Defence Equipment 2009 - Defence Committee Contents


1  Introduction

1. The Defence Committee has undertaken regular inquiries into issues relating to defence equipment procurement and the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS). In our Report on Defence Equipment 2008, published on 27 March 2008, we examined: the first year of operation of the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation (created on 1 April 2007 from the merger of the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) and the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO); the current and future issues facing DE&S and defence equipment procurement generally; and the progress on key equipment programmes.[1] The Government response to our Report was published on 17 June 2008.[2] Following the publication of the response, there have been several major announcements relating to defence equipment including:

  • the announcement during the Defence Procurement debate on 19 June 2008 that the MoD was "undertaking a short examination of the equipment programme to look at our planning assumptions over the next 10 years";[3]
  • the publication on 21 July 2008 of the Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08 showing that Public Service Agreement (PSA) Target 6—"Deliver the equipment programme to cost and time"—was only "partly met" and acknowledging that, over the year, "procurement performance declined";[4]
  • the appointment on 5 October 2008 of Quentin Davies MP, as the new Minister for Defence Equipment and Support;[5] and
  • the Statement by the new Secretary of State for Defence on 11 December 2008 announcing the "key conclusions" from the short examination of the equipment programme, including the decision to delay "the In Service Date of the new carriers by 1-2 years".[6]

2. In this inquiry we once again examined the progress and performance of DE&S, but also broadened our inquiry to cover other key issues including: the announcements following the completion of the short examination of the equipment programme; the funding of defence equipment and support; and the progress with the DIS.

3. We held three oral evidence sessions for our inquiry: on 18 November 2008 we took evidence from senior representatives from the UK defence industry; on 25 November 2008 we took evidence from General Sir Kevin O'Donoghue, Chief of Defence Materiel (CDM) and head of DE&S, and DE&S officials; and on 16 December 2008, we took evidence from the new Minister for Defence Equipment and Support (the areas which the Minister leads on are set out in Table 1 below), CDM, Lieutenant General Andrew Figgures, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Equipment Capability), and Mr Amyas Morse, Defence Commercial Director. We received written evidence from a wide range of organisations and individuals. We are grateful to all those who contributed to our inquiry, including our specialist advisers.

Table 1: Areas which the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support leads on
Min DE&S leads on:

Defence Equipment Programme through life
Logistic support including:
        Defence Support Group
        Defence Storage and Distribution Agency
Defence Industrial Strategy
Acquisition Reform
Performance Management of DE&S including:
        Major Projects Report
National Defence Industries Council
Defence Science and Technology including:
        Defence Technology Strategy
        DSTL
        QinetiQ
Commercial Policy throughout the Department
Atomic Weapons Establishment
Defence exports including international aspects of defence equipment and support

Source: Ministry of Defence[7]


1   Defence Committee, Tenth Report of Session 2007-08, Defence Equipment 2008, HC 295 Back

2   Defence Committee, Seventh Special Report of Session 2007-08, Defence Equipment 2008; Government response to the Committee's Tenth Report of Session 2007-08, HC 555 Back

3   HC Deb, 19 June 2008, Col 1122 Back

4   Ministry of Defence, Annual Report and Accounts 2007-2008 Volume I: Annual Performance Report, HC 850-I, page 13 and page 132 Back

5   "New Ministerial team announced" MoD Press Release, 6 October 2008 Back

6   HC Deb , 11 December 2008, Col 65WS-67WS Back

7   http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/People/Ministers/UnderSecretaryOfStateAndMinisterForDefence EquipmentAndSupport.htm Back


 
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Prepared 26 February 2009