5 November 2008 | Jake Kanter
Purchasers at the Ministry of Defence are set to face the axe as the department streamlines its staff numbers.
The MoD plans to reduce its total 4,330 headcount by as much as 20 per cent. A spokesman for the department said it will be "inevitable" that some procurement posts will be lost, but would not confirm how long the streamlining programme will run for.
He added the cuts would be made "across the board" to increase the efficiency of the MoD, without affecting front-line officers. This weekend the Sunday Times reported Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) could be hit by job losses. Some 139 of its 445 staff are thought to be in the firing line. The department refused to comment on specific cases.
The ministry confirmed job cuts last year in the wake of the creation of DE&S following the merger between the Defence Procurement Agency and the Defence Logistics Organisation (news, 15 November 2007).
Meanwhile, the department said it was committed to its programme to buy a new generation of armoured vehicles. This week the Financial Times reported the project for the "Future Rapid Effects System" was beset with delays and may be overhauled. Sources told the newspaper the purchasing strategy for the vehicles has been "bonkers" and was "the worst procurement programme ever".