04 June 21. Evidence Session Defence Committee. Defence Committee hears from former First Sea Lord on future of the Royal Navy. On Tuesday 8 June, at 14.30, the Defence Committee will hold the first session of its inquiry into the role of the Navy and what capabilities it needs for its work. The session will consider the threats and opportunities the Navy faces and will address the impact of the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper. Questions are likely to explore the notion of a ‘balanced fleet’, lethality, and collaboration with allies. The Committee will hear from a panel of two witnesses: Admiral Sir Philip Jones, former First Sea Lord, and Professor Jonathan Caverley, Professor of Strategy at the US Naval War College.
Admiral Sir Philip Jones retired from the Royal Navy in 2019 after a 41-year career. He served for three years as Chief of Naval Staff and First Sea Lord, a role that saw him responsible for the Navy’s £6.4 billion budget and 30,000 personnel and to the Secretary of State for Defence for the fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Naval Service. He is now Chair of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, a Trustee of the White Ensign Association, a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, and a Trustee of the Royal United Services Institute. Jonathan Caverley is Professor of Strategy at the US Naval War College and a research scientist in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Caverley previously served for eight years as a submarine officer in the US Navy.
- Admiral (retd) Sir Philip Jones, Former First Sea Lord (2016-2019)
- Prof Jonathan Caverley, Professor of Strategy, US Naval War College
28 May 21. Defence Committee Inquiry Launch and Planned Sub-Committee.
Defence to launch Sub-Committee on the Treatment of Contracted Staff for the MOD’s Ancillary Services
Today, the Defence Committee launches its inquiry into the Treatment of Contracted Staff for the MOD’s Ancillary Services, with the intention for this to later become a Sub-Committee, to be chaired by Martin Docherty-Hughes. Since 2015, the Government has outsourced key functions of the MOD to the private sector, reducing the number of civilians employed involved in areas including Guard Services, Fire and Rescue Services and catering.
The inquiry will ask how the MOD decides which ancillary services are outsourced, the level of outsourcing and whether this provides savings in the long term. The Sub-Committee will address whether contracted staff are treated fairly compared with direct employees, the extent to which contracted staff are part of the wider defence family, and if outsourcing has damaged the link between the military and the communities that they are a part of. The Sub-Committee will also explore the terms and conditions of contracted staff, asking whether there has been downward pressure on their entitlements and working conditions.
Chair-designate of the Sub-Committee, Martin Docherty-Hughes, said, “For several years, we’ve seen a movement away from directly employing civilian staff members, towards outsourcing ancillary services to contracted workers. These staff members play an integral role in the functioning of the MOD, providing essential services and support. It is important that we understand the impact of this shift, not just on the individual workers, but on the military community more broadly. This inquiry will attempt to understand the knock-on effects of outsourcing and will ask whether the pros truly outweigh the cons. The Sub-Committee will address whether contracting companies and workers provides efficiency and value for money, and whether this is maintained in the long term. Contracted workers provide an outstanding contribution to defence. However, concerns have been raised over the fairness of terms and conditions for contracted workers, and whether the drive for efficiency has eroded the sense of a wider ‘defence family’.”
The Committee welcomes evidence on the following topics:
- How does the Ministry of Defence decide which ancillary services are outsourced and which remain staffed by civilian employees?
- What is the level of outsourcing in services such as Guard Services, Fire and Rescue Services and catering?
- What level of saving does outsourcing provide the Ministry of Defence in the long term?
- How important are the terms and conditions of contracted staff when the Ministry of Defence considers a bid from a company? Does contracting out services result in worse terms and conditions for staff?
- Has there been downward pressure on the terms and conditions of contracted staff in recent years?
- To what extent are contracted staff treated fairly compared with their directly employed counterparts?
- To what extent are contracted staff part of the wider defence family?
- Has the outsourcing of key services damaged the link between the military and the communities that they are part of?
Form of written evidence:
Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:
- a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
- a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, for example explaining their area of expertise or experience;
- any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
- any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
Submissions should be in malleable format such as MS Word (not PDFs) with no use of colour or logos. Guidance on submitting written evidence and data protection information is available here: Guidance on submitting written evidence.
Deadline for submissions
The Committee is asking for initial written evidence to be submitted through the Committee’s web portal by midnight on 27 June 2021.
It is recommended that all submitters familiarise themselves with the Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Commons which outlines particulars of word count, format, document size, and content restrictions.
We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind when we ask them to choose a representative. We are currently monitoring the diversity of our witnesses.