MoD pledges to produce ‘very robust’ alternative to GOCO

Gurjit Degun
19 November 2013

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has pledged to produce a “very robust” alternative to a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) model to carry out military procurement.

Reports in the MoD and defence, equipment and support (DE&S) magazine desider said that the new director of the defence, equipment and support plus (DE&S+) option, Paul Blakiston, has six months to design a public sector organisation that will give staff the freedom to equip and support UK Armed Forces “more efficiently and effectively”.

The change in military procurement was mooted in November 2011. In April the government announced that the MoD will carry out a year-long assessment of GOCO and DE&S+ to decide which provides greater value for money.

Blakiston said: “I will be there to help make a compelling bid, one that forces industry to recognise that we are a serious contender.”

He added: “I think there are a lot of people out there who would be more content working in DE&S+ with the freedoms we shall acquire than they would be in an operating company.

“If DE&S+ can give our people the tools, techniques and freedoms that they need to move from good to great – one where we provide people with the freedoms to execute their business – then I think that could be a very attractive alternative to the GOCO proposition.”

The chief of defence materiel Bernard Gray has also appointed chief of materiel Pete Worrall to provide “independent governance and challenge” to the DE&S+ programme over the next few months.

“These changes have been made so that we can augment the impressive progress that has already been achieved on the DE&S+ option,” said Gray.

“I want to ensure that the DE&S+ proposal is as strong as possible, so that it provides a real challenge to a potential GOCO solution and that ministers are presented with a genuine choice.”

He added: “Staff costs in DE&S are about 8 per cent of the organisation’s total expenditure – my case is that the real value of the changes we need to see will be in obtaining value for money in the 92 per cent of our budget that goes on the equipment and support programme.”

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