15 Dec 16. International Development Committee. Select Committee Announcement. The International Development Committee is publishing a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson MP, urging the UK Government to reconsider their stance on selling arms to Saudi Arabia pending a fully independent investigation into breaches of International Humanitarian Law on both sides to the conflict in Yemen.
The letter, agreed between the Chairs of the IDC and Committees on Arms Export Controls, cites the recent decision of the US to halt some arms sales to Saudi Arabia as a direct result of its assessment of the role of these munitions in the conflict in Yemen. In September, the IDC and BIS Committees published a joint report recommending that the UK suspend licences for arms exports to Saudi Arabia pending the results of an independent, United Nations-led inquiry into reports of violations of IHL in Yemen. The Government rejected this recommendation. In today’s letter, the Committee Chairs restate their recommendation and urgently ask the Government to reconsider their position.
House of Commons and House of Lords Hansard Written Answers
Asked by The Marquess of Lothian
Asked on: 06 December 2016
Ministry of Defence
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many defence procurement projects have overrun their original budgets over the last three years; at what cost; and who has been responsible for meeting the increased cost.
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 14 December 2016
Defence procurement projects cover an extensive range of equipment, infrastructure, information services and broad service contracts. Following the Levene reforms, responsibility and budgets for procurement have been delegated in large degree to the Front Line Commands, who use Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), as well as Information Systems and Services (ISS), as their principal delivery organisations. The time and cost performance of delegated projects is monitored and controlled by these organisations at a level appropriate to their cost. Only the largest or most contentious projects, such as equipment projects over £400m or infrastructure projects over £75m (‘Category A’ Projects), are approved directly by Head Office. This includes review of those projects that overrun on time or cost.
In recent years the National Audit Office (NAO) has provided an independent review of the Ministry of Defence’s delivery performance of the largest procurement projects and presented the findings in an annual publication, the “Major Projects Report” (MPR). These reports include details of the cost, time and quality delivery forecasts for a sample of the largest defence procurement projects that had reached the demonstration and manufacture phases of their project lifecycle – that is to say they had passed the main investment decision point. The reports contain a summary of the projects’ original budgets and their latest forecast costs to completion, enabling individual identification of increases and decreases in cost. A more in-depth breakdown on a project-by-project basis, including total cost variance by project, is available in the MPR. Additionally, explanations of the causal factors of the variances can be found for each project in the project summary sheets which accompany the reports.
Major Projects Report 2015 and the Equipment Plan 2015 to 2025
(For the MPR15 Summary Table see Appendix 3, page 42)
Major Projects Report 2014 and the Equipment Plan 2014 to 2024
(for the MPR14 Summary Table see Appendix 2, page 40)
(For the MPR13 Summary Table see Appendix 3, page 40)
In the first instance, cost overruns must be absorbed by the Front Line Commands by prioritising their projects within overall procurem