The Australian National Audit Office has released a report on defence’s biggest 25 projects.
The report finds that the total budget for the projects in June 2020 was $78.7bn, an increase of $24.2bn compared with when they reached “second pass approval” – although this is not just cost overruns but includes changes in scope.
For example, the joint strike fighter program will cost $14bn more than first thought, but $10.5bn of that is because Australia is purchasing 58 more fighters.
In terms of capability, 19 of the 25 will deliver all their capability requirements. The five projects “experiencing challenges with expected capability delivery” are the Joint Strike Fighter, MRH90 Helicopters, Hawkei, Battlefield Command System and Battlefield Airlifter.
One project office (AWD Ships) reports that it is unable to deliver all of the required capability by [final operational capability].
Fifteen of the 25 projects have experienced delays due to Covid-19, due to supply chain disruption, workforce limitations and contractor delays.
The defence department said the average delay is 3 to 6 months.
The ANAO found:
“The total schedule slippage for the 25 selected Major Projects, as at 30 June 2020, was 507 months when compared to the initial schedule … The total slippage of 507 months in 2019–20 is 144 months lower than the total in 2018–19 of 651 months.”
The final report of the royal commission into police informants has been handed down in Victoria.
Commissioner Margaret McMurdo made 111 recommendations, including appointing a special investigator to examine whether crimes have been committed by current and former Victorian police officers or lawyer Nicola Gobbo.
The force’s handling of Gobbo during the gangland war sparked the royal commission, which was announced almost two years ago.
The full report can be found here.