Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, in response to the Government favouring a Government-Owned-Contractor-Operated model for reform of Defence Equipment and Support, said:
“There must be reform of defence procurement to improve value for money and deliverability of defence capabilities.
“The model considered by the Government, however, remains untested, unproven and there are questions unanswered.
“This is a policy with multi-billion public pounds of potential risk. No other nation has taken this move, which is unprecedented in the UK, and the onus is on Ministers to make a stronger case.
“The country will want to know the level of financial risk a consortium would take, their profit potential and how conflicts of interest can be avoided. It will also be essential to have reassurances over accountability and how this would impact existing programmes, in particular the nuclear deterrent.
“Labour supports innovation in procurement, which is why we have advocated improved skills and career paths within the MoD as well as designing to cost with tougher targets for industry.
“It is vital that the UK has a strong defence industrial base with vibrant companies. There are too many unknowns and too much uncertainty over government policy. Labour will work with industry to ensure the country’s security and economic interests and strengthened through procurement reform.”