07 July 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it plans to merge the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) and Defence Procurement Agency (DPA).
Addressing members of the Royal United Services Institute this week, defence procurement minister Lord Drayson said it made sense to combine the DPA, which buys weapons, and the DLO, which supports the military with maintenance and training.
"Splitting new procurement from ongoing support does not help people really take a through-life perspective. The time is now right to complete the evolution that has been underway since the creation of the DPA and DLO. We intend to merge the DPA and DLO to create a new organisation with a unifying culture of delivery to the front line and support to operations."
The MoD said the merger itself would not mean job cuts. However, a simultaneously announced plan to co-locate parts of the DLO and DPA in the Bath-Bristol area is expected to lead to the loss of more than 360 jobs and make £200 million savings over 25 years. The two agencies employ more than 23,000 people.
The recommendation to combine the two organisations was put forward by MoD senior official Tom McKane, who was commissioned six months ago to review acquisition arrangements. His report, Enabling Acquisition Change, follows the publication of the Defence Industrial Strategy in December 2005 which outlined what defence technologies the government intends to buy in the next 10 years, and in the longer term.
Lord Drayson said: "The report is subject to formal consultation with our trade unions. Without prejudice to their insights, the defence secretary and I believe it provides an excellent blueprint for change in areas where we can and should improve."
Lord Drayson said he expects the majority of changes to take place by April 2007.