Fact file: DoD strategic planning process

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The Department of Defence’s 2010-2013 Strategic Plan notes that the DOD’s medium-term strategic focus is shaped “by the National Strategic Direction, which consists of the Regulatory Framework of Government; ‘Towards a 10-Year Review’; Government Scenarios; the annual State of the Nation Address by the President; the annual Budget Speech; the Government Makgotla decisions, issued bi-annually in January and July; the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), a mechanism for generating limited, focused, medium-term strategic priorities shared by all spheres of Government; and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is directed by the MTSF, national interests and national values.”

OVERVIEW OF THE DOD STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS

The process of strategic planning of the DOD is initiated annually with an environmental analysis (EA) two years before the applicable budget. That means planning for the FY2010/11 that comes into effect on April 1, 2010, started in 2008. A Planning and Budgeting Seminar follows up the EA in September. During this seminar, the minister presents guidelines that inform the strategic planning process for the financial year after next. At the same work session the Accounting Officer translates the minister’s guidelines to Departmental Guidelines. The Accounting Officer presents more detailed guidelines that are informed by the Outcome Delivery Agreements.

Guidelines are issued that pertain to the programmes as articulated in the ENE as well as the cross-functional support plans. Services/Divisions during October/November develop their strategic plans in line with the guidelines issued and these get submitted to the SANDF and the Secretariat in April of the next year, one year before the budget will come into effect. The plans are technically evaluated in May in preparation for the Departmental Programme and Budget Evaluation Committee (DPBEC) in June, where the individual Services make presentations and the Accounting Officer makes evaluations. These revised plans are submitted in November and these inform the corporate strategic plan, which is developed consultatively and gets approved by the Secretariat Council (SC), Military Command Council (MCC) and Plenary Defence Staff Council (PDSC). The approved document is submitted to the Auditor General (AG) and National Treasury (NT) for quality assurance and inputs regarding compliance with regulatory framework.

The Accounting Officer presents the approved document to the Minister. The publication process then commences to see the document tabled in Parliament in March of the year it will com into effect. The Strategic Planning Process and the implementation thereof is supported by the MCC, SC, Council on Defence (COD), Plenary Defence Staff Council (PDSC), Defence Planning Board (DPB) and the DPBEC to ensure alignment with the DOD priorities as well as Government prescripts.

The execution of the DOD Strategic Plan is monitored through Quarterly Reports (first three quarters), the Annual Report, as well as at DPBEC meetings. The necessary adjustments to the process will be effected to continually align with the emerging government strategic planning trajectory.



Pic: Defence headquarters, Pretoria