22 Nov 2012

Hammond speaks on VfM in defence

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has laid out his vision for delivering value for money in the defence industry.

Speaking at the Reform Defence Conference in London on 21 November, Mr Hammond said that with resources as tight as they are, there is a greater need to deliver the most value for money possible:

“Making sure every pound of taxpayers’ money spent on defence has a tangible impact on delivering capability to the front line and on the security of the nation: in other words, enhancing the efficiency of defence delivery.”

He said that, while defence needed a solid financial foundation, there was also a strong need to make sure that defence staff were at their peak and that the right people were being employed in the right way. To that end, he announced a New Employment Model (NEM), which aims to examine the structure of pay and employment to make it more responsive to the needs of the individual, resulting in more growth opportunities and less cost to the taxpayer.

He said: “At the heart of the NEM will be a measured shift in the nature of the offer: towards a greater emphasis on individual value, personal choice and responsibility.”

He emphasised that such a restructure of current practice will be a huge undertaking, but that the key thing was to reject the notion that a given percentage cut in the Defence Budget must inevitably mean a similar percentage cut in military capability.

If Mr Hammond can make this transformation happen, both the taxpayer and the military personnel look set to benefit.