Audit objective and criteria

The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of Army’s workforce management. To form a conclusion against the audit objective, the ANAO adopted the following high-level criteria:

  • Army has an effective workforce planning framework; and
  • Army has managed its employment categories, including serious and critical categories, effectively.


Army has established a framework for the strategic management of its workforce, but has not been effective in addressing persistent personnel shortfalls in some key specialist employment categories or aligning its establishment with government funding.

  • Army has in place the key components of an effective strategic workforce planning framework. Army workforce planning is conducted in the context of Defence’s overarching workforce planning framework, and is supported by a strategic workforce plan and Defence People Group’s centralised workforce analysis cell.
  • Army’s organisational structure (establishment) contains more positions than are approved by Government. Army has made repeated attempts to correct this problem, without success.
  • Army’s monitoring and analysis of its employment categories informs its workforce planning. The monitoring indicates that 61 of Army’s 99 categories are healthy. Army has ten categories that have either serious or critical workforce issues and require direct management attention.
  • The ANAO’s review of two critical and two serious categories indicates that they exhibit a number of common features, including longstanding personnel shortfalls and ineffective review processes. Remediation plans for two of the selected categories were put in place following interventions by the Chief of Army and the affected Regiment. Army should also consider interventions for the other serious and critical categories, and review the application of standard career and posting processes to its specialist personnel.
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