Information Circular No 01/2021: COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF DEFENCE

By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA wishes to advise members that the foregoing Commission has contacted our Association in the past week.

The Chairman of the Commission has indicated that he is eager to receive a submission from our Association, as PDFORRA constitutes one of the major stakeholders to the process.

Therefore, PDFORRA invites our members to contact PDFORRA HQ, or their District representatives, should they wish to have their views regarding the Future of Defence considered for inclusion in the Association submission.

The following Terms of Reference, and the Commission’s overall approach will be guided and informed by both the White Paper on Defence 2015 and the White Paper Update 2019, which set out Ireland’s extant Defence Policy, including the current Security Environment Assessment, as set out in the White Paper Update.

  • The Commission will take account of Ireland’s particular defence requirements, including its strong international commitment in the overseas domain as well as the particular roles of the Defence Forces in the domestic security environment which itself continues to evolve.
  •  The Commission will consider and recommend the appropriate structure and size of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) and the Reserve Defence Force (RDF). This will encompass consideration of appropriate capabilities, structures and staffing for the Army, and its brigade structure, the Air Corps and the Naval Service along with the appropriate balance and disposition of personnel and structures across a joint force approach in the land, air, maritime, cyber, intelligence and space domains.
  • With regard to the RDF, the Commission will consider a wide range of options and will make recommendations to better leverage the capabilities of the RDF in their supports to the PDF and to make service in the RDF a more attractive option.
  • The Commission will examine the structures in the Defence Forces as well as the work of the White Paper Command and Control project to date. In that context, the Commission will consider the most appropriate governance and effective high-level command and control structures in the Defence Forces.
  • The Commission will examine the evolution of all remuneration systems and structures currently in place in the Defence Forces noting what the Programme for Government states in relation to a future Permanent Pay Review Body. Upon completion of the Commission’s work, the Minister for Defence will consult with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on the establishment of a permanent pay review body, reflecting the unique nature of military service in the context of the public service. All recommendations by the Commission or the successor body and their implementation must be consistent with national public sector wage policy.
  • The Commission will set out a strategic perspective on HR policies, and associated strategies, including grievance processes and consideration of appropriate structural flexibility, to fulfil the requirements of military capabilities for a more agile and adaptive Defence Forces in a manner congruent with modern society, and in light of the prevailing dynamics of the labour market, while consistent with public sector pay and personnel policy.
  • The Commission will consider and recommend appropriate turnover and retention approaches, having regard to work undertaken to date, and international best practice, to deliver the capabilities required of a modern military force. In addition, it will recommend approaches to recruitment, including identifying military career options that could create a more diverse, gender-balanced, flexible and responsive force, with a system of career progression to meet the recommended force structures and disposition.

The Chairman of the Commission has not yet indicated when the completed submission is to be tendered by our Association; however, indications are that PDFORRA will be required to engage on an ongoing basis and that supplementary submissions will be accepted should the need arise. Consequently, PDFORRA requests that members/Districts submit any observations or items that they wish to have considered as early as possible.

PDFORRA is aware that the Commission is conducting video conferencing with various units over the course of the next few weeks and would ask that members who are invited to engage do so in a constructive manner.

Please Display on Notice Boards                                      Issued on: 18/1/2021

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