Author Topic: The Defence Budget  (Read 397676 times)

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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #375 on: March 20, 2013, 18:07:09 »
Right now there is a plan to man another MCDV this summer for force generation with a mix reg/reg crew. Right from the Admirals mouth last month he said the MCDV's will be doing the lions share of Fisheries and such as other CPF's go into refit for the foreseeable future. They are cheap to operate compared to a CPF and will be seeing more operations down south in the form of OP Caribe where they are very well suited.


That, using (smaller & cheaper) MCDVs for tasks which are within their capability envelope, is just good sense.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #376 on: March 20, 2013, 18:17:41 »
MCDV's are indeed run by reservists, but most of the billets are reserve billets and the reg force has little interest manning them. You would think there are lots of extra crew around, but there isn't really with things such as coursing and other manning challenges such as the Orca's.


At some point the RCN, especially, but the CF as a whole, has to come to grips with permanent vs non-permanent establishments. Our colleague dapaterson has pointed out, time and again, that the CF is breaking its own rules.

While I think the idea of reserve manned ships (and units) is great, it appears, as I understand it, that it violates the rules. Maybe we need to rethink the regular/reserve split; maybe we need two components: the active force and the reserve force and, maybe, within the reserve force we need a permanent (or active) reserve, which is on full time service and can be called to active service without further administrative action but which is not subject to e.g. postings (except for deployments) and a non-permanent (or volunteer) reserve:dunno:  My sense is that the Naval Reserve (the RCN(R)?) cannot run more than, say, half of the MCDVs and credible Naval Reserve Divisions. Maybe there need to be some nearly fully RCN(R) crewed MVDVs used for reserve training, say four or five of them, while the other seven or eight have mixed crews and are used for tasks like fisheries patrol and Op CARIBE, oceanographic research and even mine countermeasures.


Edit: typo
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 09:30:34 by E.R. Campbell »
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Offline drunknsubmrnr

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #377 on: March 21, 2013, 09:52:45 »
Quote
At some point the RCN, especially, but the CF as a whole, has to come to grips with permanent vs non-permanent establishments.

I agree. I also think that Regular force-manned as opposed to Reserve-force manning is the tip of the iceberg.

We've already seen with Huron that once a ship goes, it won't be replaced. Would it not make sense to decide now what the future fleet should be and divert as many resources as we can towards that? Once the remaining destroyers are paid off, chances are pretty good they won't be replaced. I think that 15 surface combatants are a lot more useful to the fleet and the country rather than 12 surface combatants and 4 training submarines.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #378 on: March 21, 2013, 10:15:24 »
The RCN has done considerable work to forecast the current and future fleets, and the personnel requirements to manage the transition from one to the next.

The challenge is in the large number of moving pieces - a one-year delay in AOPS means that the CSC is also delayed at least a year, meaning that the pers plan is now askew.  And that's a relatively simple thing... throw in occupational changes, departmental priorities, and so on, and the RCN has a large challenge on their hands.
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Offline drunknsubmrnr

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #379 on: March 21, 2013, 10:31:20 »
Quote
The RCN has done considerable work to forecast the current and future fleets, and the personnel requirements to manage the transition from one to the next.

The work appears to amount to a detailed wish list. The chances of actually getting the desired fleet in an operationally useful timeframe are slim. We're already seeing this with the JSS and AOPS, and they're not terribly complicated platforms.

RCN project planning must involve a lot of "And this is where a miracle happens" milestones....


Offline ARMY_101

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #380 on: March 21, 2013, 12:48:34 »
3 hours to go!  Who else is excited? ;D

www.budget.gc.ca

Offline Canadian.Trucker

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #381 on: March 21, 2013, 12:54:29 »
3 hours to go!  Who else is excited? ;D

www.budget.gc.ca
I expect your question is a little tongue in cheek, since there is little to be excited about from what I've heard.
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #382 on: March 21, 2013, 19:25:15 »
According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen the budget explicitly endorses "the report by Tom Jenkins, chairman of OpenText Corp., [which] recommended in February that the government use a "once in a century" opportunity to leverage the $490 billion in defence spending over the next 20 years." This is precisely the opposite of most bang for the buck and, instead, provides most pork for the buck; the CF will get whatever Canadian industry can produce, not what the military operational requirements specify. Ho-hum, we've been here before - anyone else old enough to remember the split CPF and TRUMP contracts?

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #383 on: March 21, 2013, 19:31:55 »
.... This is precisely the opposite of most bang for the buck and, instead, provides most pork for the buck; the CF will get whatever Canadian industry can produce, not what the military operational requirements specify ....
.... with industry happy to hear it (highlights mine):
Quote
The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) strongly endorses the federal government's commitment to create and implement a defence procurement strategy in which Canadian companies will be part of any plan to build equipment for the Canadian Forces, as expressed today in the federal Budget.

"Military procurement is the largest single area of discretionary spending the government has," said Mr. Page.  "The Government is boldly seizing the opportunity this spending represents to create jobs, especially high-end manufacturing jobs, in the Canadian defence and security sector.  This is an important step forward, putting Canada on a similar footing to other highly industrialized countries with clear strategies to promote their defence and security sectors."

Mr. Page added, "The government's commitment in the Budget recognizes that it is in the national interest to have a strong, innovative, domestic defence-related manufacturing base that produces leading edge equipment, generates high-value exports, and supports knowledge-based jobs for Canadians."

CADSI had broadly supported recommendations put forward by OpenText chairman Tom Jenkins in his report to the government on leveraging defence procurement around Key Industrial Capabilities in the Canadian sector.  "Our industry is delighted that the government endorsed Tom Jenkins' proposal to use Key Industrial Capabilities to leverage military procurement and has committed to expediting the implementation of the Jenkins recommendations this Spring," said Mr. Page ....
Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries info-machine, 21 Mar 13
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Offline ARMY_101

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #384 on: March 21, 2013, 21:53:03 »
Is it just me, or does Budget 2013 not mention the specific amount of money DND/CAF will be receiving?

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #385 on: March 21, 2013, 22:03:17 »
That information is contained in the Main Estimates, which will then be amended by the Supplementary Estimates.
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Offline ARMY_101

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #386 on: March 22, 2013, 08:16:32 »
That information is contained in the Main Estimates, which will then be amended by the Supplementary Estimates.

Estimated spent in 2012-2013: $20,678,142,610
Main estimates for 2013-2014: $17,985,310,381
= $2.69 billion reduction

... Not bad.

Offline Monsoon

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #387 on: March 22, 2013, 10:38:08 »
Estimated spent in 2012-2013: $20,678,142,610
Main estimates for 2013-2014: $17,985,310,381
= $2.69 billion reduction

... Not bad.
Just to contextualize a bit, the "Estimated spent" is the final, year-end tally - (almost) always higher than the Main Estimate. For comparison, the Main Estimate going into 2012-13 was $19,799,128,095, so this year's Main Estimate is only $1.8B less (a reduction of about 9%).

And budget cuts allocated by component:

- "Land readiness" (CA): 6.9%
- "Joint readiness" (CJOC, et al): 7.3%
- "Maritime readiness" (RCN): 10.6%
- "Aerospace readiness" (RCAF): 9.6%
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 10:45:15 by hamiltongs »

Offline ARMY_101

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #388 on: March 22, 2013, 11:37:19 »
Just to contextualize a bit, the "Estimated spent" is the final, year-end tally - (almost) always higher than the Main Estimate. For comparison, the Main Estimate going into 2012-13 was $19,799,128,095, so this year's Main Estimate is only $1.8B less (a reduction of about 9%).

And budget cuts allocated by component:

- "Land readiness" (CA): 6.9%
- "Joint readiness" (CJOC, et al): 7.3%
- "Maritime readiness" (RCN): 10.6%
- "Aerospace readiness" (RCAF): 9.6%

What about all the ADMs, CMP, and all the other L1s not considered Army, Navy, or Air Force?  Are they covered under "Support" and internal services?

Offline Monsoon

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #389 on: March 22, 2013, 11:40:10 »
What about all the ADMs, CMP, and all the other L1s not considered Army, Navy, or Air Force?  Are they covered under "Support" and internal services?
I suspect some of what they do gets rolled into "Joint and Common" (which is bigger than either the RCN or the RCAF, so it's got to be more than just CJOC), but there are a lot of other line items in the Main Estimate they could fall under. These four lines above only account for just over half the total Defence budget.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #390 on: March 22, 2013, 12:21:05 »
The Program Activity Architecture (PAA) describes the activities of Defence, and is what is used for the attributions of costs.  All done at an extremely high level; units & formations aren't asked or tasked to contribute to it.
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #391 on: March 22, 2013, 13:06:12 »
The Program Activity Architecture (PAA) describes the activities of Defence, and is what is used for the attributions of costs.  All done at an extremely high level; units & formations aren't asked or tasked to contribute to it.
True - not everything the RCAF does is "Aerospace Readiness", and not all "Aerospace Readiness" is done by the RCAF alone... but it's a handy thumb-guide to how things will likely break down L1-wise, since we don't really get to see the breakdown by formation. For example, Comd RCN has been quoted in the media as saying he expects an 11% cut to his budget this year: that corresponds quite closely to the 10.5% cut to "Maritime Readiness" in the PAA.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #392 on: March 23, 2013, 18:03:24 »
Did I read page II-37 of the Main Estimate correctly, that the CBC, after all its vilification of the Conservative Government was actually only cut 0.9%?

12-13   $1,074,319,060
13-14   $1,064,769,960
cut       $      -9,550,000

-9,550,000 ÷ 1,074,319,060 x 100 = -0.889%


Poor CBC...  :'(

Offline MCG

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #393 on: July 12, 2013, 06:28:47 »
Quote
Federal government accused of deficit slashing by stealth as defence spending $2.3B below budgeted amount
Murray Brewster
National Post
11 July 2013


OTTAWA — New figures from the parliamentary budget office show National Defence hasn’t spent billions of dollars set aside for it during the last budget year in a continuing trend that’s being described as deficit slashing by stealth.
 
The data on quarterly expenditures in the federal government show that by the end of the last fiscal year in March, the department had spent $2.3 billion less than what was allocated by Parliament.
 
That’s more than 10% of the annual defence appropriation, which also happens to be the single biggest discretionary line item in the federal budget.
 
The figures for previous years show that $9.6 billion has gone unspent in defence since the 2006-07 budget year — a trend defence officials have blamed on late equipment projects and an inefficient bureaucracy.

A former commander of the army says this calls for an explanation from the Harper government.
 
“I am not aware of any other Western armed forces, who are all going through budget reductions, underspending by such a dramatic amount over such a relatively long period of time,” said retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie.
 
He said the spending pattern is either a matter of managerial incompetence or a deliberate policy.
 
“If it is deliberate, the government of Canada needs to explain why.”
 
Some of the unspent funds, mostly earmarked for equipment, can be moved to other budgets in an exercise known as re-profiling, but a university expert in defence spending say the continuing pattern makes him wonder if the aim is deliberate.
 
Dave Perry, of Carleton University and the Conference of Defence Associations, says if it was simply a matter of a faulty process, a government committed to ending inefficiency would have fixed it.  “I really cannot conceive of how this is could not be considered a major problem and why they couldn’t, over the span of three years, address this,” he said.
 
Perry said he doesn’t believe “that this is entirely accidental” and he’s heard of plans and projects being delayed as a way to make DND’s books look better and make an even greater contribution to deficit reduction

The effect on operations and equipment is magnified by the government’s parallel deficit-fighting plans, which aim to cut baseline appropriations.
 
Leslie said the effect is like absorbing three big budget cuts all at once. He pointed to Senate testimony from the current army commander and former head of the navy, who both said their operations budgets have taken major hits.  Ultimately, the military’s ability to quickly respond to emergencies and mount sustained operations is affected, he said.
 
National Defence isn’t alone in not spending what Parliament gives it. The budget office numbers show the federal government as a whole only spends about 90% of what is appropriated.  The RCMP, Transport Canada and Natural Resources and Aboriginal Affairs had a tougher time spending their budgets last year, according to the data.  But the size of the defence numbers and the consistency of the problem make the department stick out.
 
The numbers released this week are not final, officials at the budget office acknowledged. The federal government will present a final tally on revenue and spending later this year when the public accounts are tabled in Parliament.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #394 on: July 14, 2013, 16:37:57 »
LGen Peter Devlin makes some candid remarks about the current budgetary situation in this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Montreal Gazette:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Hardwon+lessons+Afghan+life+support+outgoing+army/8658566/story.html

Quote
Hard-won lessons of Afghan war on 'life support,' outgoing army commander warns
 
BY MURRAY BREWSTER, THE CANADIAN PRESS

JULY 14, 2013

OTTAWA - Budget restraint and under-spending at National Defence have left some of the army's hard-won capabilities from the Afghan war on "life support," says the outgoing commander of the Canadian Army.

The federal government needs to recognize that intelligence operators are as much a part of today's front line as soldiers and tanks, said Lt.-Gen. Peter Devlin, whose three-year tenure as Canada's top soldier comes to an end Thursday.

"I am unusually proud that there is an army that has been reloaded and I've spent an incredible amount of energy and effort to pay respect to the lessons that were learned with blood in Afghanistan," Devlin said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Much of Devlin's 35-year career in the military was spent in the field in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq as an exchange officer with the U.S. Army.

But the transition from the front line to Ottawa's political trench warfare can be daunting, and Devlin's candid — but tactful — assessments of the effect of budget-slashing at National Defence have been like fingernails on a chalkboard to a government that's staked much of its reputation on embracing the military.

Before a Senate committee last December, Devlin revealed the army's baseline budget had been cut by 22 per cent and warned there was little fat to cut throughout the organization — a view that did not sit well in political circles.

It has been a scramble to maintain not only training, but elements Devlin described as the "softer skills" essential to fighting modern wars, such as intelligence, surveillance and expertise in countering improvised explosive devices.

"Some of them, to be quite frank, are on life support," he said. "Some are important; others we have had to make rough choices."

Each of those elements figured prominently in the hit-and-run war against the Taliban, and yet the army has found itself redirecting soldiers from infantry, armoured and artillery regiments in order to maintain the necessary intelligence capability.

The ranks of troops who conduct information and electronic warfare — more important than ever on the modern-day battlefield — are stretched thin, Devlin said. "The definition of what soldiers are considered the pointy end of the stick is much broader now, and I would argue that the intelligence analyst is a pointy-ended soldier today."

The army is pushing it, he said, but has "just enough" door gunners for training to man the new CH-47F Chinook helicopters, which began arriving last month.

Equipment such as surveillance balloons and electronics towers, used to keep 24-hour watch over the battlefield, are instead packed up in storage and used sparingly for training because of shrinking budgets, he added.

"If our training scenarios are not rich enough to keep those skills honed at the level they should be, it will mean we will take extra time, extra training and extra resources to bring them up to an appropriate level to represent Canada professionally — the way Canada needs to be represented — domestically or internationally."

A series of internal briefings, released to The Canadian Press over the last year, echo Devlin's concerns, including one memo that warns of possible "degradation," particularly in intelligence.

“Recent operational experience has reinforced the conviction that deployed land forces ... depend on a sophisticated (human intelligence) network that draws from all sources,” said the April 8, 2011, briefing, obtained under the Access to Information Act.

The army found itself hobbled at the beginning of the Kandahar mission in 2005, by the absence of that sophisticated ground network of sources, and by its lack of experience in interrogating prisoners.

Defence analysts have been warning for months that while the army has been able to maintain training at the highest level for quick reaction units, which are designed to deploy in a crisis, its ability to mount a sustained operation similar to the one in Afghanistan has been compromised by cuts to training and readiness.

Devlin's comments come just days after the parliamentary budget office revealed that National Defence had under-spent its budget by as much as $2.3 billion last year — bringing the cumulative total of unused funds to $9.6 billion since 2006.

The department claims some of that cash is the result of government belt-tightening in the form of strategic review and deficit reduction, which combined could carve as much as 13 per cent a year out of the defence budget.

When asked last week, the department refused to provide detailed figures. But Stephen O'Connor, the associate deputy minister of financial services, told CTV on Friday that the figures for under-spending last year were not as bad as the budget office made it seem.

O'Connor estimated the number at slightly less than $1.5 billion. "That's still a large number, we understand that, but there are reasons behind that number," he said.


Two points:

     1. LGen Devlin "warned there was little fat to cut throughout the organization," but the point is that there still is "fat." There was when we were doing slash and burn exercises in NDHQ in the 1980s and 1990s
         and there is now. If anyone says that there is no HQ fat left to cut then I guarantee that person is either not a veteran of NDHQ or has another agenda - and yes, I am talking about Gen Lawson; and

     2. "Stephen O'Connor, the associate deputy minister of financial services, told CTV ... the number [the unspent money] [is] slightly less than $1.5 billion. "That's still a large number, we understand that, but there
         are reasons behind that number.""  There are, indeed, reasons, good, proper and legal reasons behind that and the number is manageble and can and should be programmed because it happens year after year after year.

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #395 on: July 14, 2013, 17:55:30 »
Quote
Federal government accused of deficit slashing by stealth as defence spending $2.3B below budgeted amount ....
.... "Stephen O'Connor, the associate deputy minister of financial services, told CTV ... the number [the unspent money] [is] slightly less than $1.5 billion. "That's still a large number, we understand that, but there are reasons behind that number.""  There are, indeed, reasons, good, proper and legal reasons behind that and the number is manageble and can and should be programmed because it happens year after year after year.
The Info-machine responds....
Quote
Recent reports in the media are providing a misleading impression of how the Department of National Defence manages its spending.  This statement is being issued to clarify matters:

Based on current departmental financial information, our unused appropriations in 2012-13 will be less than $1.5 billion. The final 2012-13 spending levels will be reported to Parliament later this year as per normal.  It is important to note, however, that the vast majority of the amount of unused appropriations was beyond the department's control.

For example, these unused appropriations were associated with:

    Requirements to lapse authorities associated with decisions that flowed from the deficit reduction action plan which were announced after the Main Estimates were tabled.
    rescheduling of a payment to a foreign government from 2012-13 to 2013-14, as required by accounting rules;   
    a change in the timing of payments required from a judicial decision as the decision was not taken until early April 2013, pushing the funds into the 2013-14 fiscal year; and
    revised cash flow schedules for capital equipment and infrastructure projects.

Defence procurement tends to be complex and lengthy, involving a number of stakeholders.  Spending forecasts are based on plans but these plans are dependent on a number of assumptions and considerations ....
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Part of the budget problem is jumping through all of the hoops to actually be allowed to spend the money. Frankly I think if a proposal/contract/project is 2/3rds the way along, the money should automatically carry over to the next fiscal. I lost count how projects have hit my desk come March and then have to tell them they need a CEAA review or First nation consultation before we could issue a permit and the funding agencies refusing to guarantee to carry over the money, despite their holding onto it till the last minute and causing the crisis in the first place.

Offline FSTO

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Part of the budget problem is jumping through all of the hoops to actually be allowed to spend the money. Frankly I think if a proposal/contract/project is 2/3rds the way along, the money should automatically carry over to the next fiscal. I lost count how projects have hit my desk come March and then have to tell them they need a CEAA review or First nation consultation before we could issue a permit and the funding agencies refusing to guarantee to carry over the money, despite their holding onto it till the last minute and causing the crisis in the first place.

This x a zillion!
In the name of accountability -  the powers that be have put in so many oversights and reports for expenditures it is amazing that we are able to even buy fuel! Coupled with the risk avoidance mentality that permeates at the decision making level we have this massive road block to getting major purchases completed.

Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: The Defence Budget
« Reply #399 on: July 15, 2013, 17:01:16 »
This x a zillion!
In the name of accountability -  the powers that be have put in so many oversights and reports for expenditures it is amazing that we are able to even buy fuel! Coupled with the risk avoidance mentality that permeates at the decision making level we have this massive road block to getting major purchases completed.

Is this some of the fat we could trim?
"He who hates correction is stupid!"