19 Aug 2014

Business leader to get better deals for MOD contracts

mod_signSummary: The Ministry of Defence has appointed the first chair of the Single Source Regulations Office, aiming to deliver value for money via defence procurement to the taxpayer.

Jeremy Newman, current chair of the Audit Commission, has been selected as the first chair of the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO), a non-departmental public body responsible for regulating non-competitive procurement by the MOD.

The SSRO was established in May after the enforcement of the Defence Reform Act 2014 to give the government greater bargaining power over single-source procurement, where there is no competition between supplier, which the government felt had led to higher costs and a lack of return on investment.

The specialist nature of the work of the Armed Forces means that the MOD often has to award contracts without competition for reasons of national security or because the work is too niche to be available to mass market suppliers.

Almost half of all MOD’s defence equipment and support contracts are awarded this way, and in the past this has meant that some companies have been able to charge higher prices for their specialised services.

As chair of the SSRO, Mr Newman will be central to reforming this process and ensuring that board decisions comply fully with legislation.

Announcing the appointment, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

“The SSRO will deliver a more effective and efficient way of procuring the essential equipment our Armed Forces need to keep the United Kingdom secure, and at the right price.

“Jeremy Newman has been appointed from within a very high-calibre field and I am confident that he has the skills, experience and character to make the SSRO a success; both the department and industry partners are looking forward to working with him in the future.”