DPRTE 2014: full programme announced

DPRTE MainMetalicLrg (2)The full programme for Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) 2014 has been announced. The showcase, which will be held at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on 8 October, will provide a unique promotional, educational and engagement platform for both the Ministry of Defence and the UK defence supply chain to connect.  MOD DCB features writer Paul Elliott takes a look at the programme to see what delegates can expect at the premier defence procurement event of the year.

The UK defence supply chain is incredibly diverse, exceptionally innovative and highly capable of delivering world-class products and services to global defence markets. In the ever-changing environment that is the defence industry it is important for individuals involved in the sector to connect, collaborate and grow. This necessity for the UK defence industry to unite, from buyer to prime to SME, is addressed by showcase events such as Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) 2014. Events are all about boosting the supply chain – forging relationships, learning about industry developments and bringing products and services to market. The defence market is not static; it is fluid and constantly evolving, which makes the networking, interaction and knowledge transfer opportunities offered by a dedicated defence procurement event even more valuable.

DPRTE 2014, to be held on 8 October at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, will establish a platform to meet the needs of the entire defence community. The Keynote Arena offers a selection of impressive speakers reflecting the diversity of the UK defence supply chain. The opening address will be delivered by event Chair Dr David Moore, Director of the Centre for Defence Acquisition (CfDA) at Cranfield University. Cranfield is at the forefront of defence and security studies and its partnership with the MOD offers a unique gateway for teaching, research and consultancy. Cranfield utilises a unique set of capabilities, expertise and facilities to deliver practical solutions that make a real difference to the lives of military personnel and civilians across the world.Dr Moore will later speak about the challenges faced by the global defence procurement industry.

Susanna Mason, Director General (Commercial) for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), will speak at DPRTE 2014 and her keynote address is sure to be one of the highlights of the event. Ms Mason is responsible for DE&S’s external industry-facing activities, managing strategic relationships between industry and the MOD. She coordinates Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) renegotiations and is the lead for the Whitehall Liaison Group. She also advises on individual investment decisions and ensures an effective commercial process and system is maintained and applied across the MOD. Since joining the MOD in 2008, Susanna has at various times served as Director of Industry Relationships, Director of Corporate Commercial and Director of Exports and Commercial Strategy. In November 2012 she was promoted to become Director General Exports before her recent appointment as Director General (Commercial) at DE&S. There is already much interest in Ms Mason’s appearance at DPRTE 2014.

The Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) is a collaboration between government and industry to help UK defence businesses meet the needs of defence customers around the globe. The DGP recently launched its Delivering Growth report which revealed its implementation plan to secure a thriving UK defence sector that delivers security, growth and prosperity for the nation. ADS Group, the premier trade organisation for companies operating in the UK aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, will deliver a session that will discuss interacting and engaging with the partnership.

Throughout the day the conference will feature a strong technological element and it is appropriate that Julian David, Chief Executive Officer of techUK, the UK technology industry trade association which was formed in November 2013 from predecessor organisation Intellect, is a keynote speaker. Mr David has spent over 30 years working in the technology industry and will offer a deep insight into technology and its role in defence. Driving technology to deliver national security, public safety and cyber resilience to the UK will be the focus of Julian’s keynote speech.

Following him will be Alison Seabeck, Shadow Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology. Ms Seabeck is a former member of the Commons Defence Select Committee. She has also taken part in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, which gives Westminster politicians first-hand experience of the military.

The final session in the Keynote Arena, hosted by Cranfield University, will look at the challenges and opportunities offered by the forthcoming Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. The Keynote Arena promises to be a hub of activity and discussion across all areas key to boosting business and strengthening the UK defence industry.

DVD2014 open for registration

Crowd | Defence Contracts InternationalRegistration is now open for one of the most important events in the defence diary for those involved in equipment and support for the UK’s land forces – DVD2014, taking place at Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire on 25-26 June.

Visitors can expect a full agenda over the two days, showcasing the equipment and technology that might enable the Army of 2020, and how we can better support our equipment in the future. Those attending will be able to see a wide range of kit and equipment on display from industry and the military, with more than 160 companies already registered to exhibit at the event.

DVD is aimed at everyone who has an interest in equipment and equipment support. All visitors must register online; once approved they will receive an email containing their unique barcode, which must be produced along with photographic identification upon arrival at Millbrook.

Maj Gen Paul Jaques, Director Land Equipment at DE&S, said: “Attendance at DVD is crucial for those working in land equipment and support, as they will have a unique opportunity to meet with industry providers and validate their understanding of the military market and the challenges it faces.”

Brig Mark Gaunt, Director Equipment at Army Headquarters, commented: “DVD2014 will consider a whole variety of equipment and capabilities that may feature in the Army 2020 structure. There will be kit and equipment from a variety of exhibitors.”

Anyone who is involved in equipment and support for the UK’s land forces and who would like to attend DVD2014 can register now at www.theevent.co.uk.

Further Information

For further information about DVD2014, contact Anne Walsh, PR Account Manager at Interdirect, on Tel: 0845 121 5566 or Email: anne.walsh@interdirect.co.uk.

Hammond reconfirms commitment to defence privatisation

Secretary of State for Defence The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MPSummary: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has renewed his plans to part-privatise the way the Government procures food and weaponry for the MOD just weeks after the bidding process for the contract was abandoned.

Last month, Mr Hammond announced that the contract to transform Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) into a Government-owned, contractor-operated enterprise had to be called off due to a lack of competition after one of only two bidders pulled out.

Failed tendering procedure

The failed tendering procedure is rumoured to have cost the Government £17.8m. Despite criticisms that the plan wasted money and would have caused serious privacy concerns regarding the passing of sensitive military information into private ownership, Mr Hammond has now announced new measures to partly renew the privatisation process.

DE&S is now set to receive greater operational freedom and less red tape, including the ability to increase salaries in order to attract highly skilled senior staff.

Procurement of defence equipment

Private contractors will only oversee certain aspects of DE&S instead of the previous plans to have the successful bidder operate all aspects of the procurement of defence equipment, weapons and food.

A spokeswoman for the MOD said: “The new DE&S is an arm’s-length body working within specially agreed freedoms that will allow DE&S to operate differently to the rest of the Civil Service. It is an innovative structure that will bring the change needed to make sure every pound spent on defence provides value for money.”

Mr Hammond has appointed Bernard Gray as the first Chief Executive of DE&S-Plus, the newly revamped agency. DE&S-Plus will have an annual spend budget of £15bn from April.

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Defence procurement reform: GOCO versus DE&S+

Secretary of State for Defence The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MPAs government continues to tighten its belt and drive efficiencies, so defence is actively seeking ways to become a more commercially viable sector. Two potential models of procurement reform are currently being considered by the Ministry of Defence: GOCO and DE&S+. Here, MOD DCB features writer Julie Shennan examines the evolution of the rival models.

In 2009, Bernard Gray’s ‘Review of Acquisition for the Secretary of State for Defence’ identified three actions to tackle defence procurement overspending. The first was to bring the Defence Equipment Plan into line with future available resources. The second was to streamline relations between Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), MOD Head Office and the capability staffs, making them more business-like. And the third was to provide DE&S with better tools to deliver the Equipment Plan effectively.

A business strategy was subsequently outlined to implement these actions, by developing a more robust relationship between MOD Front Line Commands and Head Office. The Materiel Strategy programme, launched in 2011, examined options to improve defence procurement, including a radically transformed DE&S that remained in the public sector (DE&S+) and a Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated organisation model (GOCO).

The GOCO model involves the selection of a DE&S lead company that would oversee the delivery of a programme of projects by other firms. This could include collaborating on or competing for defence projects in the UK. This lead company would provide acquisition services to MOD as its agent, but would not control the £15 billion Equipment Programme, which would continue to be overseen by Crown servants working in MOD. Government and parliamentary oversight would be retained.

The analysis of both GOCO and DE&S+ began in May 2011 with then Chief of Defence Materiel Bernard Gray working as its Senior Responsible Owner.

In October 2012 a sister programme to the Materiel Strategy, Customer Design, was established to ensure that the acquisition system across MOD was optimised for whichever defence procurement operating model is ultimately chosen.

Following Initial Gate Business Case approval, the Materiel Strategy entered its Assessment Phase in April 2013, when the commercial competition was launched for a prospective GOCO provider. When the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) was released on 25 July there were three prospective bidding consortia, reducing to two shortly thereafter. However, since then one of the two remaining competing consortia has withdrawn from bidding.

Now MOD must decide whether it is in the public interest to proceed with only a single commercial bidder and a public sector comparator. In parallel, the DE&S+ team will continue to refine and enhance their proposition.

Both DE&S+ and GOCO projects are due to submit final proposals in early 2014 and a Main Gate Business Case will be submitted next spring with a final decision expected in the summer.

In a written Ministerial Statement, Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said: “Bids were required from the two commercial consortia in three phases and the second of those was due to be received on Friday 15 November. MOD has received a bid from one of the consortia but the second (Portfield – comprising CH2M Hill, Serco and Atkins) has decided to withdraw from the competition.

“This is regrettable and the reduction in competitive tension will make it more challenging for the Department to conclude an acceptable deal with the remaining bidder, notwithstanding the competition from the DE&S+ bid, which will be received shortly.

“The Department, with the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, will now study the detailed proposal received from Materiel Acquisition Partners (led by Bechtel with PA and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in support).”

Speaking at last month’s Defence Procurement Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) 2013 conference, Steven Morgan, Director of Commercial Operations, DE&S, said: “Some fairly significant changes are under way, whether we have a GOCO that operates as DE&S or a DE&S+. We are looking at alternatives that would make DE&S behave and operate more like a company, with a different approach to recruiting people.”

For more information, visit: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Home/

Labour to question defence procurement reforms

Defence Secretary Philip HammondSummary: Labour politicians have recently spoken out against the Defence Reform Bill, which outlines a planned part-privatisation of Defence Equipments and Support (DE&S). With recent reports of the privatisation of the Royal Mail hitting most major headlines and causing great controversy across the UK, more Government plans for privatisation look set to be unpopular.

 

Defence procurement reform

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond recently unveiled the Defence Reform Bill, which lays out plans to part-privatise DE&S, the Government body responsible for buying everything from missiles and ammunition to communications equipment for the British military.

The plans call for 16,500 workers to be transferred to the private sector, transforming it into a government-owned, contractor-operated concern (GoCo).

However, Labour politicians have since claimed that doing so would seriously jeopardise the military, with job cuts, conflicts of interest between efficiency and capability stemming from private control, and concerns around continued capability. With the Conservatives already coming under fire over plans to privatise the Royal Mail, they will have a very tough sell to convince the general public that privatising the military, even in part, is a smart move.

Defence tender concerns

More recent concerns have surrounded the re-tender of work after the initial contract period. With the original successful private organisation gaining unprecedented access to military records, finances and plans, there is a real danger of the original contract winner effectively ‘holding the MOD to ransom’ in order to secure a re-tender. After all, no one would argue that top secret military information should pass to new hands every time the contract is due for renegotiation.

Dougie Brownlie, a Public and Commercial Services Union defence sector officer, commented on the dangers of the contract being awarded to a non-UK firm or a firm with a current dispute with the UK: “What would happen if one of the contractors also worked for a country we were in dispute with? Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest? If it also worked for the Argentinians, who would that contractor supply, us or them?”

MOD contractors to benefit?

However, for private firms in the UK, the privatisation model could actually be a real bonus and, if it goes ahead, could prove vital to help the economy. Under public control, DE&S has been criticised for allowing expensive projects to run way over budget, partly because of too much meddling from outside forces and stakeholders within the MOD.

On a clearly highly divisive issue, ministers on both sides will have a fight on their hands in order to either protect the public interest of the MOD, or else deliver value for the economy and the private sector.

Is this another example of a Conservative government too keen to sell off public assets, or could this be another shot in the arm the economy badly needs?

Defence Support Group: maintaining military strength

A Jackal Armoured Vehicle is pictured in the desert at Camp Bastion, AfghanistanThe Defence Support Group has a long history of supporting the British Army’s equipment and vehicle fleets. From small arms to main battle tanks, DSG provides a comprehensive support service that delivers fleet management, depth repair and upgrade of the Army’s equipment both in the UK and on the front line in Afghanistan. Here, MOD DCB looks in depth at the Group’s current operations.    

The Defence Support Group (DSG) operates from sites across the UK, many of which it shares with the Army. It works hand in hand with Army units, delivering day-to-day support to the field, as well as major overhaul and upgrade programmes for the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) teams. Since 2009, DSG has also provided support at the front line of Army operations, regenerating equipment at Camp Bastion in support of Operation Herrick in Afghanistan. DSG supports the majority of the Army’s tracked (A vehicle) and wheeled (B vehicle) fleets as well as the current range of Protected Mobility vehicles, such as Mastiff, Jackal and Foxhound.

The British Army traditionally categorises the maintenance and repair of its equipment in four levels. Level 1 covers servicing and day-to-day preparation. Level 2 covers maintenance by replacement, adjustment or minor repair including fault diagnosis and minor authorised modifications, within specified times, using generally provisioned resources. Level 3 covers maintenance in greater depth such as repair, partial reconditioning and modification requiring special skills or special equipment. Finally, Level 4 covers full reconditioning, major conversions or base overhauls and is commonly referred to as depth repair.

Historically, the Army delivered level 1 and 2 forward repair while civilian workshops delivered level 3 and 4 depth repair. This has helped ensure the Army retains the competence and technical skills required to support equipment in an operational environment. However, over recent years delivery has been blurred due to the increasing operational demands placed on the Army, and particularly on the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).

DSG then stepped up to deliver level 2 and in some cases level 1 support in the UK. The close relationship between DSG and REME makes this almost seamless and is helping shape the future equipment support environment, where DSG may provide increased support to the Army as part of the Total Support Force concept, a product of the Army 2020 project developed in the light of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV).DSG uses a network of workshops in the UK to reset, repair and regenerate battle-damaged or operationally time-expired vehicles. These workshops include a dedicated cryptographic facility with Top Secret classification for the repair of secure electronics, a test facility for all military automotive engines and transmissions, and a custom-built electromagnetic compatibility chamber capable of housing the majority of military vehicles including main battle tanks.

Over the years, to enable military resources to concentrate on operational commitments and training, DSG has extended this expertise to support training and operations overseas including Canada, Germany and Iraq (Operation Telic). However, its most notable role is extending its expertise by operating the purpose-built Equipment Sustainability System (ESS) Regeneration Capability (RC) workshop in Camp Bastion.

The tens of thousands of equipments deployed to support UK Forces in Afghanistan is only sustainable in the long term with an appropriate equipment support regime in place that extends to deep repair and maintenance. Now a team of just over 110 DSG volunteers are at the forefront of synchronising level 2 and 3 maintenance across all platforms and lines of communication, and in some cases level 4 maintenance on electro optics. This in-theatre support ensures optimum availability and vehicle survivability, saving the lives of British Servicemen and women while delivering cost avoidance savings of over £90 million to the MOD.

Following an amendment to the ESS contract, DSG has assumed the additional role and responsibility for operating the Equipment Redeployment Hub Forward (ERHF) based at Camp Bastion. The role of the ERHF is to act as the central hub and receipt point for Vehicles and Main Equipment (VAME), and manage all those assets identified for redeployment back to the UK. As the ERHF provider, DSG takes ownership of the platforms, vehicle installation kit and complete equipment schedules and ensures compliance with MOD accounting policy and Proof of Good Order (POGO) requirements.

DSG has now received a further contract from Army Headquarters to manage the Herrick Exchange Point (HXP) in Warminster.

DSG provides depth repair to the Army’s A vehicle fleets where it works closely with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as BAE Systems, but it is the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) vehicles brought from Afghanistan that will dominate the Army’s current and future fleets. This shift from tracked armour to protected mobility has also seen a change in the support environment with a new breed of OEMs such as NP, Force Protection and Supacat.

The major thrust of DSG’s future strategy is its aspiration to develop as a fleet manager. It is already proving its merit in this role in the partnering concepts developed with Army HQ, supporting the Operational Training Equipment Pack and the Reinforcing fleet. The Reinforcing fleet aims to provide the Field Army with collective training in the right place, at the right time and in the right configuration.

The UK training fleet remains under the ownership of the MOD, with DSG acting as the fleet custodian, responsible for receipt, rectification, repair, maintenance, storage, integration and issue of platforms and platform systems including weapons and communications. DSG’s pivotal role is to ensure that the fleet is as free of scheduled maintenance as possible. There is now a progressive increase in the availability of vehicles leading to a reduction in the number of lost training days. The evidence-based success of this partnered approach highlights the potential for developing a fleet management service across the Army’s fleets.

DSG’s mission has recently been revised with a subtle but very important change to reflect its future strategic direction. Its new mission is to be a ‘trusted partner’ – a term coined by the Chief of the General Staff to reflect the vital relationship between DSG and the UK Armed Forces. It also reinforces DSG’s ability to provide a range of services to help the MOD deliver its outputs through support to training, contingency and operations both in the UK and overseas.

Changes to the procurement regulations: a decision that will keep Britain secure

Secretary of State for Defence The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MPNew proposals could save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds by changing the rules governing how Ministry of Defence contracts are awarded. Here, MOD DCB outlines the main points contained within the Government’s recent Better Defence Acquisition White Paper.

New proposals have been announced that could save UK taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds by changing the rules which regulate the award of Ministry of Defence contracts. The motion will see the creation of a new body to replace the existing Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation and the strengthening of the arrangements governing the procurement of equipment where the MOD is unable to source its requirement through open competition.

Set out by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, the proposals to revise the single source procurement regulations form part of the Government’s newly published White Paper, Better Defence Acquisition. It is envisioned that the MOD will save up to £200 million a year by reforming its existing arrangements for defence equipment delivery, equipment support and logistics supply.

The White Paper outlines plans to establish a new, independent body to oversee contracts that are required to be awarded without competition, either because of specialist Armed Forces requirements or for national security reasons.

Mr Hammond said: “This White Paper represents another significant step in tackling the problems underlying defence procurement. I remain committed to driving structural and cultural change at DE&S to ensure that projects are delivered on time and on budget.”

Almost half of the money spent on defence equipment every year is awarded through single source procurement under a system that has been largely unchanged since 1968. The current rules have made it difficult for the taxpayer to obtain value for money because of a lack of transparency and competition in single source contracts, leading to unreasonable profits for suppliers. In 2011, the MOD asked Lord Currie to carry out a review into the system, which resulted in a new framework being recommended.

Following extensive consultation with industry, the MOD has decided to take forward Lord Currie’s recommendations and create a Single Source Regulations Office that would independently oversee a system to provide a fair profit for companies alongside incentives to bear down on costs.

The White Paper identifies the three root causes of the problems that have been experienced with the current system: an over-heated Equipment Programme; an unstable interface between those parts of the MOD which request equipment and support services and Defence Equipment & Support, which delivers them; and a lack of business capability in processes, tools and skills, including management freedoms.

Head of Defence Equipment and Support, Chief of Defence Materiel Bernard Gray, said: “Starting the legislative process now means we will be able to implement the chosen model as quickly as possible once a decision has been made about the future of DE&S.”

The MOD has recapitulated that its preferred approach to procurement is through open competition in the domestic and global market, as set out in the National Security Through Technology White Paper published in February 2012. However, defence equipment often requires advanced and specialist technology, which means procurement options can be limited to a single supplier to ensure the correct capability is acquired.

Single source procurement has averaged over £6 billion a year over the last five years, as stated in Better Defence Acquisition,and it is likely that it will remain a significant proportion of MOD procurement in the future.

Trade organisation ADS welcomed the MOD’s decision to opt for change, arguing that a strong focus should remain on sustainability.

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS, said: “We recognise that the priority for the MOD is to balance value for money while delivering the capability the Armed Forces require and we welcome initiatives to reform and improve processes.

“When it comes to procurement, the focus should be on the long-term sustainability of the UK’s defence capabilities. The Single Source Regulations Office is intended to provide more transparency between the defence industry and the MOD, offering an opportunity for better project management and greater efficiency. It is important that the new framework is developed in collaboration with all stakeholders, including industry, to deliver the confidence suppliers require when tendering for single source contracts and the best advantage to the taxpayer and the Armed Services.”

The MOD also released plans within Better Defence Acquisition to reform the Defence Equipment and Support procurement organisation following the July 2012 announcement by the Secretary of State for Defence that DE&S could potentially become a Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated (GOCO) entity.

Work undertaken to date suggests that the strategic case for DE&S to become a GOCO is stronger than that for other options within the Materiel Strategy programme, following a Value for Money assessment. This has led to a focus on developing and testing the GOCO option further and, in parallel, consideration of a second option which seeks to deliver the identified benefits of the GOCO model while remaining fully within the public sector, known as DE&S+.

The MOD is proposing to let a contract with a contracting entity to operate on behalf of the MOD a limited operating company to which certain services currently being provided by DE&S (the ‘deliverer’ role) would be transferred, together with the employees providing those services; and to provide and improve the MOD’s defence equipment, support and logistics acquisition services, enhancing business capabilities by introducing best-in-class processes, tools and skills, and controlling the management and operation of DE&S.

The contract would be managed by a governor function, which will sit within MOD Head Office.

The contracting entity’s core role (through the operating company) would be to act as the deliverer and to inform and deliver the equipment and logistic components of each of the MOD requester’s plans. The contracting entity and the operating company would also provide delivery performance and financial reporting, including input to Parliamentary reports. They are likely to continue to play a key role in contributing to pan-MOD standards, policies and strategies (eg with respect to equipment safety, commercial operations and supply chain management, including the strategic industrial landscape), but ownership of such standards, policies and strategies would be retained in the MOD.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “For decades, MOD has been at a disadvantage in commercial negotiations and reforming single source procurement will radically change how MOD conducts a high proportion of its business. The new independent body will deliver a more effective and efficient way of providing the specialist capabilities our Armed Forces need to keep the United Kingdom secure, and at the right price.”

For more information visit: www.gov.uk

DVD2013: partnering to drive defence transformation

DE&S_logoDefence Vehicle Dynamics returns for another year, with DE&S Land Equipment and the Army coming together to run the showcase for the first time. MOD DCB spoke to Brigadier Peter Rafferty of DE&S about this new partnership, and the theme of transforming support for land equipment, ahead of the event.

Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2013, being held over 19 and 20 June, will once again see defence organisations and industry innovators in the land equipment sector come together at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.

And in an event first, DVD2013 will be sponsored jointly by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Land Equipment and the Army, recognising the new capability role assumed by the Army as part of the Defence Transformation Programme.

Commenting on the new ownership model for the event, head of operational support programmes at DE&S Brigadier Peter Rafferty said: “While it has previously been managed solely by DE&S with the Army attending, this year DVD will be a joint venture, which I think will have a huge impact on the event.

“I am anticipating greater interest from industry as Army HQ cements the triangle between stakeholders, industry and the front line.”

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Transforming Support for Land Equipment to Deliver Army 2020’ with coverage centring on the changing focus of the military. As the combat mission in Afghanistan reduces in the next two years, the focus for support and equipment planning will start to return to contingent operations and delivering the new Army 2020 structures.

This transition will require innovation in the way in which equipment can be prepared for the Army’s upcoming new roles. DVD2013 will provide an opportunity to reflect on this challenge and allow industry, DE&S and the Army to review the equipment capabilities, technologies, processes and requirements essential for delivery of this transition.

In January 2011, then Minister of State for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey said that the force structure set out in the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and the remodelling of the Ministry of Defence would amount to the most significant defence reform programme for a generation.

The Minister said: “To be successful, transformed Armed Forces require a transformed Ministry of Defence.

“We must recognise how immensely complex and wide ranging the business of defence is, and, while the MOD knows it needs to change, it is worth reflecting on the vast amount of work that the Department carries out quietly and effectively.

 “Under the leadership of Lord Levene, the Defence Reform Unit is working through how to create an MOD that is simpler, more effective, better led and less wasteful of time and resources.”

Now that Defence Vehicle Dynamics is delivered through a joint partnership between the Army and DE&S, industry will be in a better place to set realistic requirements that will ensure delivery of the correct products, at the right price, to the right people and at the right time.

Commenting on the partnership, Brigadier Rafferty said: “In the past, front line command, as the end user of equipment, felt divorced from the decision-making process.

“With DE&S and industry engaging in discussions to decide on the equipment and infrastructure of choice on their behalf, front line officers previously had very little input and therefore largely ended up with the equipment they were given.”

However, with the forging of this new partnership, DVD will be more focused on the real requirements of the land equipment industry.

Brigadier Rafferty continued: “This year’s DVD will have a major emphasis on the Army’s development in engaging feedback from the front line, and I would commend Army HQ in recognising this and taking important steps forward to work with government and industry on sharing best practice and strengthening relationships.

“Another key point to make about DVD2013 is the opportunity that visitors will have to see and experience a broad range of land equipment, not just vehicles, but hand-used equipment and camp infrastructure too.

“Seeing all of the elements of land equipment in the one setting helps increase understanding and synergies between them.”

DVD2013 will be attended by visitors across all areas of defence acquisition and support, along with military and industry stakeholders. Senior defence staff from front line commands, heads of capability and other military users will have the opportunity to meet and share ideas affecting current and future equipment issues involving support and sustainment.

Commenting on the success of the annual land equipment showcase, Brigadier Rafferty said: “DVD has become the pre-eminent forum for discussions and decisions around land requirements, particularly for UK industry but also for worldwide partners.

“Although DVD is a much more niche event than the likes of DSEi, the level of intimacy and demonstration opportunities at DVD has seen it remain the flagship event for defence land equipment over the past ten years.

“The frank dialogue and coherent meetings with users, which have continued to take place since the launch of the event in 2003, have been key drivers in its ongoing success.”

Defence Vehicle Dynamics remains crucial within the industry as it enables visitors to see real equipment deployed in the environment it operates in.

Brigadier Rafferty concluded: “The emphasis on support at DVD2013 and the change in ownership will, for the first time, put the user in the driving seat, and 2013 is the right time to make the most of this opportunity.”

Further Information

For more information visit:

www.theevent.co.uk

 

Assessment Phase begins: GOCO or DE&S+

The Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MPIn 2011, the Materiel Strategy programme was established to consider what changes were required to be made to the Defence Equipment & Support organisation (DE&S) to provide the Armed Forces with the equipment they need in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Defence Minister Philip Hammond has announced the next stage in the move to transform the Ministry of Defence’s DE&S procurement organisation into a more effective and efficient business unit.

Two options remain under consideration: a private sector led Government Owned, Contractor Operated ‘GOCO’ model; and a fully funded, restructured version of the current organisation, staying within the public sector, known as ‘DE&S+’.

In July 2012, after an examination of all available options, the GOCO model was provisionally announced as the preferred route to DE&S transformation. The next steps are now being taken to take this work forward. The final Assessment Phase, expected to last around 12 months, will now definitively choose between the GOCO and DE&S+ options.

During the Assessment Phase, work will be carried out with HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office to explore the potential outcomes of a changeover which retained the organisation within the public sector. Parallel to this, a commercial competition will be launched to evaluate how a GOCO would work in practice.

Making the announcement, the Defence Minister said: “For decades, there has been an acknowledgement that defence acquisition in this country can, and should, be done better. Despite almost countless reviews and reorganisations, successive Governments have failed to embed the radical changes necessary to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment they need in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

Mr Hammond reckons the GOCO model is most likely to prove better value for money, but believes a market testing exercise must be carried out to establish the cost of GOCO delivery.

He stressed: “No decisions have yet been made. At the end of this 12-month Assessment Phase we will have a comprehensive set of qualitative and quantitative data for both possible operating models which will enable us critically to evaluate the two options and make a final decision about the future of DE&S.”

At present, DE&S is responsible for:

  • the procurement and support of ships, aircraft, submarines, weapons, vehicles, satellite communications, information systems and supporting services;
  • the British Forces Post Office;
  • the Joint Support Chain;
  • HM Naval Bases;
  • general requirements including clothing, food, medical supplies and temporary accommodation;
  • the Submarine Dismantling Project; and
  • all commercial activities within the MOD.

In 2013, DE&S priorities have included acting as an objective adviser and decision maker on the acquisition of equipment and services and progressing defence transformation projects.

The potential move from the current DE&S operating model to a GOCO alternative has been debated over the past few years. According to feedback received by defence experts from the RUSI Acquisition Focus Group in July 2012, there are several areas which cannot operate as part of a GOCO model, such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) where industry works under close supervision on a limited range of tasks.

As the Focus Group noted: “The DE&S acquisition and management function in defence is much more diverse and complex than the development, production and support of nuclear weapons.”

The Group also argues that the GOCO proposal contains an intrinsic flaw: “The GOCO proposal suffers from an inherent weakness, since it appears to rest on an argument that, because the Government is not very good at negotiating and managing contracts with the private sector, it is going to negotiate an even bigger contract with a private sector entity to undertake the entire task on its behalf. Persuasive arguments against this logic need to be marshalled.”

The Group envisages that moving to the GOCO model will be one of the most complex and fraught transformations attempted by defence: “An important factor of military acquisition, frequently ignored, is that DE&S is but one aspect of the mix. Any real improvement must consider the entire process and the array of those with a part to play throughout MOD and the remainder of Government, all of which have the power to negate decisions made in Abbey Wood.

 “The bottom line is that, as practitioners and observers of defence acquisition in the UK and elsewhere, at present we cannot easily see how the DE&S as a GOCO would even work in practice, let alone why it would be a less expensive and better alternative to what is in place.”

Despite the cautionary conclusions reached by the RUSI Acquisition Focus Group study, the Defence Secretary remains keen to move to a GOCO model. In the course of making an announcement to Parliament regarding the Defence Materiel Strategy, he said that he expects the GOCO option to be not only more beneficial but also better value for money.

Mr Hammond said: “We have made no secret of our expectation that the GOCO option is likely to prove better value for money, but we need to test this assumption with the market, to see what can be delivered and at what cost.”

The Assessment Phase is just beginning, and more analysis will be undertaken to ensure the best model is selected.

Mr Hammond concluded: “I expect to publish a White Paper later in the spring setting out further details of our analysis of the problems in defence acquisition, of the options for potential solutions and the reasoning behind our focus on the GOCO as the preferred solution.”

For more information, visit:

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence

Assessment Phase begins: GOCO or DE&S+

The Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MPIn 2011, the Materiel Strategy programme was established to consider what changes were required to be made to the Defence Equipment & Support organisation (DE&S) to provide the Armed Forces with the equipment they need in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Defence Minister Philip Hammond has announced the next stage in the move to transform the Ministry of Defence’s DE&S procurement organisation into a more effective and efficient business unit.

Two options remain under consideration: a private sector led Government Owned, Contractor Operated ‘GOCO’ model; and a fully funded, restructured version of the current organisation, staying within the public sector, known as ‘DE&S+’.

In July 2012, after an examination of all available options, the GOCO model was provisionally announced as the preferred route to DE&S transformation. The next steps are now being taken to take this work forward. The final Assessment Phase, expected to last around 12 months, will now definitively choose between the GOCO and DE&S+ options.

During the Assessment Phase, work will be carried out with HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office to explore the potential outcomes of a changeover which retained the organisation within the public sector. Parallel to this, a commercial competition will be launched to evaluate how a GOCO would work in practice.

Making the announcement, the Defence Minister said: “For decades, there has been an acknowledgement that defence acquisition in this country can, and should, be done better. Despite almost countless reviews and reorganisations, successive Governments have failed to embed the radical changes necessary to provide our Armed Forces with the equipment they need in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

Mr Hammond reckons the GOCO model is most likely to prove better value for money, but believes a market testing exercise must be carried out to establish the cost of GOCO delivery.

He stressed: “No decisions have yet been made. At the end of this 12-month Assessment Phase we will have a comprehensive set of qualitative and quantitative data for both possible operating models which will enable us critically to evaluate the two options and make a final decision about the future of DE&S.”

At present, DE&S is responsible for:

  • the procurement and support of ships, aircraft, submarines, weapons, vehicles, satellite communications, information systems and supporting services;
  • the British Forces Post Office;
  • the Joint Support Chain;
  • HM Naval Bases;
  • general requirements including clothing, food, medical supplies and temporary accommodation;
  • the Submarine Dismantling Project; and
  • all commercial activities within the MOD.

In 2013, DE&S priorities have included acting as an objective adviser and decision maker on the acquisition of equipment and services and progressing defence transformation projects.

The potential move from the current DE&S operating model to a GOCO alternative has been debated over the past few years. According to feedback received by defence experts from the RUSI Acquisition Focus Group in July 2012, there are several areas which cannot operate as part of a GOCO model, such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) where industry works under close supervision on a limited range of tasks.

As the Focus Group noted: “The DE&S acquisition and management function in defence is much more diverse and complex than the development, production and support of nuclear weapons.”

The Group also argues that the GOCO proposal contains an intrinsic flaw: “The GOCO proposal suffers from an inherent weakness, since it appears to rest on an argument that, because the Government is not very good at negotiating and managing contracts with the private sector, it is going to negotiate an even bigger contract with a private sector entity to undertake the entire task on its behalf. Persuasive arguments against this logic need to be marshalled.”

The Group envisages that moving to the GOCO model will be one of the most complex and fraught transformations attempted by defence: “An important factor of military acquisition, frequently ignored, is that DE&S is but one aspect of the mix. Any real improvement must consider the entire process and the array of those with a part to play throughout MOD and the remainder of Government, all of which have the power to negate decisions made in Abbey Wood.

 “The bottom line is that, as practitioners and observers of defence acquisition in the UK and elsewhere, at present we cannot easily see how the DE&S as a GOCO would even work in practice, let alone why it would be a less expensive and better alternative to what is in place.”

Despite the cautionary conclusions reached by the RUSI Acquisition Focus Group study, the Defence Secretary remains keen to move to a GOCO model. In the course of making an announcement to Parliament regarding the Defence Materiel Strategy, he said that he expects the GOCO option to be not only more beneficial but also better value for money.

Mr Hammond said: “We have made no secret of our expectation that the GOCO option is likely to prove better value for money, but we need to test this assumption with the market, to see what can be delivered and at what cost.”

The Assessment Phase is just beginning, and more analysis will be undertaken to ensure the best model is selected.

Mr Hammond concluded: “I expect to publish a White Paper later in the spring setting out further details of our analysis of the problems in defence acquisition, of the options for potential solutions and the reasoning behind our focus on the GOCO as the preferred solution.”

For more information, visit:

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence