The fuel supply chain journey in Defence (draft)
1 January 1970
Starting the journey
Fuel is a critical enabler to operations and Defence regularly reviews its fuels supply chain to ensure it is operating safely and at optimal performance. Various reviews have focussed on improvements in training, infrastructure, organisational responsibilities, governance, policy and processes.
As part of this continuous improvement process, Defence initiated a Fuels Remediation Program in early 2013 to enhance the safety, efficiency and operational resilience of the Defence Fuel Supply Chain (DFSC). In addition, the Secretary for Defence commissioned an independent review of the DFSC in late 2013 to provide an Industry baseline for how a fuel supply chain should be operated. Recommendations from this review are being considered and implemented under the Fuels Remediation Program.
Opportunities to further improve both the operational resilience of the DFSC and maximise the involvement of industry are also being considered by Defence as part of the current Force Structure Review to inform the Defence White Paper.
Current priorities to improve the DFSC
The single biggest change is the move to a 'continuous improvement culture'. Such a move includes strong support from senior leadership, the development and adoption of preventative maintenance programs for fuel facilities, a robust hazard identification and risk assessment process and adoption of a reporting framework that allows for rapid identification and resolution of fuels issues, including fuel quality.
The first step in this cultural change was the establishment of a single point of authority for end-to-end delivery in full on time of fuel to operational units. This authority is now vested with Commander Joint Logistics as the Head of the DFSC under the direct authority of the Chief of the Defence Force and Secretary for Defence. This simplification of authority has significantly facilitated the central implementation of improvements across the DFSC and provided much improved support to staff involved in the operation and maintenance of the many Defence Fuel Installations across Australia.
Other key priorities for 2015 include:
- Develop and implement a standardised Permit to Work System to ensure the safe conduct of maintenance work by all staff at Defence Fuel Installations.
- Develop and implement a standardised Defence Fuel Installation Risk Assessment Policy and Process.
- Undertake a rapid review of underground and over-water Defence Fuel Installation pipelines.
- Initiate the closure or temporary suspension of Defence Fuel Installations which are not safe to operate.
- A Hazard and Risk Assessment program for all Defence Fuel Installations across Australia.
- A national training program to deliver the right competencies and proficiencies for the Operating Agents in all Defence Fuel Installations
- Reduce fuel physical losses through the introduction of a more robust fuel incident reporting system.
- Transition fuels engineering management into a centralised centre of knowledge and excellence. Establish a specialist panel of fuel supply chain technologists and advisers under the DFSC.
- Minimise Working Capital in fuel holdings where possible.
- Consider the further involvement of Industry to improve resilience of the DFSC and achieve cost reductions and efficiencies wherever possible.
These priorities remain on track.
The process of continuous improvement, and Defence’s commitment at the most senior levels, will be ongoing. Defence is managing risks and remediating identified non-compliances to ensure the safety of our personnel and wider society while ensuring fuel supply for ADF operations. As part of this journey, Defence has established a close relationship with Comcare to ensure the criticality of safety, particularly in the operation and maintenance of the Defence Fuel Installations. The importance of maintaining safety while continuing to deliver fuel as a critical enabler of Defence capability is best summed up by the new DFSC vision known as 'Fuelling the Force' as depicted in the following branding policy.