Defence Equipment and Support is the organisation in the MoD responsible for equipping and supporting the armed forces.
From it’s web site, its role is to..
DE&S acquires and supports equipment and services, including ships, aircraft, vehicles and weapons, information systems and satellite communications. As well as continuing to supply general requirements, food, clothing, medical and temporary accommodation, DE&S is also responsible for HM Naval Bases, the joint support chain and British Forces Post Office.
It would be a reasonable assumption that the organisation has the skills and capability to organise ‘buying stuff’
But despite its multi million pound budget and thousands of civilian and military staff, the deal to bring HMS Protector into service was beyond it, having to contract QinetiQ to do it instead.
This press release from QinetiQ caught my eye..
QinetiQ Defence Acquisition Lifecycle Services, the leading provider of services supporting the acquisition lifecycle, has assisted the UK MoD in the provision of a new ice patrol ship. She will replace HMS Endurance, at least temporarily, which suffered serious damage when she flooded in the South Atlantic in 2008 and was withdrawn from service pending a decision on her future.
The need to put in place an accelerated replacement programme required the MOD to contract with industry to provide a number of specialist acquisition lifecycle services including risk management, requirement and capability planning, cost estimation, operational effectiveness analysis for the business case and preparation of the investment appraisal. QinetiQ was chosen based on its depth of capabilities in the areas identified and its track record coupled with the breadth of skills and the quality of the QinetiQ technical and commercial consulting team
So DE&S, an organisation that does acquisitions, doesn’t do it anymore.
Have we really stripped DE&S of the skills and people do such a relatively simple job like leasing an existing ship and making a few modifications?
If DE&S have to outsource something like this, what next?
Is this what a certain Mr Gray wants, maybe QinetiQ could do a better and cheaper job, he certainly mentioned outsourcing some of DE&S’s activities to the private sector