Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 25, 2012 08:00 ET

Department of National Defence Response to Chapter 5 of the 2012 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2012) - The Department of National Defence (DND) welcomes the findings and recommendations made in Chapter 5 of the Report of the Auditor General. As mentioned in the report, DND has already begun to implement most of the components outlined in its recommendations in order to improve management of DND's real property function.

As custodian of one of the largest infrastructure inventories in Canada, we are committed to provide the men and women in uniform with the facilities they need to support operations, activities and equipment at home, and abroad. We are also committed to the safety of all our personnel, military and civilian alike.

Based on the latest national fire statistics, incidences of fire at DND and the Canadian Forces (CF) installations are among the lowest in the country, which attests to the effectiveness of the fire prevention program. Nevertheless, the Department has acted to remedy critical situations of non-compliance and/or technical shortcomings relative to the inspection, testing and maintenance of our infrastructure and fire protections systems. We will continue to work to implement a national remedial solution and compliance program to provide bases and wings with the additional capacity they may require to address areas of non-compliance.

In Budget 2012, the Government of Canada announced that DND will centralize real property management to improve efficiency. This transformation will shift DND to a more strategically-focused real property management delivery approach. Among other things, this will achieve efficiencies and contribute to provide a consistent level of services across Canada.

As the Auditor General points out, we have examined our infrastructure and environment business practices and have a number of initiatives to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of our programs and services already underway through the Business Renewal plan and Infrastructure and Environment Modernization Program. This renewal plan and the modernization program both directly address the majority of the Auditor General's recommendations.

Moreover, since 2009, more than $3.4 billion have been announced through the Canada First Defence Strategy for Defence infrastructure projects. More work remains to be done to meet our objective to replace or refurbish approximately 25 per cent of our infrastructure holding within 10 years, and approximately 50 per cent over 20 years.

DND has one of the largest and most complex portfolios in the Government of Canada, with approximately 21 000 buildings, 2.25 million hectares of land, 5500km of roads, and 3000km of water, storm and sewer pipes. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the men and women of the CF have the modern infrastructure they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

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