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Advising Ministers - The Special Problem of Defence

Arklay, Tracey; Tiernan, Anne; White, Hugh

Description

Successive Australian Defence Ministers have been frustrated and occasionally embarrassed by the quality of advice and information provided to them by the Defence organisation. Decades of reviews and reorganisations have failed to find solutions to the special difficulties that Defence faces in providing accurate, timely information and advice to ministers across the broad spectrum of their responsibilities. This article argues that there are multiple explanations for the concerns that are...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorArklay, Tracey
dc.contributor.authorTiernan, Anne
dc.contributor.authorWhite, Hugh
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:25:47Z
dc.identifier.issn0313-6647
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/53635
dc.description.abstractSuccessive Australian Defence Ministers have been frustrated and occasionally embarrassed by the quality of advice and information provided to them by the Defence organisation. Decades of reviews and reorganisations have failed to find solutions to the special difficulties that Defence faces in providing accurate, timely information and advice to ministers across the broad spectrum of their responsibilities. This article argues that there are multiple explanations for the concerns that are frequently expressed about its policy advisory capacity - most of which are inherent to Defence organisations around the world. While the Defence culture of secrecy is partly responsible, other factors such as the scale of Defence's operations, the multiple cultures that exist within it (military, civilian, and intelligence) that make coherence harder than in more homogenous departments, the long-time horizons of defence planning as well as the high costs of procurement, must also be considered. The erosion of trust between the organisation and minister has been exacerbated by the intense scrutiny of the media that overburdens ministers and adds another layer of complexity to their role. As history shows, there are push and pull factors that continue to embroil ministers in the minutiae of defence difficulties, while the complexity and scale of operations will undoubtedly continue to impact on the timeliness of advice.
dc.publisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
dc.sourceAustralian Journal of Public Administration
dc.subjectDefence culture
dc.subjectHumanitarian operations
dc.subjectMinisterial challenges
dc.subjectPolicy advisory systems
dc.subjectSecretarial-ministerial relationships
dc.titleAdvising Ministers - The Special Problem of Defence
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume70
dc.date.issued2011
local.identifier.absfor160604 - Defence Studies
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB279
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationArklay, Tracey, Griffith University
local.contributor.affiliationTiernan, Anne, Griffith University
local.contributor.affiliationWhite, Hugh, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage365
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage376
local.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1467-8500.2011.00738.x
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:02:27Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84857618569
local.identifier.thomsonID000300832800003
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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