22 Sep 23. Defence Sub-Committee reacts to “fundamentally wrong” MOD decision on Service accommodation. Today the Defence Sub-Committee on Service Accommodation has published a letter to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) reacting to the Department’s decision not to allow Service personnel to contribute to its inquiry.
The Defence Sub-Committee, chaired by Robert Courts MP, launched its inquiry into Service Accommodation in July 2023. The Sub-Committee’s inquiry is examining the current issues with Service accommodation, asking what the MOD’s plans are to improve services, as well as modernise and invest in single living and Service families’ accommodation. The Sub-Committee inquiry asks what should be included in the Future Accommodation offer and whether enough has been done to address failures in accommodation provisions by the MOD.
The Sub-Committee had requested that the MOD to provide special dispensation to allow Service personnel to contribute to this inquiry.
Chair of the Sub-Committee on Service Accommodation, Robert Courts MP, said: “It is extremely disappointing that the Secretary of State has decided not to allow serving personnel to contribute to our inquiry into Service accommodation. It is fundamentally wrong that members of our Armed Forces are being prevented from contributing to our inquiry. Service accommodation is a personal experience that personnel should be allowed to share with the Committee. Stifling those voices hinders thorough parliamentary scrutiny. It is concerning that the MOD has cited the number of routes through which personnel can already give feedback or raise issues with their accommodation as a reason to block them from contributing to this inquiry. As the MOD knows, this inquiry is focused on their accommodation policies and the Committee will not take up individual cases. It appears that the MOD has misunderstood the Defence Committee’s role in Parliament and the purpose of this inquiry. Despite the Secretary of State’s decision, we have received several submissions from serving personnel, and we may receive more. Submissions made by serving personnel can be expected to be treated confidentially. Whilst we cannot reference them directly in our eventual Report, their input will be valuable in informing our work.”
21 Sep 23. Government Response to Commons Defence Committee’s Report on Defence Procurement. The House of Commons Defence Committee published its Ninth Report of Session 2022–23 “It is broke — and it’s time to fix it: The UK’s defence procurement system” (HC 1099) on 16 July 2023. The Government’s response was received on 15 September 2023 and is appended below.
The Ministry of Defence would like to thank the House of Commons Defence Sub-Committee for the comprehensive report of its inquiry into Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and for its observations and recommendations on the wider defence acquisition system. We are grateful to committee members for taking the time to visit DE&S to see at first hand the work being done both to deliver current programmes and to drive improvement into the future, and hope they will have the opportunity to visit again in the future. In the government’s response to the report, we aim to show how in many areas we have already recognised the challenges identified and have work in hand to address them.
defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: Demonstrating its firm grip on reality, the Ministry of Defence’s response to the committee’s highly-critical report is to say “we aim to show how in many areas we have already recognised the challenges identified and have work in hand to address them,” adding that “We must build on our successes and go further.”
This does not inspire confidence in MoD’s ability to understand the huge problems it faces, not in its ability to surmount them.
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/UK House of Commons Defence Committee)