With an initial contract established for a four-month period in 2017, the success of the partnership has seen it be retained ever since, with the project expected to conclude at the end of 2019.
The Fleet Support Unit is RAN’s largest on-base organisation and major provider of sustainment services for the force’s fleet, with sub-units based across Australia and workshops located at Perth, Sydney, Cairns and Darwin.
Some years ago, the Fleet Support Unit began Project Mutatio, the centrepiece of a major transformation program that involves the creation of an integrated maintenance, production, planning and control tool (IMPPACT) that identifies all of the dependencies required for Fleet Support Unit to undertake work tasks.
In 2017, a procurement exercise was conducted under the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy, which saw the appointment of Rod Thompson as Project Manager for Project Mutatio.
According to the RAN, “Mr Thompson has been integral in working with a range of stakeholders, as IMPPACT is a new tool in so many ways, this has necessitated a great deal of engagement and education within different parts of Defence.”
“Mr Thompson’s knowledge and understanding of the requirements of this project and his ability to bring to fruition the deployment of IMPPACT and its supporting processes on the Defence Protected Network has been critical to the success of the project,” Executive Director of Fleet Support Unit, Captain Greg Laxton said.
Thompson said the Indigenous Procurement Policy had created opportunities for Indigenous businesses that wouldn’t have been possible before.
“My business certainly wouldn’t have been as successful in winning government contracts without the IPP,” he said.
A strategy focused on Defence Indigenous Procurement was released in late 2018 and the RAN confirmed they are “committed to this policy, and is looking forward to working with more Indigenous companies into the future”.