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5. The department's response

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) welcomes this Capability Review report and on behalf of the department, I would like to thank the Australian Public Service Commission and the senior review team led by Ms Akiko Jackson and supported by Ms Penny Armytage and Mr David Kalisch, for their professional and considered approach.

Like all Australian Public Service agencies, DVA faces a number of challenges. Central to these is the need to ensure the efficient and timely delivery of high quality client centred services in a fiscally constrained environment.  I recognise that DVA will need to manage this agenda of change within the context of the changing and differing needs of its traditional and newer client base.

DVA has a long history of delivering high quality services to the veteran community. However, there are a number of key areas where DVA is not keeping up with contemporary practice and improvement is needed.  The findings of the Capability Review will play an important role in informing DVA on how to best position itself and ensure it continues to meet the needs of clients into the future.

In particular, the findings from the report identify that DVA must take a fresh look at the foundation of its business, its operating model and by extension, its delivery model.  We need to address these first in order to support our key strength, our staff.

We have known for some time that many aspects of DVA’s current operating model including scale, processes and systems would become unsustainable.  By taking a fresh look, we will be able to more efficiently allocate resources where they are needed most, and be able to better facilitate collaboration through an improved and streamlined governance model.  These improvements will be instrumental in bringing the operating model and strategic planning process together.

In the interim we will continue to develop and deliver the new strategic plan, DVA Towards 2020, which will underpin our business activities.  I look forward to working together with the senior leadership team to address the key findings and build on our successes, while actively tackling our areas of weakness, to create a better DVA.

Simon Lewis PSM

Secretary

Department of Veterans’ Affairs