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NEWS IN BRIEF

11 Oct 04. The Defence Procurement Minister published the Government’s Response to the Defence Committee’s Report on Defence Procurement (HC 572 of 28 Jul 04). In a Written Ministerial Statement and in a Press Notice, the Minister stated that the Committee’s Report was “misguided, disappointing and flawed”. Comment: As noted at the time (DNA 04/30, Item 4), the Committee’s Report was “brutal in its condemnation of the Defence Procurement Agency (DPA); describing its performance as woeful”. It is reasonable for the Minister to come to the defence of the Agency for which he has responsibility, but more measured tones would have been more becoming. Such a public disagreement between a Minister and the Committee does little for the standing of the MoD in the public eye or for the cause of more efficient procurement. The Government’s Response is available from TSO and from The Parliamentary Bookshop (Tel: 020 7219 3890), as Cm 6338, for £5:00. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/40, 18 Oct 04)

Oct 04. The MoD has completed a review of its proposal to build a Remote Ammunitioning Facility Tamar (RAFT) in the waters off Devonport Naval Base. Originally estimated to cost about £13 million the preliminary dredge and dump operations are now said to have cost £25 million. Environmentalists claim that the operation has caused large scale damage in the Tamar and in a nearby bay.The MoD states that its review has established that there is no longer the major risk of to the community from an accidental explosion. Some sources believe that the reason is a decision to base port the Astute-class boats at Faslane

19 Oct 04. Lockheed Martin called on the Air Force to cancel at least four contracts worth more than $6 billion awarded to Boeing after a former Pentagon official told federal prosecutors she improperly favored Boeing. “The integrity of the procurement process demands that the affected contract awards must be overturned, that contracts must be terminated for default and that Boeing must be disqualified from any re-competition of such contracts,” Lockheed attorney Marcia Madsen wrote in an Oct. 12 letter to Air Force officials. Two of the contracts were for classified intelligence work, and no value was made public. Lockheed also said the Air Force should terminate a contract worth as much as $2 billion for advanced development and production of a smart bomb, and a $4 billion award to upgrade software on the C-130 transport plane. Lockheed also is seeking compensation of its costs for preparing losing bids in those awards, and attorneys’ fees. Lockheed’s protest follows an Air Force decision to review Boeing contracts that former acquisition official Darleen Druyun helped negotiate. Druyun, 56, was sentenced to nine months in prison on Oct. 1 for discussing a job at Boeing while she was still negotiating with the company on behalf of the Air Force. Among the contracts involved was a $23 billion proposal to lease and buy 100 aerial refueling aircraft. Druyun also said she awarded the C-130 work to Boeing out of “gratitude” for the company employing her daughter and future son-in-law. She was hired by Boeing in January 2003 and fired in November.

04 Oct 04. Iraq: OP TELIC. 155 UK military personnel were injured in combat “during decisive combat operations” [taken to mean between 20 Mar and 1 May 03]. To date [taken to mean as at 4 Oct 04] 2,703 UK military personnel had been medically evacuated from Iraq. There are some 9,200 UK personnel committed to Iraq whose role is to assist the Iraqi Interim Government and Security Forces in the provision of security. As at 31 Jul 04, 46 Service personnel who had been deployed on OP TELIC between 18 Jan 03 and 20 Jun 04 had been medically discharged from the Armed Forces. (The preceding four statements were taken from Written Answers (WA) dated, by Hansard, 4 Oct 04.) UK Forces did not use baton rounds during “major combat operations which ended on 1 May 03”. Baton rounds have sub

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