New chief looks at MoD procurement

CIPS 21 December 2010

News released that Bernard Gray is to become Chief of Defence Materiel

Former Labour adviser and author of a highly-critical report into defence acquisition is being appointed as Chief of Defence Materiel at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Bernard Gray takes up the appointment after a year-long search for this crucial procurement post and will be tackling some controversial issues and has some tough targets to meet.

David Noble CIPS CEO comments: "News that a Chief of Defence Materiel has been appointed at the MoD is no great surprise given the column inches dedicated to defence procurement. The fact that Bernard Gray was appointed will create greater controversy after his damning report in 2009.

According to his figures, military equipment accounts for 40 percent of annual defence cash expenditure, so it’s absolutely critical it’s spent wisely. Yet, amongst all the criticism, there are good examples of defence procurement that the headlines fail to pick up on. Some departments are eager and ready to get the best out of the Nation’s money and this should be encouraged and supported.

Yet, it’s widely agreed that a strategic approach, and a professional approach to making procurement and supply decisions, will bring dividends and solve many of the problems currently faced by the MoD. Defence procurement is a vital activity that should be carried out by professionals, and until this happens, the arguments and accusations will continue."

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