Saving through reduction of own administration and cooperation with others

Autor: Oldrich Holecek

Up to one billion Czech Crowns should save the Ministry of Defence by reduction of some administration works or by sharing some services with other governmental bodies. Minister of Defence Alexandr Vondra and Deputy Chief of the General Staff of ACR Major General Petr Pavel presented upcoming moves at the press conference on 3 April 2012.

According to the governmental decision, the defence department is to save 1.4 billion Czech Crowns from its 2012 budget. Reason: Lower economic expectations in the Czech Republic.

A part of savings, up to 500 million crowns, the ministry wants to apply within its agenda, for example by transformation of the Armaments Division of MoD into the National Armaments Office. The Office will administer acquisition of military and security material. "We believe it will bring transparent and efficient procurement, better exploitation of international programmes and of organisations both of NATO and EU, while adopting international standards," Vondra said. The first phase should start this 1 August while the Office should be fully operational by 1 January 2013. The Ministry of Defence will offer capacity and expertise of the new NAO to other ministries and bodies that are in charge of procuring armaments and security material.

Several organisations are to be dissolved completely and their work will be assumed by standing offices and agencies. The example is the dissolution of the Military Tap-line Office by 1 January 2013, even though several garrisons or military regions still need to be supplied this way. "But we believe that it is not necessary to run a special office for this service," Vondra said. The work of the Office with nine employees, having at present the budget of 26 million Czech Crowns, will be taken over by similar transportation facilities.

Merging and combining military and civilian organisations with similar responsibilities are other good acts in efforts to save public money. For example it relates to the Military Social Security Office, Central Military Health Institute, the Governmental Expert Supervision Authority or the Defence Standardisation, Codification, and Government Quality Assurance Authority. "Because in many cases these organisations ´double´ their civilian counterparts, it is possible to merge them and save both management and executive personnel," General Pavel said.

The restructuring accompanied with downsizing will also cover: Regional Military Commands, training of Active Reserves, schools and educational facilities, care for war veterans, transportation, health and veterinary services, etc.

On the other hand, centralisation seems a remedy for existing system of scattered workplaces for essential services: logistics, assets administrations, financial, personnel and general services. Unified agencies for these services will be created between 2012 and 2014.

"These upcoming changes correspond both with recent governmental decision and findings and conclusions of the White Paper on Defence 2011, and we believe they will bring both saving money and effective exploitation of resources of the Czech Republic," Vonda said at the end of the press conference.

Posted: April 9, 2012