Seventh memorandum from the Ministry of
1. The number
of DPA staff employed when the current CDP took up post and the
number employed now [Q127].
In FY 03/04 when I took over running of the
Defence Procurement Agency, there were 4,618 Full Time Equivalent
persons employed in the Agency (both Civilian and Service). At
the end of September 2006, this had risen to 5,398. However there
has been significant change in the way the organisation has been
operated, particularly the joint working with the Defence Logistics
Organisation (DLO) which has culminated in the development of
plans for the formation of Defence Equipment & Support from
April 2007. Joint working has created common teams supporting
both organisations, specifically the People Team and the Technical
Enabling Services; these are "hosted" by either the
DLO or the DPA. The growth shown is a result of transfers between
the two organisations, principally the setting up of the Technical
Enabling Service. Overall there were net 1,000 (approx) transfers
into the DPA from the DLO and this increase was partially offset
by a reduction of 220 staff in other DPA activities. If the transfers
are discounted, on a like-for-like comparison, there has been
a reduction of 4.76% (ie 220 personnel) from our baseline in FY
2. The progress in identifying skills gaps
for the merged DPA/DLO organisation and how these are being/will
be addressed, including whether the required training funding
has been committed [Q139].
Improving skills across our the workforce is
an essential part of implementing the Defence Industrial Strategy.
Within the DPA/DLO, a number of initiatives have been launched
building on successful activity in both organisations in recent
years. Skills Champions in five key areas (Commercial, Project
Management, Financial, Logistics and Science & Technology)
are developing skills growth plans. We do not underestimate the
substantial change programme required and while the level of investment
required to deliver this is still being assessed it is likely
to be significant.
Specific actions to date and planned are as
The Defence Commercial Director is responsible
for developing an MoD-wide commercial skills improvement programme
to provide the business with high performing people with the requisite
commercial acumen, now and in the future. The programme contains
a number of initiatives including additional recruiting from outside
the commercial function and the targeted deployment of specialist
commercial resources from within MoD and from the interim market.
It will also address the key issue of reward and recognition.
We have been running a Commercial Business Graduate
Scheme since 2002 and 46 people have successfully graduated. The
scheme will continue until at least until FY 07/08 during which
we expect to take on a further 20 graduates. Each graduate costs
approximately £57k to put through the scheme over a two year
period. These are talented people and our seed corn for senior
commercial positions in the future.
In addition we are investing in home grown talent
through skills development and Continuous Professional Development
(CPD). So far, in FY06/07, MoD has spent about £750K on internal
commercial courses delivered by "Defence Procurement Management
TrainingCentre for Acquisition Training" (DPMT-CAT).
The professional "standard" for the
Commercial function is professional attainment of the Chartered
Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). In FY06/07, CIPS funding
held centrally totalled £235K. This is for individuals to
undertake Professional CIPS qualifications and Certificate of
Competence examination fees. Currently MoD is sponsoring 54 students
through their CIPS qualifications and 80 individuals sat the certificate
of competences exams in April 2006, with an overall pass rate
We have invested £340K in a Blended Learning
package that was launched in September 2006. This provides a mix
of classroom and e-learning capability for commercial and other
acquisition team members. So far we have had about 500 registrations
to undertake training and initial feedback has been very positive.
Increasing the professionalism and skills amongst
our finance community is a major work stream and we see this as
key to improving management of the business as well as supporting
the wider initiative for Professional Skills in Government.
We have established the skills requirements
for senior finance posts in Integrated Project Teams across the
DPA and DLO and have undertaken work to identify where shortfalls
exist. We have then targeted appointments to these posts to ensure
they are filled by suitably qualified and experienced staff and
sought to provide appropriate skills training for others.
We already have some 280 professionally qualified
accountants across the DPA and DLO and a further 100 at various
stages of training for formal CIMA qualification. However, we
have identified the need to increase the numbers of qualified
and suitably experienced personnel more quickly than we can get
those under training qualified. As a consequence we have undertaken
two external recruitment campaigns. These have resulted in three
appointments to date. In addition we have established and funded
a Graduate Recruitment Scheme for Trainee Accountants to provide
a pool of people able to fill senior posts in the future. We have
11 graduates on the schemewhich started last yearand
currently plan to recruit up to 10 a year.
The funded programme of specific DPA and DLO
finance training we currently have in place is aimed at improving
the skills of both finance specialists as well as the broader
acquisition community in areas where our analysis tells us we
have the biggest need. This is underpinned by a wider MoD training
and licensing schemeThe Certificate of Resource Managementwhich
is administered in conjunction with Association of Accountancy
Technicians. To date, 2,298 licences have been awarded across
the DPA and DLO.
We plan to implement a Project Management Licensing
Scheme across all Project Managers in the DPA and DLO. A pilot
of this scheme has been successfully completed with some 170 project
managers. The costs for full roll out have been identified and
are currently being prioritised.
We will redevelop the Programme and Project
Management (PPM) training and education within MoD to provide
a blended learning solution taking account of the inclusion of
PPM as a core element in the Department's Single Skills Framework
and increased MoD-wide need for PPM training.
Currently the DPA and DLO spend approximately
£1.5 million per year on centrally funded Project Management
training delivered in-house. Individual IPTs also fund training
specific to their needs from within their individual budgets:
this amounted to approximately £.5 million for 2005-06. Approximately
£120k per year is allocated centrally from the DPA for the
Project Management Development Programme (PMDP) which is currently
supporting 80 active members. PMDP members follow a structured
development programme that includes professional qualification
through the Association of Project Managers (APM). Numbers on
the scheme are increasing by 50 members per annum
3. Whether the route clearance package UOR
for Afghanistan outlined by Mr Lancaster [Q151] was the only available
one on the market [Q152].
There is currently no formal UOR for the procurement
of either "Buffalo" or "Husky", which are
equipments currently used by US Forces. The requirement for a
route clearance capability to support current operations is being
assessed by the Equipment Capability Manager and this may lead
to a UOR in the future if required.
4. How the Astute class submarines differ
from the existing classes of submarines with regard to replacing
The Astute Class is easier to maintain than
current classes of SSN. Improvements to the existing processes
for replacing equipment are detailed below:
The design of the boat has ensured
that repairable equipment can be accessed or replaced with minimum
disturbance to other equipment.
Larger access hatches have been fitted.
For the first time in an SSN there is a logistics and an escape
trunk in the main machinery space which allows for easier movement
There is no requirement to refuel
the nuclear plant at mid life as the reactor is fuelled for its
full 25 year life.
More reliable equipment has been
fitted which has improved efficiency, namely the Main Static Converters
which are solid state and have replaced the rotating motor generators.
The maintenance routines are based
on reliability-centred maintenance analyses which produce optimised
maintenance/replacement regimes which reduce non-operational time
and support costs. This application of reliability-centred maintenance
will lead to increased platform availability of around 75% for
Astute compared to 69% for the current Trafalgar class.
5. An explanation of the decision which has
resulted in job losses at Rosyth [Q200].
The combined size and scope of the three upkeep
packages (HM Ships LIVERPOOL, CHIDDINGFOLD, and GRIMSBY) to be
undertaken by Babcock Support Services Limited at Rosyth is broadly
comparable to that originally specified by the Department in February
2006, although some of the tasks did change, for example to take
account of additional repair work on HMS GRIMSBY. Along with the
upkeeps of HMS CUMBERLAND (to be completed by Devonport Management
Limited at Devonport, Plymouth) and HMS IRON DUKE (to be completed
by Fleet Support Limited at Portsmouth), this work is part of
the "Liverpool 5", the first work package to be managed
under the developing Surface Ship Support arrangements. The Department
is not aware of any specific decision that resulted in 90 job
losses at Rosyth. These were deferred from earlier in 2006 and
do not represent any additional job losses on top of those previously
announced by BSSL, the owners of Rosyth Dockyard.
In addition to this work, Babcock is a member
of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and is currently playing an active
part in the Demonstration Phase of the Future Carrier project.
The shipbuild strategy announced in December 2005 currently envisages
one of the lower blocks being built at Rosyth, where the ships
are also planned to be assembled.
6. Confirmation as to whether or not the
MoD pays for Spectrum charging on overseas operations [Q212].
To date we have not paid any spectrum charges
for deployed operations; although there have been suggestions
from certain countries that we should pay for use on exercises,
this has not progressed further.
7. An explanation of what Plan B is in relation
to the JSF programme and the status of Plan B [Q208].
The Joint Strike Fighter is our "Plan A"
for the Joint Combat Aircraft programme. We continue to work closely
with the United States in order to ensure the UK's operational
sovereignty requirements are met so we can sign the Production,
Sustainment and Follow-on Development MOU. We are unable to go
into specifics about our contingency plans. The Minister for Defence
Procurement has previously made clear that such plans as are needed
to maintain a fallback "Plan B" are in place.
1 November 2006