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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
44 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 The review was based on the changes to military administration and personnel management functions at sea and ashore under the Defence Reform Program (DRP) and the changed responsibility of Defence Support Group (DSG). An earlier study, The Supply Category Review (SCR) conducted in 1997, predicted that technological advances (SMART ICT Systems) would fundamentally change the way in which administration and personnel support functions would be performed at sea through automation and streamlining of processes, and that as a result, the Writer category may be unsustainable in the longer term. The Writer category review 2018, by LCDRs Jayne Craig and Rachel Thomson, assisted by WOWTR Andrew Hart, has now been completed and in the main, has been accepted by HSuC and the Supply Advisory Council (SAC). The review agreed that the Writer community could no longer maintain the status quo regarding their functions and roles. However, it concluded that there remained a need for a specialist Writer at sea to focus on personnel management support to the Commanding Officer (CO) and provision of advice to the ship's company. This is, in addition to coordinating all administration and personnel support functions onboard, especially as the HR function becomes more complex, with greater devolution of decision-making and increased accountability and governance. The Writer focus will move away from transactional processing at sea and ashore, particularly in pay and accounts, towards a focus on customer service, researching, advising, interpreting policies and a thorough knowledge the HR information systems to enable interrogation of reports and auditing functions. The professional development of Writers will be closely linked to appropriate training in these higher-level skills and abilities An implementation team, under the direction of CMDR Tim French, has been set up to implement the outcomes of the study. CSO(S) has set up a team to review transactional processing at sea, with representatives from other agencies, including DSG and ADNCM(SU). Once that review is concluded, it is intended to conduct a 'Distant Support Trial' onboard, one east coast and one west coast MFU, sometime in 2010. ADNCM(SU) has also commenced a review of Writer training requirements, in consultation with TA-LOG. ADNCM(SU) has engaged with DSG in regard to Writer employment in Customer Service Centres (CSC) rather than satellite pay and account centres (PACs). DNLogRS will coordinate 'SMART ICT' system capability requirements, and is already heavily involved in a number of new projects. One long term project underway is to migrate Military Payroll (includes ADFPAY and CENRESPAY) into PMKeyS, so that PMKeyS will provide a HR and Payroll environment where all capability, command, administrative and statutory reporting requirements are met and the database repository supports decision-makers at all levels in the organisation. One of the enhancements includes the automatic transfer of gains and losses to the pay system, thereby removing the current manual input of this data. In the meantime, an upgrade to existing ADF Pay Front End is being developed for deployment in late 2010. Changes are still under development. An exciting and challenging career exists for Writers, with training and employment at sea and ashore to reflect the new Smart Writer 2018 category focus. Key Messages The key messages for the Writer Category Implementation project are: a. The re-structure will strengthen the Writer workforce by providing more meaningful and relevant employment for Writer sailors; b. The re-structure is part of the cultural and structural reform identified in New Generation Navy; and c. The Writer category changes will enable the Navy to continue meeting its operational requirements. Writer Implementation Plan In 2008, the Head of the Supply Community, CDRE Bob Richards, commissioned a study into the role of the Writer category to identify how a uniformed Writer category could best meet the Navy and ADF requirements. BY CMDR TIM FRENCH, RANR