Bernard Gray is chief of defense materiel for the UK Defence Ministry. (Harland Quarrington / UK Ministry of Defence)
Sep. 29, 2014 – Defense News
Bernard Gray’s scorchingly critical 2009 report on Britain’s defense procurement performance sparked a chain of events that eventually resulted in the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organization being reformed into a bespoke government trading entity starting in April. An arm’s-length body of the Ministry of Defence, DE&S now has the freedom to break through civil service pay constraints and compete for the engineers, project managers and other top skills required to keep budgets and project schedules on target.
Gray was an independent businessman when he wrote the report, but in 2011 was appointed by the government to push through the improvements he recommended.
Controversy followed with a radical plan to turn Britain’s defense procurement into a government-owned, contractor-operated organization. That plan collapsed at the last moment, causing the MoD to turn to the trading entity approach. DE&S is negotiating with private-sector companies to inject skills into the organization across project management, human resources and eventually IT and finance.
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