The Army Warfighting Experiment 2020: Agile Command Control and Communication (AWE20: Agile C3) Industry Day

Aim: The aim of the event is to:

  • Outline the plan for the Army Warfighting Experiment project approach and timeline
  • Clarify what areas ‘Agile Command, Control & Communication’ covers.
  • Discuss requirements for the project
  • Network with other potential participants & Army trials staff

Context: AWE20, as with previous AWEs, is intended to be an exploration of emerging technologies suitable for exploitation by the Army in the short to medium term (<15 years).

It will culminate in a month-long trial which will recreate operational scenarios to test the useful possibilities and limitations of the systems supplied by industry. This user-centric trial presents a unique opportunity to explore the capability landscape and identify Army capability gaps. It will allow for effective collaboration between all levels of military personnel and engineers from industry suppliers. This can facilitate significant development of technologies and their CONEMP by exploiting the opportunity of an immediate feedback loop from front line users.

The theme for AWE20 is Agile Command, Control & Communications (C3). ‘How can we deliver agile command and control, to offer decisive advantage in response to operational complexity?’ This covers all aspects of C3 relating to battlefield headquarters.

For more insight and information on how to apply please follow this link.

Date: Thursday, 19th September 2019

Venue: Hilton Reading, Drake Way, Reading RG2 0GQ. There is limited onsite parking

Format: The event will start at 09:30. There will be presentations from Army HQ, DE&S Tech Office and Army Trials and Development Units. These will be followed by breakout sessions and opportunities for Q&As.

The event is designed to be an interactive, two-way conversation in order to ensure that the project satisfies industry needs and Army HQ requirements.

The expected duration will be until 16:00.

Attendees: The event is open to any supplier, but there is a limit of two representatives per company.

Applications: Suppliers who are interested in attending should express their interest in the project. Information on how to do this is found here.

Refreshments: Refreshments will be provided throughout the day and lunch will be available

Security: Photographic ID (driving licence or passport) will be required on the day to gain entry.

Prompt Payment Policy

Government has a longstanding commitment to improve payment practices across the public and private sector. To support this commitment, a new Prompt Payment policy has been introduced which will use prompt payment performance as part of the supplier selection process, with effect from 1 September 2019.

Every year, thousands of businesses experience severe administrative and financial burdens as they are not paid on time. Late payment is a key issue for business, especially smaller businesses, as it can adversely affect their cash flow and jeopardise their ability to trade.

The Prompt Payment policy means that bidders for government contracts (including defence) will be required to provide evidence about their payment performance, including the percentage of invoices paid within 60 days across both their private and public sector business. Suppliers who are unable to demonstrate that they have effective systems in place that ensure a fair and responsible approach to payment of their supply chain may be excluded from bidding.

The Cabinet Office has now published detailed guidance PPN 04/19 on how payment performance will be taken into account in the procurement of major government contracts and you may need to take action to mitigate the risk of being excluded from bidding for government work.

Key points to note are as follows:

  • This policy will be implemented in government contracts with expected revenues above £5m per annum.
  • Although guidance PPN 04/19 applies to the Public Contracts Regulations (PCR) 2015, the MOD has adopted a similar approach to procurements conducted under the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations (DSPCR) 2011.
  • A phased approach to implementation will be adopted. Suppliers will not be excluded from bidding provided they meet 75% (of invoices paid within 60 days) in one of their previous two reports and submit an acceptable action plan for improvement to the contracting authority with their bid.
    The action plan will need to follow the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) format and meet five key criteria:

    • Identification of the primary causes of failure to pay
    • Actions to address each of these causes
    • Commitment to regular reporting on progress to your Audit Committee Plan signed off by a director
    • Plan published on company website (this can be a shorter summary plan)
  • The 75% threshold will be raised over time, and any changes will be fully communicated in advance.
  • Bidders can remove inter-company payments from their calculations, which can skew the headline figure on the published data.
  • Large companies should already be reporting payment performance every six months in accordance with the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017, and all relevant legal entities should be reporting this data via BEIS – https://check-payment-practices.service.gov.uk.

Suppliers are advised to:

This does not preclude the MOD’s standard contract condition (DEFCON 534) requiring suppliers to pay undisputed invoices within 30 days, which will take precedence. This condition also seeks to ensure prompt payment throughout the supply chain by requiring an equivalent condition to ensure that subcontractors also pay within 30 days.

Interested in working with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation?

Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) manages the defence estate in the UK and abroad. We will be tendering £5 billion worth of contracts in the next few years. We will be tendering hard and soft facilities management services, construction, professional services and utilities.

We would like to hear from suppliers that do not currently have contracts with DIO, but would be interested in doing business with us.

Our Supplier Management team will be contacting a sample of suppliers who complete the form. We would like to know how we can support those companies who are interested in our business.

This is part of delivering our strategic objectives to:

  • be easier to do business with
  • engage meaningfully with our suppliers;
  • and have a broader and more diverse supplier base.

Please fill out this short Expression of Interest form.

 

Defence Infrastructure Organisation priorities

DSEI 2019: show delivers confidence in UK defence industry

On the opening day of DSEI 2019 (Defence and Security Equipment International), held at London’s ExCeL arena from 10 to 13 September, Minister for Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan delivered a speech summarising the highlights of UK defence projects currently under way. Specifically, the minister discussed how the UK defence industry is leading the way in innovation across projects in construction, including more investments and less exclusivity.

Defence contracts to drive development in SMEs

Ms Trevelyan focused on the important and integral role SMEs play in defence procurement, expressing the philosophy that has always been core to the DCI brand – helping businesses of all sizes find, bid for and win defence contracts across the UK and internationally.

She spoke of pockets of brilliance in every corner of the four nations that make up the UK, using her own constituency, Berwick-upon-Tweed in the far north east of England, as an example. “I recently discovered that Hardy Fishing – who make the best fishing rods in the world by royal appointment – also use their expertise in weaving to manufacture slender fibres of incredible toughness for the wings of our regal Typhoon.”

It is important to recognise the expertise SMEs possess throughout the supply chain and their contribution to keeping UK defence procurement a thriving marketplace.

Future investment in defence people and security

The biennial DSEI fair regularly attracts a measure of controversy, with criticism over the range of arms and other military hardware on show. Ms Trevelyan addressed these concerns in her speech, stating that by investing in equipment and kit for the Armed Forces, citizens are protected against unthinkable dangers.

Defence procurement is as much about training talented people to make positive changes in the defence industry as it is about purchasing weaponry.

New investments in personnel training were announced at DSEI, including £31 million to provide a Joint Fire Synthetic Trainer at multiple sites across the UK. This project, which originated in an Israeli idea, will sustain jobs and allow students from the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF to train together in realistic battlefield scenarios.

There has also recently been a powerful drive to include more women in UK defence. Formally launched by Ms Trevelyan at DSEI 2019, the new ‘Women in Defence Charter’ project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Defence, Women in Defence UK and leading aerospace trade association ADS, among others. This partnership is a bid to get more talented female leaders winning top spots in the industry.

Getting SMEs into defence procurement

Are you part of a SME business that wants to win work with the Ministry of Defence?

Our portal advertises tender and contracts opportunities valued over £10K. Gain access to the official source of MOD contracts by registering for free with Defence Contracts Online.