On 25 January 2018, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced in the House of Commons that the Defence strand of the National Security Capability Review (NSCR) would be removed and reviewed separately, through a Modernising Defence Programme (MDP). Unlike the NSCR, the MDP will not be a fiscally neutral exercise, and techUK expects it to report in July, before the summer parliamentary recess. The MDP is made up of four separate workstreams, which will examine the MOD’s operating model, efficiency and business modernisation, the department’s commercial and industrial approach, and defence policy, outputs and military capability respectively.
On 16 April, techUK submitted it’s response to the Defence Select Committee inquiry into the MDP, following a consultation with members to gather feedback against the four workstreams. techUK’s response identified four key areas which are of the greatest concern to member companies operating in the defence technology space, which are:
- A reformed commercial operating environment for defence suppliers
- Acquiring the right skills & talent to enhance MOD’s capability to deal with industry
- Developing an insight on where information & digital capabilities deliver for the MOD
- Visibility of the defence supply chain & impact of defence spending on the UK economy
Through its response, techUK has outlined the underlying factors behind these issues, as well as a series of recommendations which set out how the MOD could address industry’s concerns going forward. We will publish our response in due course and look forward to engaging with the Defence Select Committee on these issues in the future.
Finally, techUK will also be submitting its response to the MOD’s public consultation on the MDP, which closes on 30 April. We would welcome any additional feedback from members to help inform our response to the public consultation, and advise individual member companies to submit their own responses if they do business with the MOD.
If you wish to do so, please contact Fred Sugden.