Session 2008-09, 22 June 2009
Publication of Defence Support Group Report
MORE CLARITY NEEDED TO ENSURE STABLE FUTURE FOR THE DEFENCE SUPPORT GROUP
The Defence Committee today draws attention to the fact that the Defence Support Group (DSG) is currently the only organisation in the UK that is able to maintain the military's legacy fleets of armoured vehicles and large aircraft. In its contracts with industry, the MoD is increasingly placing responsibilities on companies to 'provide capability', and therefore to take on repairs, maintenance and modification work themselves. These contracts will increase the pressure of competition, and DSG will become potentially more vulnerable to the market-place.
The Chairman of the Defence Committee, the Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP, says, "DSG has shown its ability to trade efficiently and effectively both with the MoD and the Armed Forces and also with industry. Managing these relationships while maximising performance and keeping as buoyant as possible its remaining unique and historical capabilities will be key to DSG's future. The MoD should do nothing to threaten this, unless it takes serious stock of DSG's position and decides that the Trading Fund model is no longer appropriate and that DSG's future lies elsewhere. This is a decision that must not be taken lightly."
DSG, an MoD trading fund, is the result of a merger between the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) and the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA), which have been providing support and manpower to operational theatres since the start of the Iraq War. The Committee today publishes its Report on the new organisation.
The Committee took evidence from DSG some two-thirds of the way through its first operating year. The first DSG Annual Report is expected to be issued in the early summer and the Committee is confident that the Report will correspond to the forecasts given in evidence in January to exceed its Financial Performance and Efficiency Targets by 50% and 100% respectively.
The Defence Committee has praised DSG's civilian workforce which has so ably supported operations overseas and some of whom have volunteered for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan to give valuable technical support to those operations.
Chairman of the Defence Committee, James Arbuthnot, says, "We express our gratitude to all those DSG employees who have volunteered, sometimes on more than one occasion, to deploy in support of operations. Such commitment is of great value to DSG and to our Armed Forces and clearly indicates the high level of dedication amongst the staff within the organisation." Some of these volunteers have been awarded campaign medals for their endeavours.
NOTE FOR EDITORS:
The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005. The Defence Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies.
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