MOD procurement – Liam Fox speaks

Liam Fox gave a wide ranging speech today setting out what are obviously going to be big changes in the MOD.  He commented on the unaffordability of the current procurement programme, and said this;

We intend to reorganise the whole organisation into three pillars- first Strategy and Policy, second Armed Forces and third Procurement and Estates.

We intend to create a more efficient and leaner centre where everyone knows what they are responsible for and who they are accountable to - with the deadlines and budgetary disciplines taken for granted elsewhere.

Major reform of our procurement practices will be accompanied by a number of industrial consultations that I will outline shortly to Parliament.

So Procurement and Estates will be a 'pillar' - not sure what that means, but probably THE key factor for procurement effectiveness will be how that 'pillar' relates to the Armed Forces pillar.  Procurement can't go off and buy equipment in isolation, and getting the processes and relationships between specifiers, procurers, and users of equipment right is one of the  key issues that has bedevilled MOD for years. That's no criticism of MOD procurement; it is really not easy.  But just reorganising (again*) into pillars in itself won't crack the problem.  So we wait for the detail of this to emerge.

(*We have had Defence Equipment and Support, the Defence Procurement Agency and Defence Logistics Organisation, the MOD Procurement Executive ...and whatever came before that, beyond even my memory)!

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