The dust has only just settled on the controversy over former Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, joining Agusta Westland but we have another.
Commenting on the appointment he said
I am delighted to be joining the board of Capita Symonds at such a challenging but interesting time for the company. I have been very impressed with the company’s ideas, their ambitions and their approach to solving complex problems. I look forward to contributing to the Board’s strategic debates and to helping the company support the Government’s efficiency programme
He retired last year as Chief Executive of Defence Estates and head of the governments Property Asset Management Profession and during his tenure endured the bad press about housing conditions for service personnel, a grilling from various parliamentary select committees and a damning report from the Public Accounts Committee.
Defence Estates became the Defence Infrastructure Organisation as part of the new governments reorganisation and reform of the MoD.
From 2013 the current arrangements with industry to provide management, maintenance and development of the UK Defence estate will expire.
The NGEC programme is replacing those arrangements with a mix of contracts that will deliver the best possible service for the Armed Forces and the rest of UK Defence, and achieves best value for money for the UK taxpayer.
The NGEC is one of many initiatives that will no doubt need professional services support.
Handy then that providers of these support services, strategic partners if you will, have someone with the depth of experience of a former head of Defence Estates.
Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell, said there were “serious concerns” about Laurence’s appointment. Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said
I’m sure the vice-admiral will be on a tidy crust for helping Capita with knowledge about the defence estate that he gained at the MoD. There are questions about whether this is right.
The union UNITE, is also very unhappy with the move.
He does of course, join a long and distinguished list of senior military and civilian personnel joining the defence industry establishment.
Nothing to see hear, move along