31 Jul 2023
A specially formed RPS project team has received the prestigious Defence Silver Award for work it carried out for the Australian Defence Force.
The dedicated team - formed within RPS Project Management’s Capability Systems unit - also won an Australian Institute of Project Management award in the ACT last year.
RPS’ Senior Project Manager, and lead on the Defence project team, Andrew Fazel, says it’s humbling to have received such high recognition.
“It is very rare for civilians or non-serving members to receive the Defence Silver Award, so it came as quite a surprise.
“It’s credit to our broad-based, mobile team who established trusted partnerships with not only Defence but also Australian Public Service staff to achieve such outstanding results.”
RPS’ project team included consultants with legal, policy, logistics, program and project management, financial management and data analysis skills. The consultants were spread across Perth, Canberra and South East Queensland to work with the relevant 70 or so offices in the public service and Defence network.
Andrew says the project team was formed when Defence engaged RPS to provide professional consulting services to the Capability Delivery Functions Branch of Defence in April 2020.
“There had been an issue with reconciling outstanding balances against a ‘fixed assets’ register. In close collaboration with Defence and the Australian Public Service, our team took a whole of program approach to establish new practices across a range of functions including purchasing, contract management, stock management, product costing and financial accounting policy.
“The new practices resulted in a 91 per cent reduction in outstanding purchase order validation amounts and no financial write-offs in 2022.”
The Defence Silver Award recognises long-term culture and structural change within Defence, and Andrew says his team has delivered on that.
“We initially thought it would be a short-term administrative project. However, we quickly recognised the project would require a diverse skill-set and extensive collaboration to understand the problems and get to root causes. This approach ensured the team has left a set of processes for Defence to continue to build on as enduring solutions.”
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