Thursday, October 15, 2009

Independent review of UK defence acquisition published

Independent review of UK defence acquisition published
October 15, 2009

An independent review into the way the MOD buys equipment for Britain's Armed Forces has been published today, Thursday 15 October 2009.

Last year, the previous Defence Secretary commissioned Bernard Gray to assess what steps the Department was making to reform its procurement process and suggest further recommendations on how it can be improved.

Since then, a review team led by Mr Gray has met with MOD officials and representatives from the Defence Industry and other organisations to obtain a clear picture of the way the Department purchases and delivers equipment.

His findings, which are published today, identify a number of areas where the acquisition process could be improved. The MOD accepts the report's two main themes: a need to bring equipment plans into line with likely available resources; and a need to improve equipment programme planning, management and delivery.

The report also acknowledges that all countries struggle with the complex challenges of defence procurement and some are envious of the UK's achievements.

It recognises the dedication of those involved in defence acquisition, the MOD's long-standing commitment to reform and the significant progress made to date.

Welcoming the report, Lord Drayson, Minister for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform, said:

"Bernard and his team have done a thorough job. They have done a comprehensive review of defence acquisition and have come up with a strong package of measures to ensure the right equipment is delivered in the most efficient way.

"Quite simply, we accept most of his recommendations and are getting on with implementing them alongside broader work to develop a future strategy for defence acquisition, which will ensure we deliver as effectively as possible the equipment the Armed Forces need."

Mr Gray has agreed to participate in this process and work with the MOD to develop an overall Strategy for Acquisition Reform to be published in the New Year.

Commenting on his report, Mr Gray said:

"I am very pleased that the Ministry of Defence has welcomed the review team's conclusions. The Department has accepted the need for change, and it is now moving quickly to implement the majority of the report's recommendations.

"I am continuing to work with the MOD on many aspects of the acquisition process, including implementation of agreed reforms, and in defining the way forward in areas where firm conclusions have yet to be reached.

"There is still a significant way to go to finish this work, and many difficult decisions lie ahead. Nevertheless, the MOD has made a very positive start, and I am sure that the Department is determined to drive through this important work."

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