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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

House of Commons Written Answers 29 November 2013

France

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made on the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force with France; what plans that body has made for its future; and if he will make a statement. [177900]

Dr Murrison: We continue to make good progress towards our objective of creating a capability able to undertake co-ordinated and coherent expeditionary operations with France through a Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) consisting of national force elements operating side by side with the ability to respond to a wide range of scenarios. This progress is being achieved through the conduct of joint exercises and other training activities, joint work on military concepts and doctrine, the exchange of personnel between national armed forces, the exchange of information and the alignment of capability lines of development. We remain on track to achieve full verification of concept for the CJEF by the target date of 2016.
House of Commons Written Answers 28 November 2013

Defence: Procurement

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the report entitled Viability of the Material Strategy Procurement, which was placed in the Library on 19 November 2013, (1) what assessment he has made of the conclusion of the report’s authors that any failure of one or more parties within any consortia could fundamentally impact the competition; [177363]
(2) whether his Department undertook a formal stop/go decision after one of the consortia withdrew from the GoCo bidding process on 15 November 2013; and how that decision was taken; [177364]
(3) what governance processes his Department has established to ensure that the negotiated deal does not become unbalanced by the need to maintain a competitive process; and whether his Department has adopted any of those processes; [177365]
(4) whether his Department had contingency plans in place for a further reduction in the market before the withdrawal of one of the bidding consortia on 15 November 2013; [177366]
(5) what steps his Department has taken to dedicate senior commercial leadership and capacity to the deal process in the GoCo bidding process; [177367]
(6) what steps his Department has taken to engage in regular senior stakeholder discussions at International Board and PUS level on the GoCo bidding process; [177368]
(7) what steps his Department has taken to require bidders to maintain contingency plans aligned to their risk profile in the GoCo bidding process; [177369]
(8) what steps his Department has taken to ensure the risk profiles around each bidder are actively-managed in the GoCo bidding process. [177370]

Mr Dunne: We have already made significant progress on implementing the recommendations outlined in the Viability of the Materiel Strategy Procurement report that was placed in the Library of the House on 19 November 2013. We have strengthened senior governance of the programme, exercising control at the strategic and negotiation levels respectively to ensure balance. Commercial negotiations are being led at Director-level within the Ministry of Defence (MOD) supported by a Deputy Director and a sizeable commercial team, together with specialist support from our consultancy partners. The Materiel Acquisition Partners Bid Team is being actively managed, including for contingency planning and riskā€”and we will ensure that these are reviewed regularly as we progress through the competition. We recognise that any changes to the bid teams could fundamentally impact the competition. As the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), stated in his written ministerial statement on 19 November 2013, Official Report, column 44WS, we will take a formal stop/go decision now that one consortium has withdrawn, once the MOD, with the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, have studied the deta

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