Ministry of Defence
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MoD statement: House of Commons Defence Committee report into Defence Equipment 2008
Commenting on today's report by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee into Defence Equipment 2008, the Minister for Defence Equipment & Support, Baroness Taylor, said:
"I am pleased today's report praises the speed with which we are delivering substantial amounts of vital equipment to our Armed Forces on the front line through the UOR (Urgent Operational Requirement) process.
The Committee acknowledges the challenge of merging the DLO (Defence Logistics Organisation) and DPA (Defence Procurement Agency) to create Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) while maintaining support for two major operations. Our aim is to increase effectiveness and I welcome the comments that the merger was completed within the timetable set and acknowledges the progress the organisation achieved within the first year of operation.
The size and complexity of the MoD's equipment programmes with their challenges in delivery and technology must not be underestimated. We are putting the changes in place to improve the delivery of our equipment programmes to our Armed Forces. We appreciate the agreement that Through Life Capability Management and its focus on doctrine, training as well as equipment and support will bring significant benefits to the Armed Forces.
Following the CSR, the Defence budget in 2008/09 will be around £34bn. We are in the longest period of sustained real growth in the Defence budget for over 20 years. We keep spending plans under regular review, as we are doing in the current planning round for both equipment and the wider Defence programme, to ensure that we continue to spend money on the right priorities and balance our current commitments with those that may arise in the future.
We note the Committee's observations and constructive criticism regarding other aspects of the equipment procurement process and these will be carefully considered as part of the Department's full response to the Report."