20 Dec 2012

Hammond welcomes Levene annual review

Philip-Hammond-the-shadow-001Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed Lord Levene’s first annual review of progress against the recommendations of the Defence Reform Report.

The Defence Reform Report, published in June 2011, looked into the structure and management of the Ministry of Defence and addressed complex and sensitive issues that were likely to have significant consequences for the MOD and the Armed Forces.

In a recent letter to Mr Hammond, Lord Levene congratulated the Ministry of Defence on the strong progress made against the 53 recommendations of the Defence Reform Report and said that he believes the programme is being run with ‘genuine urgency’.

The recommendations made by Mr Levene which have already been put into practice by the MOD include the implementation of a new, smaller Defence Board chaired by the Defence Secretary to strengthened top-level decision-making which is currently meeting monthly; the clarification of the roles of the Permanent Secretary and Chief of Defence Staff, which was set out in the Defence Blueprint v.2 part 4; and the creation of a ‘strategy group’ chaired by the Permanent Secretary and Chief of Defence Staff to help them become fully responsible for strategy, which first met in December 2011.

In response to the letter, the Defence Secretary said:

“I welcome Lord Levene’s recognition of the strong progress made to date in implementing his recommendations and his confidence that we can deliver transition to a new operating model for the Ministry of Defence in April 2013.”

In reference to the recommendations of the Report not yet completed by the MOD, Mr Hammond reiterated his confidence that these points will be met by April 2013:

 “A few recommendations will take longer to complete; I acknowledge that there is more to do in some areas, such as development of the Whole Force Concept and the delivery of improved Management Information, and I value Lord Levene’s continued interest and focus on these important changes. I am confident though that by April 13 we will have gone a long way towards achieving the aim of the Defence Reform programme; a smaller more professional MOD that is better at supporting the Armed Forces now, and looking forward to Future Force 2020.”