Defence Forces Canteen Organization (DEFCO) was formed in April 1973 and eventually took over management of the retail outlets from NAAFI on 1st July 1974. It is the official trading organization for the Army, Air Force and Navy and was founded on the recommendation of a Government committee. It is financially self-supporting, has no capital or shareholders and serves no private interests. No individual or group of individuals have any financial stake in the organization.
DEFCO operates solely for the benefit of the members of the three services whereby profits made are ploughed back to its operations and the balances disbursed to the services through DHQ.
It is a medium sized chain of supermarkets with 23 shops with a turnover of over a billion shillings. It has more branches than some of the leading supermarkets in the country.
DEFCO mission is to provide quality service delivery to the Defence Forces.
CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT
DFCO Council . The top policy making body is the DEFCO council, chaired by the CDF with the service commanders, Cabinet Secretary, VCDF, ACDF P & L, MD DEFCO as the members while the Chief of Pers DHQ is the secretary.
Board of management. The Board of management looks after the day to day running of DEFCO, chaired by the ACDF (P & L). The rest of the members are:
- MD DEFCO
- U/SEC (MOD)
- COL PERS (DHQ)
- COL PERS (HQ KA)
- COL PERS (HQ KAF)
- COL PERS (HQ KN)
- Secretary (Chief of Pers and Admin Offrs – DEFCO). The board meets once a quarter.
SHOPS AND OUTLETS
DEFCO reaches its customers through a network of ships: 23 shops, 10 cafeteria and a few shoppets. There are about 769 DEFCO staff and the shops are managed through the managers and at the regional level, the area managers. There are a total of 11 Area Managers.
The primary objectives and obligation of DEFCO is to provide service for members of Defence Forces at those locations approved by the DHQ. Some of the functions undertaken include the following:
- The provision of items required for messing of service personnel which are not provided in the official ration scales.
- The operation of canteens or any other services when requested to do so by a unit commander with the approval of the appropriate service Headquarters.
- The operation of shops for sales of groceries, household goods and supplies to messes.
- Hire purchase scheme facilities.
DISTRIBUTION OF PROFITS
Annual Remittance. Part of the profits realized by DEFCO are remitted to the services and DEFOCA, in support of various projects.
Sports Levy. Defence Forces Sports teams have excelled in various disciplines and DEFCO has had a contribution in this in terms of sports levy remitted at regular intervals to DHQ for distribution.