Thursday, February 18, 2010

Equipment for Heroes

MOD procurement is in the newspapers again today. And, again, it’s in the papers because of cost overruns and delays. Enough is enough. Labour Ministers have lacked the strength of character needed to drive through essential reforms. We must improve the way we equip the men and women who risk their lives defending our way of life. Recently an Army Colonel at the Defence Equipment & Support organisation – the organisation responsible for managing MOD procurement contracts – said “we’ve been planning the Future Command and Logistics Vehicle for 10 years [a lightly armoured 4x4 with specialist communication equipment]. Time’s moved on so far since the concept was first envisaged. By the time we get it in to service it will be the Past Command and Logistics Vehicle”.

I understand that there are challenges when it comes to buying military equipment. It’s not the same as going to the shops to buy a new pair of shoes. It goes without saying that we need appropriate assurance and scrutiny that taxpayers’ money – your money – is being well spent. But, as anyone in business will tell you: time is money. How much has a 10 year procurement cost us? How many lives has the delay cost us? It’s time for change. It's time to vote Labour out of the MOD procurement process.

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