The Defence Police Federation has submitted evidence to the Public Bill Committee that is scrutinising the Defence Reform Bill as part of its progress through Parliament. A copy of this submission is available for members’ viewing by clicking here .
As members will be aware, under the terms of the Defence Reform Bill, the running of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) will transfer to a so-called ‘GoCo’ model, under which the Department will outsource its running to a private sector contractor. The Government believes this will help improve the efficiency of defence procurement.
The Federation is committed to engaging constructively with the passage of the Bill, which does note the role of the MDP in securing Departmental assets and conducting investigations into suspected thefts or frauds where required. The submission that has been made notes several concerns with the Bill, in particular the lack of clarity as to how the need for the Department to make savings will be reconciled with a private sector contractor’s need to generate profit. The Federation is particularly concerned that there is a risk that the Department could be left shouldering the financial risk for further losses or thefts of materiel, which would negate any savings made through the transfer of DE&S administration to the private sector.
We have also sought to highlight the importance of clarity in how a private sector contractor’s assurance processes will differ from and improve upon those of DE&S, which the Federation regards as unfit-for-purpose. The Federation is of the belief that this Bill should be used as an opportunity for the Department and a future ‘GoCo’ to utilise the MDP more proactively and as part of their assurance process in order to reduce levels of theft and loss.
We will of course continue to keep members informed of the progress of the Bill and any implications it may have for the role of the MDP.