Select Committee on Defence Seventh Report

9  Implementation of the DIS


112. The DIS states that the Strategy will not be delivered unless the whole of the defence acquisition community, including industry, are able to make the necessary shifts in behaviours, organisations and business processes.[197] It states that "our detailed implementation plan has specific initiatives to address the objectives of achieving:

  • Primacy of through-life considerations;
  • Coherence of defence spread across research, development, procurement and support;
  • Successful management at the Departmental level".[198]

Section C2 of the DIS sets out dates for some of the key work which is being taken forward.[199]

113. The evidence we received has generally welcomed the impetus which the Minister has given to producing the DIS and in taking it forward. Mr Graeme Ferrero, Managing Director, Defence Technology, QinetiQ, noted that the Minister had "gone effectively through the MoD like a whirlwind and he is driving this forward".[200] Mr Andy Stevens, Chief Operating Officer, Cobham plc told us that there was "a great head of steam" and thought that it would be a disaster if this were lost.[201] A common concern relayed to us was that the Strategy was only as good as its implementation.[202] But there was a general sense that implementation was being taken forward. The Secretary of DIC considered that all the actions suggested in the DIS were, in one way or another, being undertaken.[203]

Implementation timetable

114. We sought clarification on the timetable for implementing the DIS, as the submission from the SBAC said that the MoD Ministers had indicated that they saw the implementation of the DIS as a two year programme.[204] The Minister told us that:

    2006 is the year that we seriously implement it [the DIS] to be able to show results…that we really have made a difference…I am in a hurry to show in 2007 that this has made a real difference to our defence capability and the strength of our defence industry.[205]

115. We welcome the impetus that the Minister for Defence Procurement is giving to the implementation of the Defence Industrial Strategy and his aim to make a difference to the UK's defence capability and strengthen the UK's defence industry.

116. We sought further details on the timescales in which the various aspects of the DIS were to be implemented. At the evidence session on 28 February, Lord Drayson said that he had a two page checklist setting out the dates by which the various work to implement the DIS would be achieved. The Minister provided us with a copy and told us that he would "very happy to be held accountable" for the MoD achieving the target dates.[206]

117. The checklist set out the actions that are to be taken in the various areas, such as completing the Maritime and R&T strategies.[207] The vast majority of the actions are to be completed in 2006. We expect the MoD to meet the deadlines set for the additional work flowing from the Defence Industrial Strategy, in particular the Maritime Industrial Strategies, the Technology Strategy and the review of its acquisition arrangements.

Measuring success

118. We were interested in understanding how the success of the DIS would be measured. Professor Hayward told us that "from a defence industrial perspective again I have a cop-out here, I just do not know how you would measure success".[208] The Minister said that the way in which the DIS should be judged was "in the quality of the decisions that we take and the difference we actually make to procurement".[209] Mr David Gould, Deputy Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency, told us:

    Our ultimate measure will be our success in providing equipment capability into the Armed Forces, If we see improvement in the way in which projects are planned, conducted, executed and the speed with which the capability is introduced into the system and then put on to the battlefield and used…. then that is the ultimate measure of success and every single project that we undertake is measured in great detail in those terms.[210]

119. Given the importance of the Defence Industrial Strategy, we plan to monitor closely the progress in implementing it and whether it delivers the expected benefits. We expect to inquire further into other aspects relating to the Defence Industrial Strategy.

Funding of the DIS

120. Professor Hartley raised a concern as to whether money would be available to ensure that the DIS was implemented as he considered that the Strategy would involve some cost.[211] His concern about the funding for the Strategy, and where the money would come from, was also shared by Professor Hayward.[212]

121. Restructuring the defence industry, and ensuring that research and skills are maintained despite reduced production, will cost money. Adequate funding will be vital for the success of the Defence Industrial Strategy. This will be a key issue for the MoD to negotiate with HM Treasury in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

197   Cm 6697, para xxxxviii Back

198   Ibid, para il Back

199   Ibid, pages 141-142 Back

200   Q 157 Back

201   Ibid Back

202   Q 250 Back

203   Q 274 Back

204   Ev 84 Back

205   Q 289 Back

206   Q 314 Back

207   Ev 118-120 Back

208   Q 183 Back

209   Q 289 Back

210   Q 307 Back

211   Q 160 Back

212   Ibid Back

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