Patrick Durrant | Canberra
ADM's fourth Defence Estate and Base Services Summit was held in Canberra on Tuesday 22 September.
The conference was well attended by both Defence and Industry delegates with a record number turning up to hear what was being shared by some very influential players. These included Steve Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary of the Defence Estate and Infrastructure Group (E&IG), Leo O'Shea Director of Service Delivery with the UK MoD and Ian Maxted chief executive (defence, social and property sectors) Transfield Services - all three delivered keynote speeches.
Grzeskowiak said a new capability lifecycle management system was being created to be more agile, with better accountability and it would integrate fundamental inputs to capability (FICs) across the board.
"We need to focus on consolidation of the estate and make better use of what we have," Grzeskowiak said.
With regard to the forthcoming White Paper and the long term vision, he saw the E&IG's priorities as being to align policy with strategy, underpin the force structure review, recognise partnerships with industry, and have a costed affordable plan, essentially an integrated investment plan.
David Barnes from Aurecon said that sufficient funding for the estate will be an ongoing challenge for Defence but he added it was critical to clearly identify linkages between ADF operational capabilities and facilities and infrastructure and the level of risk created by underperforming assets.
He presented the idea of a portfolio management and capability assurance framework that would assist in dealing with this.
"The framework would support the development of a single portfolio view about estate reliability and confidence in its ability to support operational capability," Barnes said.
Greg Divall Head of Infrastructure E&IG spoke on the key points he was taking away at the end of the day. He stressed the importance of industry partnerships, saying they were critical to achieve Defence’s mission.
Another critical factor, according to Divall, was integrated project development which includes facility management in the design and development stage.
“We've been talking about it for a very long time and are on the cusp of getting some pilots up and running. We really do need to get EMOS (Estate Management and Operations Services) standing up and be involved in the design and development of those particular projects as we go through.”
Divall said they needed facilities managers that will question things like how they are going to get into the back of a system and change a washer when there’s no access point?
“These things might cost $5000 to fix later but if it’s brought up in the early stages it will cost us only $200.”
In terms of Building Information Modelling or BIM, Divall said he was “more interested in the data set that we require at the end of the day that we require to manage the facilities in a better way than we currently do”.
Quality of designs in construction was another chord that ran through. Divall said E&IG need to ensure the quality of designs.
“That's why I am after ensuring we have some kind of quality management system inside industry organisations so that we can ensure what comes out at the other end is a quality design, it's fit for purpose and we can construct against it”.
Rounding up with an industry perspective, Grant D’Arcy Laing O’Rourke Australia General Manager Building said it was great to have customers and clients all in the room together talking about issues.
He challenged the government to take action in mandating for the digital environment.
“If our government could actually mandate something in terms of the digital environment or BIM, that would get us all to a platform that we can leap from, and certainly not rethink it from first principles every time we start a project. That would be a great step forward,” D’Arcy said.