The Honorable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of National Defence, today launched a major initiative to bolster front-line investments by reducing inefficiencies, streamlining business processes and reducing corporate overhead within Canada’s defence organization.
“In line with the Prime Minister’s intent to free up support for operational capability and readiness, National Defence has put forward an ambitious plan to reduce corporate overhead,” said Minister Nicholson. “Defence Renewal will help National Defence continue to build a modern first class military, ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.”
The initiative is forecasted to generate between $750 million and $1.2 billion in savings per year by 2017-18 to be reinvested in Defence operational and front-line priorities. Since 2006, the Government has increased the Defence budget by $4.5 billion to support Canada’s men and women in uniform.
Some of the key areas where efficiencies will be sought include:
- Consolidation and synchronization of training across the Forces for common skill areas;
- Aligning and modernizing information systems to better predict spare parts and maintenance requirements, increase stocktaking accuracy and optimize the use of available stock items; and
- Improved contracting of goods and services, through simplifying contract specifications and consolidating purchases where appropriate.
Defence Renewal is not a cost-cutting exercise and the overall intent is not to reduce the number of Regular Force, Reserve Force or civilian employees. However, it is expected that there will be a rebalancing of the workforce to address higher, operationally-driven priorities.
As part of this rebalancing of the defence organization the objective will be to reallocate the equivalent of between 2800 and 4800 military and civilian personnel to address higher priority tasks.
“In providing every National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces member an opportunity to have a say in Defence Renewal, we are promoting a culture of change and building our future together,” said Richard Fadden, Deputy Minister of National Defence.
“This initiative is being embraced by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces and will be led from the top of the defence organization,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff. “Building on this, Defence Renewal presents us an opportunity to look for additional ways to better direct limited resources towards higher operational capability and readiness.”
Defence Renewal was initiated by National Defence to strategically position resources and investments, and to continue building the modern, combat-effective, multi-role military envisioned in the Government’s Canada First Defence Strategy.