint civil-military committee, which deals with major policy issues. The SMC members are the Secretary General (Chairman), the Chief of Staff, the two Deputy Chiefs of Staff and the two Assistant Secretaries of the Department. The General Officer Commanding the Air Corps and the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service attend in respect of matters affecting their services
The Defence organisation manages considerable resources - human, financial, lands, equipment and buildings. At the end of 2005, Defence employed a total of 11,702 personnel made up of the Permanent Defence Force (Army, Naval Service and Air Corps), civilian employees and civil servants.
* Attached mainly to military installations throughout the country, civilian employees provide a range of general operative, trades and other services
|Permanent Defence Force (PDF)|
|Civil Servants (whole-time equivalents)|
In addition, 10,350 personnel were serving part-time in the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) and there were also about 6,000 Civil Defence volunteers.
When account is taken of the PDF, the RDF, civilian employees, civil servants and civil defence volunteers, the Defence organisation involves a total in excess of 28,000 personnel.
In 2005, gross expenditure under the Defence Vote was €759m, with gross expenditure under the Army Pensions Vote being €162m. A categorised breakdown of this expenditure can be found at Appendix 2.
On 31 December 2005, the Defence Forces had military equipment and stock assets valued at €536m.
Defence manages a large property and land portfolio of 8,500 hectares (made up mainly of lands at the Curragh, the Glen of Imaal, Co. Wicklow and Kilworth Camp, Co. Cork) with 27 permanently occupied military installations including 7 barracks in the Curragh, the aerodrome at Baldonnel and the Naval Service base at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour.
The Defence property portfolio includes assets in some 100 locations throughout the country; in addition, the Reserve Defence Force rents premises at over 170 further locations.
Section 3: Achieving Defence strategic objectives in 2005
In this section the progress achieved in meeting each of the Department’s five strategic objectives is described.
The Security Objective: “To contribute to the security of the State principally against the threat of armed aggression and to provide other services as required, thus contributing to political and economic well being”
The security of the State has national (internal) and international aspects.
As the Strategy Statement makes clear, internal security is primarily the responsibility of the Garda Síochána with the Defence Forces playing a key role in providing, on request, aid to the civil power (ATCP) and other assistance and support.
A principal focus of the Department and the Defence Forces in recent years has been on ensuring that the organisation has the capability to respond to such requests. The continuing implementation of the White Paper on Defence is particularly important in this regard (see under the White Paper Objective).
ATCP and other activities in 2005 included Fishery Protection, Cash Escorts, Search and Rescue, the Garda Air Support Unit, the Air Ambulance service and assistance to local authorities.
The level of demand on the Defence Forces was kept under review in 2005 in consultation with the relevant Government Departments and the Garda Authorities.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs has overall responsibility for international security policy. However the role of the Minister for Defence and the Defence organisation is one of increasing importance in the context of developments within the EU.
Ireland’s international security and defence policy context is defined by our policy of military neutrality, an active political and operational role in support of the UN, our commitments to the United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS), our participation in the evolving European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and our membership of Partnership for Peace (PfP).
Peace support operations
The Defence Forces continued to make a major contribution to international peacekeeping throughout 2005 through their participation in overseas peace support operations. The missions that involved significant PDF contributions were in Liberia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the end of 2005, some 770 Defence Forces personnel were serving in 19 different missions throughout the world. This is close to Ireland’s total commitment level of up to 850 personnel serving overseas at any one time.
The Defence Forces contingent in Liberia is Ireland’s largest overseas deployment at this time, currently involving over 330 personnel (Oct 2006). The Defence Forces have served with UNMIL since December 2003. Together with an Infantry Company Group from Sweden, Ireland provides the Quick Reaction Force to the UNMIL Force Commander.
Ireland continues to contribute to the UN authorised and NATO led peace support operation in Kosovo (KFOR). Some 213 personnel, comprising an Infantry Company Group serve as part of a Czech-led Multinational Task Force with KFOR. Ireland has 60 personnel currently serving in EUFOR, the EU led, UN-mandated mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
During 2005, a small number of Defence Forces personnel continued to serve in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. Small numbers of
personnel also filled headquarters or staff posts on a variety of missions, and continued to serve with a range of observer and monitoring missions.
In January 2005, four officers of the Permanent Defence Force (two Logistics Planning experts and two Engineers) were seconded, for a short period, on a volunteer basis to the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, following the tsunami disaster.
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)
The ability of the European Union to contribute to conflict prevention, peacekeeping and crisis management continues to be of primary importance to Member States and is carried out within the context of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). Based on the provisions of the Treaty on European Union, we have continued to participate in the ongoing development of European Union military and civilian crisis management capabilities under ESDP. Participation in ESDP takes place within the framework of Ireland’s commitment to the primacy of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security.
As confirmed in the national Declaration made by Ireland at the Seville European Council, in June 2002, a decision by Ireland to participate in a EU-led military crisis management operation will be for sovereign decision on a case-by-case basis and in line with Irish constitutional and legislative arrangements. In accordance with the Defence Acts, Ireland’s Defence Forces will only participate in United Nations authorised peace support operations.
Crisis Management Operations
A key priority for the EU in the ESDP arena is the continued successful conduct of EU peacekeeping and crisis management operations around the globe and the preparation of new missions.
In addition to the EU military peacekeeping operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there are three EU civilian operations using military assets currently operating in Aceh, Indonesia; Sudan/Darfur; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are also other civilian operations in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, the Rafah Border crossing and the Moldova/Ukraine border.
In December 2004, the EU launched Operation Althea in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a military peacekeeping operation aimed at consolidating peace, reconciliation and reconstruction in that country. At the end of 2005, Ireland was contributing 56 Defence Forces personnel to this mission.
Further to the invitation from the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a European Union mission (EUSEC-DRC) was launched on 08 June 2005 to provide advice and assistance in the area of security sector reform in the DRC, while promoting human rights and the rule of law. The Mission has continued to work closely with the DRC authorities and has played a key role in the effort to support DRC army reform.
An EU civilian-military supporting action to AMIS II – the African Union Mission in Sudan (Darfur) was established with the objective of ensuring effective and timely EU assistance in support of this mission. The General Affairs and External Relations Council adopted the Joint Action for this mission on 18 July 2005. The EU aims to assist the African Union in its political, military and police efforts to address the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, while respecting the principle of African ownership.
Following a peace agreement between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Helsinki on 15 August 2005, the EU launched a monitoring mission to Aceh to monitor the compliance of the parties to their commitments under the agreement. An initial Monitoring Presence was put in place on 15 August 2005 and the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) became operational on 15 September 2005. AMM is the first ESDP mission to take place in Asia and is a 240 strong joint mission, led by the EU with five ASEAN countries plus Norway and Switzerland. Ireland initially contributed three Defence Forces officers to AMM and currently has one officer deployed in Aceh.
EU Military Capabilities
The European Security and Defence Policy is an integral part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, which encompasses the EU's international obligations to the maintenance of international peace and security. Military capabilities are but one element among a wide range of instruments which the EU can deploy in this regard, which include economic, political, administrative, rule of law etc. In the Headline Goal 2010, the EU set itself the objective inter alia, of being able "to respond with rapid and decisive action applying a fully coherent approach to the whole spectrum of crisis management operations covered by the Treaty on the European Union".
A key element of the Headline Goal is the capability to deploy forces at high readiness, broadly based on the Battlegroups concept. The term ‘Battlegroups’ is a standard technical military term to describe a coherent military force package capable of stand-alone operations, with full transport and logistics support capabilities to carry out its tasks. It is defined, in short, as “the minimum militarily effective, credible, rapidly deployable, coherent force package capable of stand-alone operations, or for the initial phase of larger operations.” It is envisaged as being based on a battalion-sized force with full support elements (i.e. a strength of around 1,500 troops) and a readiness to deploy within 5 to 10 days to a range of possible missions, sustainable for 30 days extendable to 120 days.
The Minister for Defence established an interdepartmental group in November 2004, with representatives of the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Taoiseach’s Department and the Attorney General’s Office, to examine all issues relating to Ireland’s potential participation in Battlegroups. The Group reported to the Minister in November 2005 and as part of its study recommended changes to current legislation, in light of the increasing range of operations where military forces can play a role and the need for increased interoperability training.
In January 2006, the Government noted the Minister’s intention to proceed to draft Heads of Bill, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, to deal with the various legal issues identified in the Battlegroups Report. The Bill was enacted in July 2006. In tandem with its approval to draft the Defence Amendment Bill 2006, the Government authorised the Minister to enter into discussions with like-minded nations on a possible contribution by Ireland to a battlegroup. A delegation from the Department and the Defence Forces met with their Swedish counterparts in Stockholm. Sweden is the framework nation for the Nordic Battlegroup comprising Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia. The detailed parameters of a possible contribution by Ireland to the Nordic Battlegroup are currently being worked through and are close to finalisation.
In the context of implementation of the Headline Goal 2010 (HG 2010), the Council of the European Union approved a new Requirements Catalogue 05 (RC05), which was finalised in late 2005. The RC05 details the capabilities required to enable the EU to undertake the agreed range of tasks to meet the objective of the HG2010 and, against which, member States will be expected to indicate their specific capability commitments.
The elaboration of a Long Term Vision (LTV) to guide capability development was also identified as a requirement in the Headline Goal 2010. The European Defence Agency held an LTV seminar in September 2005 and produced its first draft paper on the methodology for developing an LTV. Work on an LTV is ongoing.
European Defence Agency
Ireland joined the EDA when it was established in 2004. The Agency is headed by the Secretary-General High Representative (SG/HR) for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The guiding role in the work of the Agency is provided through a Steering Board comprised of EU Defence Ministers of the participating Member States.
The EDA’s main aim is to support Member States in the area of capability development in relation to the Headline Goal and to support greater efficiency and competition in the European defence equipment market. Ireland is supportive of developments which improve market efficiencies, potentially yielding economies of scale for equipment procurement for the Defence Forces and providing opportunities for Irish enterprise, given the increasing convergence in the research activities of both the civil security sector and the military sector.
Decisions on defence expenditure are, and will continue to be, matters for each member state. The Agency has also made good progress in its three other flagship projects relating to Command, Control and Communications (C3), Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Partnership for Peace (PfP)
Ireland joined Partnership for Peace (PfP) in December 1999. Ireland’s annual Individual Partnership Programmes (IPP) focus on the enhancement of skills and expertise in such areas as operational and generic planning for peacekeeping and peace support, communications, command and control, operational procedures and logistics.
Ireland’s fifth IPP, covering the period 2005-2006, was completed in consultation with the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Health and Children, and Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. One hundred and sixteen (116) activities were chosen representing participation by the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces, and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Activities consist of training courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, staff exercises and tabletop exercises.
Ireland, in common with other neutral EU Member States who are members of PfP, also participates in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) mechanism, which is useful for planning in relation to the EU Headline Goal. Ireland joined PARP in 2001, and our 34 Partnership Goals were chosen with a view towards enhancing interoperability with our PfP partners in such areas as tactics, operational cohesion and logistics so that Defence Forces personnel can operate efficiently in a multi-national environment.
Ireland sees PfP in general, and the PARP in particular, as having a significant role to play in co-operation and planning for participation in humanitarian, rescue, peacekeeping and crisis management tasks - the Petersberg Tasks - in support of the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Co-operation with international organisations
Co-operation between the EU and international organisations, particularly the UN, in the area of crisis management has also developed substantially. Ireland has continued to encourage and foster the ongoing development of EU-UN co-operation in the area of humanitarian action, crisis management, peacekeeping and conflict prevention, with a particular emphasis on EU action in support of UN operations.
Following on from the September 2003 Declaration on EU-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management, relations between the EU and the UN remain strong. A EU military liaison officer was established at UN Headquarters in New York in November 2005 to enhance operational co-ordination between the two, and an Irish Officer has taken up this post. Regular meetings between representatives of both structures continue to take place.
The EU and NATO have continued to develop their strategic partnership in crisis management with co-operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the context of Berlin Plus arrangements and as part of both the EU and NATO’s support for the African Union Mission (AMIS) in Darfur.
The Emergency Planning Objective: “To promote the coordination of emergency planning functions across all Government Departments and other key public authorities and to oversee the emergency planning process in general.”
In the area of emergency planning the vision continues to be that State bodies will react quickly and effectively to any large-scale emergency. Response arrangements must continue to be characterised by effective management of all aspects of emergency planning, ensuring a high level of public confidence in such arrangements.
The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Defence, met on eight occasions during 2005. The Task Force comprises those Ministers and/or senior officials of Government Departments and public authorities, which make a key contribution to the emergency planning process. It is the top-level structure giving policy and direction and which coordinates and oversees the emergency planning activities of all Government Departments and public authorities. The Task Force promotes the best possible use of resources and compatibility between different planning requirements.
The representation on the Task Force continues to be reviewed in the light of ongoing developments. During the year the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Health Service Executive joined the Task Force. Discussions are ongoing between the Office of Emergency Planning and Government Departments in relation to how best emergency planning arrangements can be represented.
During 2005 the Task Force addressed a number of issues including the review of the Framework for Major Emergency Management, the development of a National Emergency Coordination Centre and public information and awareness on emergency planning. A market research campaign was commissioned in late 2005 into public attitudes and awareness of emergency planning in Ireland. The Task Force was also specifically convened to discuss the tragic bus accident near Navan in May, the London bombings in July and also the issues of avian flu and the potential for a human flu pandemic.
The Inter-Departmental Working Group (IDWG) on Emergency Planning met on seven occasions during 2005. The IDWG comprises officials representing Government Departments and public authorities with lead or principal support roles in Government emergency plans. The Task Force charges this Working Group with carrying out specific studies and developing particular aspects of emergency planning. The IDWG continues to address on an on-going basis emergency planning matters with a view to minimising the potential consequences of emergencies on the State.
A key area of activity during 2005 was the continued development of the oversight of emergency planning to refine and develop the arrangements that exist, to continuously improve them through review, validation and revision, and to generally build a basis for increased confidence in emergency planning process. The aim for any Government Department, when participating in this oversight process, has been to add value to its emergency planning, management and response systems and to encourage the evolution of mechanisms to promote continuous improvement within the Department and the bodies under its aegis. This is an ongoing process, which serves to highlight gaps or areas of weakness, assists in strengthening systems and assists Government in the review and revision of its strategies and plans.
Throughout 2005, the Government Task Force, the Inter-Departmental Working Group and the Office of Emergency Planning continued to foster a more proactive approach to the conduct of emergency planning, with a high level of cooperation evident amongst key Government Departments and other public authorities. During the year emphasis was placed on the need for regular exercising and validation of emergency plans. For the first time Government Departments were asked to submit details of their structured exercise programme. This information is now provided on an annual basis. During 2005 the Office of Emergency Planning supported the development of a number of significant emergency exercises, which were conducted; by various Departments and public authorities to enhance their operational capabilities.
PLEASE REMOVE SEMI COLON HIGHLIGHTED ABOVE
The fourth confidential Annual Report on Emergency Planning was presented to Government in December 2005
The Civil Defence Objective: “To provide policy advice and support in respect of civil defence.”
The second Civil Defence Board was appointed by the Minister in June 2005 for a term of 3 years under the Chairmanship of Mr Joe Meagher. The Minister for Defence retains overall policy responsibility in relation to Civil Defence. Four Committees of the Board were subsequently established and the first Strategic Plan of the Civil Defence Board was published in mid-2005. The Board has agreed a work programme grounded in the Plan for each of the Committees. This programme is aimed at modernising and streamlining the organisation for the future.
As outlined in the Plan, the Civil Defence Mission Statement is ‘To promote, develop and maintain Civil Defence as an effective volunteer based professional organisation providing emergency response and community support services’.
In the Plan the Board has set out Strategic Goals and values that it would like the organisation to achieve. The Board has identified thirteen key objectives and a number of strategies have been devised to meet these over the lifetime of the Plan and beyond.
In Autumn 2004 the Civil Defence Board relocated a number of staff to temporary accommodation in Roscrea, in advance of decentralising the Civil Defence School and headquarters of the Board from Dublin to a new state of the art facility at Benamore, Roscrea. The transfer of the School and headquarters was completed in May 2006.
The White Paper Objective: “To continue Defence modernisation by implementing the White Paper on Defence and related modernisation initiatives.”
In February 2000 the Government published the White Paper on Defence, which deals with all aspects of defence provision and organisation and sets out the policy on Defence for the period to 2010 with a view to ensuring an appropriate level of defence capability, having regard to the changing defence and security environment both at home and abroad.
The White Paper emphasises the need to ensure that Ireland has conventionally organised Defence Forces which are affordable and sustainable and which are capable of carrying out the revised roles set by Government. It set out major new plans for the development of the Defence Forces. These involved the provision of a Permanent Defence Force of 10,500 personnel and the investment of pay savings arising, plus the proceeds from the sales of properties surplus to requirements, in new equipment and infrastructure.
The White Paper also provided for new Air Corps and Naval Service organisations (now in place), a new Army organisation plan, new Reserve Defence Force structures (now in place), and the further development of HR policies for the Defence Forces. Significant progress on each of these elements continued in 2005.
A Review of White Paper implementation commenced in September 2005 under the auspices of a Civil/Military Steering Committee. The Review will be completed in 2006.
The re-equipment programme for the Defence Forces continued in 2005. The increased level of expenditure on equipment for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service was made possible by the Government’s decision that pay savings arising from the reorganization of the Defence Forces set out in the White Paper of 2000, along with proceeds from the sale of surplus properties, would be reallocated for investment in modern facilities and equipment.
Investment in new equipment for the Defence Forces is provided for under various Subheads of the Defence Vote relating to defensive equipment, mechanical transport, aircraft, ships and naval stores, engineering, communications and Information Technology equipment etc. All elements of the Defence Forces, the Army, Air Corps, Naval Service and the Reserve have benefited from the investment in new equipment.
Over the past six years, over €200m has been expended on the purchase of sixty five armoured personnel carriers and the Javelin missile system for the Army, new patrol vessels for the Naval Service and new trainer aircraft for the Air Corps.
The programme of investment is continuing apace. In January 2005, the Minister for Defence signed contracts for six new helicopters (2 EC135s and 4 AW 139s) for the Air Corps costing over €60m. The two Light Utility Helicopters (EC135s) were delivered in late 2005 and have entered operational service. Two AW 139 Utility Helicopters will be delivered to Baldonnel in November 2006 and the other two will be delivered in 2007.
In December 2005, a contract was signed with Mowag GmbH of Switzerland for the supply of fifteen additional Piranha Armoured Vehicles to the Defence Forces. The company has already provided sixty-five Piranha APCs in recent years. Under the contract Mowag will supply fifteen vehicles, nine of which will be fitted with a Kongsberg Remote Weapon Station with a 12.7mm machine gun and six will be fitted with an Oto Melara turret armed with a 30mm cannon. The fifteen vehicles will be delivered in 2007 and will be used mainly in the Surveillance and Reconnaissance roles on overseas missions. The contract value is in the region of €36.5m including VAT.
There is a continuous process of refurbishment of the Naval Service fleet. Through a combination of improved support / operational systems and equipment and ongoing maintenance, the operational capability of the Naval Service is maintained at a very high level. As a general guide, the lifespan of Naval Service vessels is approximately 30 years. Two vessels will reach that age in the period 2007 to 2009. Proposals for a replacement programme are currently being developed.
There are also ongoing acquisitions of modern equipment for use by soldiers on operational duties. One of the essential ongoing equipment acquisition projects relates to the provision of a modern integrated protection and load carrying system for members of the Defence Forces. This involves, inter alia, personal protective equipment consisting of body armour and helmet.
A tender competition was held in 2005 for the provision of body armour for the individual soldier. An order has now been placed for 6000 units for delivery in 2006. In addition, a separate tender competition for helmets was also held for the acquisition of 12,000 helmets. An order has now been placed for the helmets, which will also be delivered in 2006.
A tender competition for the replacement of the existing FN 9mm Browning Automatic Pistol commenced in 2005. It is expected that an order will be placed shortly. In addition an order was placed in 2005 for the provision of 400 General Purpose Machine Guns for delivery in 2006. The ongoing programmes of acquisitions of both Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) equipment and Night Vision Equipment (NVE) continued during 2005.
In February 2006 a contract was placed for a mid-life upgrade on the two Casa aircraft operated by the Air Corps. The cost is €13.6m (exclusive of VAT). The work will be carried out in 2007 and 2008. When completed the aircraft will have an enhanced patrol capability.
The Policy Advice and Support Objective: “To provide the Minister for Defence with the best policy advice and support in relation to the management of Defence and to provide the full range of corporate supports.”
A primary responsibility of the Department and the Defence Forces is to provide support and assistance to the Minister in the discharge of his responsibilities, as detailed in Section 2.
In line with the mission statement, the Department’s focus is on ensuring that Defence is well managed, that resources are properly utilised and that all of the capabilities required to properly discharge the functions and roles assigned to the organisation are maintained. On the policy side, the key focus is on providing timely, relevant and quality advice on all matters pertaining to the Minister's responsibilities. This includes monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness with which policy is implemented in the Department and Defence Forces.
There is necessarily a degree of overlap between the Policy Advice and Support Objective and the other strategic objectives discussed above. Achievement of those other objectives is critical to the success of the Policy Advice and Support Objective and overall mission success.
The Business Planning process for 2005 again commenced with a consultation process within each of the Department’s Branches in which staff had the opportunity to contribute to the way in which their Branch would translate the Department’s goals and objectives into an action plan for the year.
Following the publication of the Department’s first Customer Charter and the Customer Service Action Plan (CSAP) for 2004-2007 in June 2004, most of the customer service activity for the year was centred on the continuing implementation and monitoring of the plan.
The Department conducted a second Customer Survey in October/November 2005. Survey forms were issued to a random sample of 314 external customers of the Department. The sample population included members of the public who had recently received correspondence from the Department, suppliers, solicitors, and other Government organisations. Completed survey forms were returned by 135 customers - a 43% response rate.
The results of the survey showed that the overall service supplied by the Department was rated as Good or Excellent by 96% of respondents; an increase of 6% over last year’s results. The survey indicated that the use of the Department’s website as a source of information had increased by 7% from 2004, but that the telephone is still the main channel of communication. In the 2004 survey, a number of customers identified telephone access and the timeliness of responses to correspondence as areas requiring improvement. These issues have since been addressed and this is reflected in the Telephone Contact category of the 2005 survey where the average ratings for “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” have increased by 5% since 2004.
Comments received in the survey in relation to the services provided by individual Branches were fed back to the Branches concerned for appropriate action.
The results of the 2005 Customer Survey in relation to telephone contact and written communication, and the overall rating of our service by our customers are given in the tables below:
Freedom of Information
The number of Freedom of Information requests received in 2005 fell by 19% from the 2004 total (49). Summary details are as follows: -
Note: Some of the requests received in late 2005 were carried forward into 2006.
|Refused||Transferred||Withdrawn or handled outside FOI||Finalised|
Human Resources Development
As successive Strategy Statements and the White Paper have pointed out, the management and development of staff is considered as critical to mission success. On the civil service side, significant changes have been made in the human resources area in recent years, including selection for promotion through competitive interview and a major investment in training and development to ensure that staff are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Implementation of the Human Resources Strategy is ongoing.
There have been significant developments on the military side also, with further development of HR policies and a Defence Forces HR Strategy finalised early in 2006.
Civil Service Training & Development
In 2005 the Department was once again successful in maintaining the FÁS Excellence Through People (ETP) accreditation. Having consistently achieved high scores in this FÁS assessment since 2001, the Department was awarded ETP accreditation for a two-year period. In addition, the Training and Development Section also retained the ISO 9001:2000 accreditation. The ETP and ISO awards acknowledge our effectiveness in meeting the training needs of staff identified through the civil service Performance Management and Development System (PMDS).
A total of 167 training courses were provided in 2005 and 998 people in total attended. The courses covered a broad range of issues including Government Accounting, Taxation, Legislation, Freedom of Information, Policy Analysis, IT, Health and Safety, Process Improvement, Core Management Skills and Business Support Training.
Of the courses provided,
o 44% were conducted in-house by internal trainers;
o 22% were conducted in-house by external trainers;
o 34% were conducted externally by external trainers.
In all, 4.9% of the Department’s payroll was invested in training and development in 2005, exceeding the 4% target set by Government.
The Department’s policy is that all personnel be accorded equality of opportunity and treatment and we continue to promote equality and to support initiatives aimed at achieving equality of opportunity in the public service. The Department’s Human Resources Strategy reflects this policy position and includes a programme of affirmative action (overcoming obstacles to career progression) to address such issues as the implementation of the Government target that one-third of posts in the grade of Assistant Principal are filled by women within 5 years. This target has now been met, with 33% of these posts currently being held by women.
In addition, 4 of our 12 Principal Officers are now women – a fourfold increase since the position in 2003.
We believe that our broad approach to equality not only recognises and guarantees the equal rights of all of our staff but also ensures that we give them the opportunity to achieve their full potential and to make the optimum contribution to the success of the organisation. The Department continues to exceed the Government’s target on the employment of people with disabilities.
The Dublin and Galway subcommittees, established by the main Partnership Committee in 2002, continued to operate successfully in 2005 by dealing with various local issues in an effective and inclusive way. The work of the other subcommittees, including the Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee, and the Health and Safety Committee, also continued throughout the year.
The Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) Project Team continues to meet as and when required.
Following the Government Decision of December 2003 to decentralise the Department’s Dublin based civil service staff to Newbridge, it was decided that the Partnership Committee should play a key role in the process, principally as a primary forum for the dissemination of information on the relocation project and the Committee continues in this role as further developments arise.
The civilian employee workforce is deployed in the various military installations throughout the country. The Partnership process continues to play an important role in the resolution of local issues and provides a forum for interface at local level.
The gross Departmental spend on the Defence and Army Pensions Votes amounted to €921m in 2005. Good financial management and accounting systems are essential to ensure that all expenditure is properly spent and accounted for. Work continued through 2005 on preparing for the Department’s financial systems to be replaced by new Management Information Framework (MIF) systems, referred to below.
Efforts continued during 2005 to encourage electronic payment as the preferred salary and pension payment method and increased numbers opted for this method of payment. On average 97% of the Department’s civil servants and military personnel are paid by electronic means. Additionally, since November 2004 all Defence employees receive their expenses payments by electronic means only.
There is also a facility in place for the payment electronically of the Department’s suppliers and the uptake for this method has also been increasing.
As part of the Civil Service-wide Management Information Framework initiative, the Department and Defence Forces continued to engage with Oracle EMEA for the installation of new financial and management information systems. Design and build work relating to modifications, interfaces and reports were conducted in the earlier part of the year. This was followed by user acceptance testing from September to December in preparation for go-live in 2006. The technical architecture was procured and commissioned throughout 2005. Phase 1 of MIF subsequently went live on 9th January 2006.
During 2005, in addition to their ongoing work, staff in all sections of Finance Branch provided assistance to the MIF project team.
The Department’s Internal Audit Section is an independent unit reporting directly to the Secretary General. As a service provider, the Section follows closely the Professional Practice Standards set down by the Institute of Internal Auditors by providing to management, both civil and military, an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity which is designed to add value and improve the Department’s operations through the evaluation and improvement of the effectiveness of the risk management, control and governance processes in the Department. The Section works to an annual audit plan covering a range of systems, compliance and stores audits. The Secretary General approves the plan in advance. The Section carried out an audit programme of some 170 audits in 2005.
The Department’s Audit Committee reviews the Section’s work on an ongoing basis. Mr. Brian McDonnell former Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Aviation Authority chairs this Committee, which conforms to the recommendations of the Mullarkey Report. The other members are the Department’s two Assistant Secretaries and Head of Corporate Services, the Defence Forces’ Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) and Director of Administration and Mr. John Blyth, a retired Professional Accountant. The head of the Internal Audit Section acts as secretary to the Committee.
Prompt Payment of Accounts
The Department complies with the provisions of the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act 1997 and the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2002. It is the Department’s policy to settle all invoices promptly with due regard to contractual terms where applicable, good financial and cash management practices and the provisions of the Act and Regulations. Procedures to ensure compliance with the legislation are in place and provide reasonable, but not absolute, assurance against material non-compliance.
Prompt Payment statistics for 2005 are given in the following table:
|Total number of invoices processed|
Total value of all payments
Total number of late payments
Total value of late payments
Value of late payments as a % of total payments
Amount of interest paid
Amount of interest as a % of total payments
Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) and e-Government
Financial and administrative systems support
Ongoing support and maintenance for all financial and administrative systems continued to be the main priorities in terms of funding and personnel in 2005. A major priority for the year was the final selection, installation and commissioning of a new technical infrastructure for the Management Information Framework, with particular emphasis on the integration of civilian and military applications, and the organisation of technical support and development teams from both sides of the Defence organisation. In 2005, approximately €1.6m was spent by the Department on information technology, office equipment and related consumables to meet service demands and to carry out updating and modernisation of network management and security.
e-Government and the Information Society
The Department’s participation in the e-Government programme during 2005 continued, and the technical platforms to enable business managers to deliver electronic services have been upgraded and continue to be modernised in line with central government initiatives.
Telecommunications and networks
During 2005, the emphasis continued to be on IT security, due to the increasing threat to IT systems globally and in view of the high dependency on the Government Virtual Private Network. Proactive measures included the use of specialist security firms and a substantial upgrading of all security levels, firewalls, filters and virus detection software. A security audit was commenced with a view to acquiring ISO 17799 certification. Ongoing monitoring of solutions ensures that the Department gets maximum value for money across a range of service providers.
The efficient and effective management of the Department’s property portfolio is a major challenge. In addition to the letting and leasing of lands and properties, the Department disposes of property that is surplus to military requirements. The Department continued to cooperate with other Departments and State agencies in making Defence facilities available for a variety of purposes: accommodation for asylum seekers, the provision of firing ranges to the Gardaí, and facilities to the media, film production, etc.
Mindful of the importance of maintaining our property in an environmentally friendly manner, the Department endeavours to maintain a “sustainable environment” approach and to preserve the natural landscape in line with Government policy as set out in the National Heritage Plan and the National Biodiversity Plan.
In 2004, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill to provide, inter alia, for the establishment of a statutory body to manage the Curragh of Kildare, with the exception of the Curragh Military Camp. Work progressed during 2005 on the drafting of the Bill, which is scheduled for publication in 2006.
As part of the Government’s Affordable Housing Initiative, the release of the Department’s property at Magee Barracks, Kildare, Gormanston, Co. Meath, St. Bricin’s Military Hospital in Dublin and part of the Camp Field, Collins Barracks, Cork has been agreed. These are being pursued in conjunction with the relevant agencies.
Hearing loss and general accident claims
The current Strategy Statement prioritises the need to dispose of hearing loss claims in an equitable and cost effective manner.
By 31 December 2005 a total of 16,755 claims had been lodged by current and former members of the Defence Forces for loss of hearing allegedly caused during military service. A total of 15,579 claims had been disposed of, mainly through settlement, leaving 1,176 outstanding at the end of the year. Overall €185.8m had been paid in damages, while plaintiffs’ legal costs amounted to an additional €94.7m. Total expenditure on hearing loss claims stood at €280.5m on 31 December 2005. At year-end, the Department was receiving new claims at an average rate of less than one per fortnight. This represents a halving of the 2004 average.
The level of quantum in hearing loss cases that were awarded or settled was maintained at an average level of €6,056 plus costs in 2005. Total expenditure on hearing loss claims finalised during the year amounted to €1.51 million including approximately € 1.02 million in legal costs.
Since the closure of the Early Settlement Scheme on 26 July 2002, 224 claims were lodged. By end of 2005, 104 of these had been disposed of, mainly by plaintiffs’ withdrawal.
In an extension of the 2001 Delegation Order see below, the Department delegated the management of all existing and new hearing loss claims to the State Claims Agency (SCA) with effect from 1st September 2005. A total of 478 hearing loss files were transferred to the SCA at that time.
PLEASE REMOVE ‘see below’ FROM FIRST LINE IN PARAGRAPH ABOVE
Since December 2001 the management of the majority of new (non-hearing loss) claims lodged against the Minister for Defence has been delegated to the State Claims Agency (SCA). The SCA was established under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2000.
During 2005, 171 claims were referred to the Agency. In all, 92 cases were finalised during this period. Total expenditure on claims finalised by the Agency during 2005 amounted to €1.07m, plus €0.23m in legal costs.
In relation to claims (non-hearing loss) that have not been delegated to the SCA, 37 claims were finalised in 2005 leaving 425 claims outstanding at year-end. Total expenditure in 2005 on these claims amounted to approximately €1.89m, plus €0.31m in legal costs.
Establishment of Legislation Branch
In April 2005 a dedicated Legislation Branch was created in the Department in order to apply dedicated resources to the review of legislation and regulatory reform. In addition to the continuation of the ongoing review and rewrite of the Administrative (‘A’) series of Defence Force Regulations, the Branch will also undertake a project dealing with the review of the managerial and administration aspects of the Defence Act 1954 (as amended). The Branch also has been assigned responsibility for rewriting Part V (Discipline) of the Defence Act 1954. This is a major programme of work, likely to incorporate rewrites of, or revisions to, regulations dealing with Statutory Powers, Discipline and Courts of Inquiry. The Government approved the drafting of this Bill as a priority in June 2005.
Programme of simplification and reform of legislation
The civil service - military Project Team established in 2003 for the purpose of rewriting and simplifying Defence Force Regulations and related military Administrative Instructions continued its work in 2005.
Section 4: Other Developments in 2005
Payment for Cash-in-Transit Escorts by the Defence Forces
Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces by Government is the provision of aid to the civil power. In practice this involves the provision of assistance on request, to An Garda Síochána who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State. The Defence Forces assist the Gardai with duties such as escorting cash deliveries to banks, post offices and other institutions.
Since the mid 1990s, the Banks have paid an annual contribution of €2.86m to the Department in respect of the provision of cash escorts. This amount was set by the Minister for Finance in the 1995 budget and had not been altered since. The contribution from the Banks was designed to part-cover the total costs to the State of providing cash escorts. At the time of its introduction the contribution covered approximately 72% of the total cost arising to the Defence Forces. However, the relative level of the contribution had fallen in real terms over the years to a situation where it was covering only 43% of the total costs.
The Minister directed that the Department initiate discussions with the Irish Bankers Federation (IBF) with a view to increasing the contribution by the Banks and a detailed formal agreement was signed on 11 May 2005.
This 5-year agreement provides that the Banks will pay the total actual costs incurred by the Defence Forces in the provision of cash escorts. Costs in respect of each calendar year will be paid no later than the 1st June of the following year. At the Bank’s request, it was agreed to defer the first payment to that date to meet the Banks budgeting and accounting timeframe. In return for agreeing to this deferral, a transitional payment of €1 million, payable before end 2005, was negotiated as part of the overall agreement. In 2005, the Banks made an annual payment of €2.86m in addition to the transitional €1m, making a total contribution of €3.86m.
The costs for the Banks in each future year will be determined by the actual costs incurred by the Defence Forces in the provision of the cash escorts in the previous year. The first payment under the new system was made in May 2006 when the Banks paid €6.03m to the Department of Defence.
Benchmarking and Sustaining Progress
Payment of the final phases of the Benchmarking increases and the general round increases agreed as part of Sustaining Progress are dependent, in the case of each sector, organisation and grade, on verification of satisfactory co-operation with flexibility and ongoing change; satisfactory implementation of the agenda for modernisation and the maintenance of stable industrial relations and absence of industrial action in respect of any matters covered by Sustaining Progress.
Those requirements are reflected in specific actions and commitments that are enshrined in Action Plans that are in place on both the civil service side of the Department and in the Defence Forces. For the civil service, progress against the Action Plan is assessed by the Civil Service Performance Verification Group while a similar body exercises that role in respect of the Defence Forces.
In 2005, both bodies verified that progress with implementation justified the payment of all the Benchmarking and general pay increases arising.
During the year agreement was reached, through the central Joint Industrial Council (JIC) mechanism, with staff representatives regarding the modernisation, flexibility and change required of civilian employees to enable payments to be made under the Benchmarking and Sustaining Progress agreements. Payment of the phased awards set out in the agreements is predicated on full compliance with the agreed modernisation, flexibility and change agenda and is subject to performance verification as set out in Sustaining Progress. All payments have been made to date.
Pension scheme for military personnel
On foot of various Government decisions concerning the Final Report of the Commission on Public Service Pensions and following the enactment of the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004, a minimum pension age of 50 will apply in the context of the new pension scheme to be introduced for new entrant military personnel recruited to the Defence Forces from 1 April 2004. Discussions with the Representative Associations regarding the terms of the new pension scheme continued throughout 2005. It is expected that the new scheme will be finalised in the latter part of 2006.
In December 2003, a Government decision provided for the decentralisation of the Department’s Dublin headquarters to Newbridge and the decentralisation of Defence Forces Headquarters to the Curragh.
The civil-military Defence Implementation Group set up in 2003 continues to operate. In 2004, a comprehensive outline Implementation Plan was drawn up and submitted to the central Decentralisation Implementation Group (DIG). The plan has since been updated and implementation continues. In 2005, a Decentralisation Unit was set up within the Department and the process of transferring staff into and out of the Department in preparation for Decentralisation is ongoing.
The establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman was facilitated and supported by the Department. The first Ombudsman for the Defence Forces, Ms. Paulyn Marrinan Quinn was appointed in September 2005.
Appendix 1: Strategies, performance indicators and current status
The Security Objective
|Strategies||Performance Indicators||Current Status|
|Threat Assessment and Advice:|
Ongoing review of the security and
defence environment and provision of
Review of Defence Forces ATCP security commitments
|Provision of timely, relevant and quality advice|
Review to be completed by end December, 2005
|Advice provided as required|
Review on-going and to be completed by end December, 2006
Advice to Minister on Defence Forces participation in UN authorised missions
Administration of approval procedures for
Defence Forces overseas deployments
|Provision of timely, relevant and quality advice|
Completion of approval procedures in a timely manner in accordance with Government and Oireachtas requirements
Defence Forces contribution to Headline Goal
Advice to Minister on policy formulation
and potential responses
Provision of timely, relevant and quality advice
2005 - 2006 Individual Partnership Programme (IPP)
Preparations for participation in
multinational peace support operations
Completed as required
Increased efficiency and effectiveness of participation and improvements in interoperability
Provision of effective emergency support/response by the Defence Forces
Coordination of Defence Forces response
|Demand for Defence Forces in emergency support role identified in lead agency plans|
Defence Forces maintain the requisite capacities and capabilities
Appropriate sub-plans are in place
|Draft Memoranda of Understanding to be completed with lead agencies by end- 2006 and Service Level Agreements completed and operational by end-2007.|
Appropriate Defence Force assistance is being provided in a timely and satisfactory manner
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Garda Air Support Unit SLA
Air Ambulance SLA
Maritime Services SLA
Maritime Security SLA
|SLA operating satisfactorily|
SLA operating satisfactorily
Current Draft SLA to be formally signed off by mid-2005
Draft SLA to be agreed by end-September 2005
Draft SLA to be agreed by mid-2005
|SLA operating satisfactorily|
SLA operating satisfactorily – redraft proposed by the Dept of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources under examination
SLA operating satisfactorily since September 2005
Draft SLA to be agreed by end-2006
Draft SLA to be agreed by end-2006
The Emergency Planning Objective
|Strategies||Performance Indicators||Current Status|
|To foster a more proactive approach to the conduct of emergency planning by interacting with key players in other Government Departments and key public authorities||Promotion of a facilitative climate and development of greater confidence in the emergency planning process||Ongoing|
|To provide the necessary supports to the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, chaired by the Minister for Defence, and the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Emergency Planning||Establishment and maintenance of an emergency planning contact programme through regular meetings of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Emergency Planning||Eight meetings of the Government Task Force and seven meetings of the Inter-Departmental Working Group were held in 2005|
|To oversee the emergency planning arrangements in Government Departments and public authorities under their aegis ||Regular meetings and active pursuit of the issues arising|
Provision of regular reports to Government
|The main issues the Task Force considered during 2005 included Avian Flu, Flu Pandemic, the development of a Public Information Campaign, the establishment of a National Emergency Coordination Centre and the Review of the Framework for Coordinated Response to Major Emergency. Special meetings of the Task Force were convened for briefings on the Navan Bus Accident and the London Bombings|
The fourth confidential Annual Report on Emergency Planning was presented to Government in December 2005.
|Adoption of assurance| mechanisms to promote continuous improvement of the emergency planning functions within Government Departments and other key public authorities |Regular reviews and validation of Government emergency planning and response arrangements through formal annual oversight programmes|
Third oversight cycle to be completed by end of 2005
|The mechanisms to drive the oversight process were further refined and developed in 2005.|
The oversight process involved a series of bilateral meetings between the Office of Emergency Planning and the key Government Departments with lead or support roles in the emergency planning process.
The oversight process was completed and the outputs informed a significant part of the confidential Annual Report to Government on Emergency Planning
The review of the oversight process resulted in the refinement and improvement of the process. Ongoing review will further develop the process in future years
|To provide Strategic Emergency Planning Guidance (SEPG) to Government Departments and other key public authorities aimed at achieving effective management of the emergency planning process|
(The first such Guidance document was issued in December 2004)
|Regular review will identify any further guidance that requires development by the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Emergency Planning, which will issue as appropriate||This is an ongoing area for review and development and the SEPG will be reviewed in 2006 in the light of the new “Framework for Major Emergency Management in Ireland”|
The Civil Defence Objective
|Strategies||Performance Indicators||Current Status|
|Provision of policy advice and support to Minister ||Provision of timely, relevant and quality advice ||Advice and support provided as required |
|Provision of advice and support to Civil Defence||Issues dealt with in a timely and professional manner||Advice and support provided as required|
The White Paper Objective
|Strategies||Performance Indicators||Current Status|
|Provision of policy advice and support to Minister ||Provision of timely, relevant and quality advice||Advice provided as required|
|Defence Forces Equipment and Infrastructure Investment Programme:|
|Implemented by end-2005|
Implemented by end-2006
Implemented by end-2007
|Completed on schedule|
On target for completion
|Development of Defence Forces HRM strategy||Published by end-2007||Strategy produced in early 2006.|
|Reorganisation of the Reserve||Implemented per plan schedule||New RDF organization structure was launched in October 2005. Other aspects of Plan on schedule|
|Review of White Paper||Review completed by end-2006||Review in progress and on target|
The Policy Support and Advice Objective
|Strategies||Performance Indicators||Current Status|
|HR Strategy and Training and Development Strategy 2004-2008|
PMDS (now in fourth year of operation)
Extension of PMDS to Services and Cleaning staff
Full integration of upward feedback into PMDS cycle
Continued evaluation of PMDS through partnership- based PMDS Project Team
Training and development programme
Investment on training and development
Excellence through People accreditation
ISO 9001:2000 accreditation
|Continued implementation of the HR and T&D Strategies|
By end- 2005
By end-March 2006
Evaluation exercises conducted as required
T & D Programme designed and implemented annually
Investment maintained at 4% of payroll
Retention of accreditation
Retention of accreditation
2005 programme designed and implemented.
4.9% of payroll invested in T & D in 2005
Retained in 2005 - accreditation was awarded for a 2-year period.
ISO retained in 2005
Employment of people with disabilities
Women AP posts target of 33%
|Continue to meet or exceed Government 3% target|
Target achieved by mid-2005
|Department is continuing to exceed the Government’s target.|
Target achieved by mid-2005
|Partnership and C&A|
Support partnership and IR concepts and structures for civil servants, civilian employees and military personnel
|Member groups satisfied with the Process. ||Ongoing|
Decentralise the Department to
Decentralise Defence Forces HQ to the
|Plan implemented as agreed|
Plan implemented as agreed
|In progress and on target|
In progress and on target
Establishment of the Curragh Authority
Married Quarters Sales and Rents
Conveyance of properties for Affordable Housing Initiative purposes
Review of property portfolio
|Numbers sold; rents reviewed|
Timeliness of response to Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government requirements
Review completed by end-2005
Bill published by end-2005
Curragh Authority established following enactment
|302 (of 328) quarters sold. |
Lands at Magee Bks. identified for Affordable Housing
Interim review nearing completion Minor sales/disposals ongoing.
Heads of Bill approved by Government in July 2004, Bill currently being drafted.
|Finance Services and Financial Management|
Management Information Framework
Full roll-out of Phase 1
Commence roll-out of Phase 2
MIF Training programme
Start January 2005 ends mid-2006
|} Phase 1 went live on|
} 9th January 2006
Ongoing and on target
Annual Programme 2005
Annual Programme 2007
Annual Programme 2006
|Annual Programmes completed to satisfaction of Audit Committee and Secretary General||2005 Programme satisfactorily completed.|
2006 programme commenced
|ICTs, Information Society and e Government
Business applications development
e Payments promotion
e Procurement promotion
e Procurement integration with REACH
|Extent to which business managers needs are met|
By end-March 2006
|Hearing Loss and other claims
To dispose of all claims efficiently, fairly and at minimum cost to the Exchequer
|Number of claims finalised per year|
% of cases successfully defended
Quantum and costs per case
|144 claims finalised in 2005. 15,579 claims finalised in total.|
Almost 75% of “statute” cases were successfully defended.
Average quantum maintained close to 2004 level at €6,056 in 2005. Average costs level also maintained.
€280.5m spent on Hearing Loss cases in total.
37 non-delegated claims finalised in 2005.
The majority of cases settled out of court.
Quantum maintained at satisfactory levels.
€1.89m spent on non-delegated claims in 2005 plus €314.7k in legal costs
|Legislative programme, simplification and reform
Implementation of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act, 2004
Defence Forces Regulations simplification and reform
Number of regulations reformed and simplified as per approved plan
|Done in September 2005|
Done by end-2005
Implementation of Customer Charter and Customer Service Action Plan 2004 – 2007
|Continuing implementation of Customer Service Action Plan ||Implementation proceeding satisfactorily|
|The Doyle Report|
Implement recommendations of Response to the Challenge of a Workplace report
|Reduction/elimination of cases of bullying/harassment||Implementation of recommendations continuing.|
Appendix 2: Details of Defence Vote expenditure for 2005 by category
Details of Defence Vote expenditure for 2005 by category
|PDF Pay and Allowances|
|Pay and Allowances of Civilian Employees and RDF|
|Air Corps: Equipment, fuel, maintenance, etc.|
|Naval Service: Equipment, fuel, maintenance etc.|
|Barracks expenses, repairs and maintenance of lands|
|Buildings – Capital|
|Military Transport: New vehicles, fuel, repairs and maintenance|
|Other non-pay military expenditure|
|Civil Defence, Irish Red Cross Society and Coiste an Asgard|
Details of Army Pensions Vote expenditure for 2005by category
|Defence Forces (Pensions) Schemes and payments in |
respect of transferred service
|Wound and disability pensions, allowances and gratuities, |
to or in respect of former members of the Defence Forces
|Payments to or in respect of Veterans of the War of Independence|
|Army Pensions Board and other miscellaneous payments|
Note: Minor discrepancies due to rounding may arise.