CIPS CEO comments on plans to reform Ministry Of Defence procurement

CIPS 28 June 2011

Defence chiefs to be given more control of budget

Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced that procurement practices among the Ministry of Defence are set to be reformed, aligning with the governments other spend plans.  Dr Fox proposes to cut the Strategic Defence Board to a smaller and more efficient body as he believes that at present they are too “top heavy”

The Ministry of Defence have come under fire previously for reckless spending and late running of projects. Dr Fox believes that the proposed changes will put a stop to this as Single Service Chiefs more power and accountability within their budget. 

David Noble, CEO of CIPS, said “The Ministry of Defence has long been targeted and criticised for its procurement practice, so this announcement must surely come as some relief that change is coming.

On the surface, it makes perfect sense that Defence Secretary Liam Fox is aligning government spend with government policy and taking a more agile, strategic approach. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that some good procurement practice does exist, but much can still be done. It’s encouraging that this change aims to create a more collaborative approach to defence spending and break down the barriers of competition between the three services – Royal Navy, RAF and the Army.

Collaboration is more likely to bring efficiencies, not just of scale, but removing the need to bid for the same pot of money.

With cuts across all public services, the MoD was unlikely to be missed out. Making processes more streamlined, cutting waste and getting the best out of good procurement and supply chain practices and so making best use of public money is what everyone surely is striving for. Making a firm commitment to change at the top may mean this constant stream of stories about poor defence procurement could be stopped in its tracks.”

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