Priorities and expectations ahead of Modernising Defence Programme reporting

26 February 2018

On 25 January the Defence Secretary made a statement to the House of Commons announcing that the Defence strand of the ongoing National Security Capability Review (NSCR) was being separated, and that a new Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) would take its place.

The rationale of the MDP remains that the threats facing the UK have become more “complex and intertwined”. Unlike the NSCR, the Secretary of State indicated that he did not intend for the MDP to be a fiscally neutral exercise.

The MDP will be made up of four strands, three of which will look at organisation, efficiency management  and business and commercial practices in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and a fourth focusing on capability and force structure. The department’s intention is to publish the review before the House of Commons rises for its summer recess in late July. The Committee is seeking to take evidence in order to lay out its priorities and expectations ahead of the MDP reporting.

Send a written submission

Written evidence is being sought on the following matters:

  • Is the Government correct in its assessment that state-based threats now pose the greatest risk to the United Kingdom?
  • What should the MDP mean for the size and shape of the Armed Forces?
  • What are the implications of examining Defence separately from the wider consideration of national security capabilities?
  • Should the MoD be seeking further increases in defence spending?
  • Which capabilities should the MDP be seeking to retain and augment? Which should it be seeking to restructure or dispose of?
  • How can the MoD reform itself to improve its business, commercial and procurement practices? How can it set realistic efficiency targets?
  • Who should the MoD be consulting externally?
  • What lessons can be learned from past defence reviews to inform and improve the outcome of the MDP?

The deadline for written submissions is Monday 16 April 2018.

Guidance for written submissions

Submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by <Name>’ and be no longer than 3,000 words. Introductory material on your background or that of your organisation should also be no longer than 200 words. Please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this.

Submissions must be a self-contained memorandum in Word or Rich Text Format (not PDFs). Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that the Committee will not consider individual cases or matters currently before a court of law, or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk of the Committee how this might affect your submission.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.

Further information

Image: Ministry of Defence

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