21 Feb 2011

Defence supplier? Engage now or forever hold your peace

I’ve written about this before on this blog, but since time is running out, it’s time to remind you all to stand up and be counted!

The Equipment, Support & Technology Green Paper’s consultation period runs out on 31 March 2011, and if you didn’t already know, this represents your chance to influence MOD procurement policy.

act-nowKBM Consulting said in a recent article in the MOD’s very own publication, MOD Defence Contracts Bulletin: “The ES&T Green Paper is a rare opportunity to influence how both the defence and security industries generate capability for the front line and emergency responders. Historically, industry’s response to consultation exercises has been limited. For example, few have contributed to the first transparency exercise – the MOD 2011 Business Plan – or to the EU Defence Directive consultation, both of which will have a major impact on the same stakeholders.

“If industry doesn’t offer an opinion, then we forfeit the right to complain if we don’t like the result. More importantly, in trying to procure the right capability, the MOD may pursue sub-optimum policies and procedures and invest scarce resources in the wrong opportunities.”

Hits the nail squarely on the head, doesn’t it? Industry’s inherent laziness to participate in this kind of opportunity is both damaging and foolish in the extreme. The Green Paper asks significant questions relating a whole raft of important policy decisions, from the engagement of SMEs in defence to the future funding of science and technology, and if individual members of the supplier community fail to give their input, the chance to ‘put right the wrongs’ will have passed, and frankly, you will get the engagement you deserve.

Admittedly, there are some organisations out there who are trying to engage on a deeper level with the MOD on these issues, but there could always be more.

If a thousand voices call out for the same thing, it makes a louder noise in the avenues of Abbey Wood and Whitehall then just a select few.

To take part in the consultation, visit: http://defenceconsultations.org.uk

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