Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Reserve
Question 45: To ask the Minister for Defence his views on the progress of the Reserve Defence Forces Value for Money Review to date; if it will be completed in the first quarter of 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46236/10]
The Reserve Defence Force was selected for review as part of the 2009 – 2011 phase of the Government's Value for Money and Policy Review initiative and this review commenced in February 2010. A Steering Committee comprising representatives from the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and the Department of Finance is overseeing the Review. In accordance with revised guidelines for the conduct of Value for Money Reviews, an independent chair was appointed to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has met on six occasions since the review commenced and a further meeting is scheduled for later this week.
A Working Group has also been formed to assist the Steering Committee with the review, comprising of both civil and military personnel. The working group has undertaken an extensive programme of work under the direction of the Steering Committee over this period.
As part of the review process, the Steering Committee have established an extensive consultation process with all key stakeholders. The representative associations have made written submissions and met with the Steering Committee. The Working Group has conducted focus group meetings with reservists and with Cadre personnel throughout the country. The results of these meetings are currently being evaluated and further meetings with military personnel who have responsibility for the Reserve are being scheduled.
Extensive analysis across the range of Reserve activities is also progressing and additional information requirements are being addressed as they arise.
The Steering Committee are working towards a target date of end March 2011 for the completion of the review. The stakeholder consultation process has proven particularly fruitful, however, it has, together with the related data gathering, taken longer than anticipated. The Steering Committee will review progress at their meeting this week.
This is an important review and I am satisfied that the time taken is necessary to ensure that we get a comprehensive review that significantly contributes to the formulation of future plans for the Reserve.
I have asked that the review proceed as quickly as possible and expect to receive the report shortly after the review is completed.