The Bunker Group
Yes and no.So we are back to the lack of technical depth in defence, too much work for the ( totally useless and underworked apparently) uniformed and civilian technical people to complete so the pollies decide what to buy on who has the best power point and cocktail parties.
The various defence reviews (started under Hawke and carried on even as far as Gillard) gutted defence department institutional knowledge, out sourcing to industry, who predominantly hired from the ADF and APS. Now everyone's fighting over a shrinking pool of technically competent people with many senior roles going to technically incompetent people.
I don't know if there are even enough good people to train and mentor the people required going forward thanks to the false economies of the 90s and 2000s.
No - In this specific case, we have no idea why it was missed, just that it was. And obviously never chased down by staffers from either side of the lake. I couldn't say if it was a deliberate passing the buck to the Government in a CYA-style move, an honest clerical error or a symptom of a poor bureaucracy (uniform and civilian).
Yes - But there is some truth in the competence levels. I was convinced on the value of the APS at my DMO posting where they stood as the bulwark against contractors out-waiting our posting cycle. And then in units where they acted as brakes against slipping culture. The APS are a phenomenal organisation that really need a good PR firm. Unfortunately, there is no incentive to stay, and the lack of experience a the senior levels shows. I'm not sure I know 5 APS who have been in longer than 15 years in areas that they can learn these lessons....
But....the APS has an excuse. They don't have career management. The services on the other hand, especially Army, are woeful at the tech / non-tech balance. We continue, year after year, to shoot ourselves in the feet, ankles, shins, thighs, knees and calves. And that's the personnel side. We pride ourselves on "lessons learnt"; but I cannot remember an occasion outside some individuals where a new project went "can you old project people talk to us about good and bad things please?" Or provided a report.
Gosh - I know the LAND XXX desk officer well. Has a strong background in said capability - was an operator now jumped to the tech side. Really good person, strong ethics and drive. But all their knowledge on the platform and project XXX is replacing? Comes from their Regt time. They were provided nothing that said "When we did Project XXX-1, this is what we learnt". They went and spoke to people to try and understand, but many were unavailable. Wha...?