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Old 21st Dec 2010, 08:17   #1 (permalink)
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
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MOD Procurement Green Paper

Government engages with industry on defence and security

The Government has today launched a Green Paper which marks the formal consultation on equipment, support, and technology for UK defence and security.

The consultation, led by the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office, will cover a range of issues including national security, working with other countries, exports, small and medium-sized enterprises, and cyber security.

This is the first time these issues have been considered together from both defence and security perspectives.

The Green Paper 'Equipment, Support, and Technology for UK Defence and Security: A Consultation Paper' provides details of the consultation, which will last for three months commencing in the New Year.........
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Executive Summary

.......Our default position is to use open competition in the global market, to buy off-the-shelf where we can, and to promote open markets in defence and security capabilities. We will take action to protect our operational advantages and freedom of action, but only where essential for national security........

The last Government published a Defence Industrial Strategy in 2005 and a Defence Technology Strategy in 2006. We believe that the thinking behind these documents needs to be rethought significantly in the light of our new National Security Strategy and set more firmly in the current challenging context of affordability.

That challenge has already driven some difficult decisions with regard to defence capabilities; many contracts are being renegotiated and a thorough programme of review will follow for those that remain. The so-called ‘Yellow Book’, which sets the terms for noncompetitive contracts, is being reviewed. Tough targets have been set for financial savings at MOD and this is one of the reasons why the department remains committed to off the-shelf procurement wherever possible. As set out in ‘The Path to Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth’, one of the key challenges for the Government is securing benefits from acting as a more intelligent customer in sectors where it is a major purchaser and can promote innovation. It is against that background that this consultation is being conducted and our future relationship with industry will be viewed.........
ORAC is offline   Reply
Old 21st Dec 2010, 08:52   #2 (permalink)
 
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MOD Procurement Green Paper

At the risk of sounding a touch jaded at this 'tolerant' time of year...I hope this effort is a bit more meaningful than the last! When the DIS was produced and circulated with great fanfare I was the Defence Attache in a non-English-speaking country. I was sent, probably at great expense, boxfuls of shiny pamphlets purporting to detail UK plc's 'new' approach to procurement, and instructed to send them out to the MOD and industry of 'my' country.

I refused, for 2 reasons:

a. If I, as a fairly competent English speaker, couldn't make sense of what was being spouted, the locals were going to give it the stiff ignoring it deserved, or keep coming back to me for explanations.

and

b. It was all self-serving, industry-driven b*ll*cks anyway.

Just my tuppenceworth! Not holding my breath for a "road to Damascus" moment!
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Old 21st Dec 2010, 09:40   #3 (permalink)
 
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manandboy

Agree entirely. When I received my copy of the DIS and DTS issued by the racing car driver, I submitted a Freedom of Information request asking, inter alia, why MoD were planning to spend money on an R&D programme intended to meet a certain specification, when the successor equipment, to a better specification, had passed final trials in 1999. And noted MoD owned the Intellectual Property Rights.

The office that responded (in London) was clearly not amused, simply saying the R&D would identify the optimum cost-effective technology, which would then be "pulled through" by procurers. When I pressed, they admitted they knew nothing of the existing kit.

A few months later, AbbeyWood issued an Invitation to Tender for this R&D, valued at up to £5M. I spoke to the company who manufactured both the original and upgrade. To earn their corn, they would merely have to dig out 12 year old documents (which MoD paid them to maintain and store), put a new date on them and submit them at the end of the R&D contract. And add at the bottom "But we can no longer meet your specification because all the obsolete tooling has been disposed of at MoD's request".
tucumseh is offline   Reply
Old 21st Dec 2010, 11:23   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Our default position is to use open competition in the global market, to buy off-the-shelf where we can, and to promote open markets in defence and security capabilities.
Well, that's some of the POL and General Stores sorted then. Doing it sensibly and cohesively with anything remotely warlike, though, certainly makes life interesting; unless you're a 2 yearer just passing through.
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Old 21st Dec 2010, 12:06   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Agree entirely. When I received my copy of the DIS and DTS issued by the racing car driver, I submitted a Freedom of Information request asking, inter alia, why MoD were planning to spend money on an R&D programme intended to meet a certain specification, when the successor equipment, to a better specification, had passed final trials in 1999. And noted MoD owned the Intellectual Property Rights.

The office that responded (in London) was clearly not amused, simply saying the R&D would identify the optimum cost-effective technology, which would then be "pulled through" by procurers. When I pressed, they admitted they knew nothing of the existing kit.

A few months later, AbbeyWood issued an Invitation to Tender for this R&D, valued at up to £5M. I spoke to the company who manufactured both the original and upgrade. To earn their corn, they would merely have to dig out 12 year old documents (which MoD paid them to maintain and store), put a new date on them and submit them at the end of the R&D contract. And add at the bottom "But we can no longer meet your specification because all the obsolete tooling has been disposed of at MoD's request".
If I have this correct, the MOD issued a contract to develop a widget that had already been replaced. The earlier contract for the better widget was fulfilled, the MOD then asked the supplier to destroy the tooling (???) and paid the supplier to maintain the documentation. Despite pointing out the "other" contract, the MOD then continued and issued the contract to the SAME company that had already supplied improved widgets?

Why are there not embarrassing questions in Parliament about this? This looks like either Sir Humphrey Appleby or incompetence of the severity of the Chinook Mk3, if not the scale.
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Old 21st Dec 2010, 12:13   #6 (permalink)
 
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Personally, I reckon we'll be getting a load pointy sticks as we are a bit skint. When in service they'll have lots of pointless warnings written on them and by the time Procurement have finished they'll cost a couple of hundred thousand a piece, be ten years late in service, will do more damage to the user than the target and anybody who gets prodded by one will claim that their human rights have been infringed.

PM
Piltdown Man is offline   Reply
Old 21st Dec 2010, 12:27   #7 (permalink)
 
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Roadster

Yes to everything except questions in House. Although it was pointed out to MoD that there already had been questions in the late 90s (in a positive sense, when a wider use of the technology was anticipated). Had they simply Googled, the Hansard entry would have shown them the DTS was 10 years out of date (for that particular technology). The PQ even asked how much R&D, plus full production and embodiment had cost. (A fifth of the more recent R&D estimate). If you set aside far too much, even if it is needed, that means the funding is not available elsewhere.


You'll have gathered I'm not spilling any beans - it is a case of collating known facts and understanding the linkages. The original PQ arose from an article in Jane's.

Not unusual to destroy tooling that will never be needed again, but retain the original research work. The latter forms the baseline for the upgrade and one needs to maintain an audit trail.
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