5 December 2013 Ministry of Defence
Significant progress has been made to transform MOD into a more professional and responsible organisation, an independent report has said.
In a follow-up to his major independent review of MOD 2 years ago, Lord Levene has praised the department for embracing complex and radical change to improve both efficiency and financial management.
Lord Levene’s 2011 Defence Reform report made 53 recommendations on how to transform MOD into a leaner and more effective organisation that could better support the needs of the Armed Forces.
Since then, he has monitored the changes that have been made and, in his second stocktake, has praised the successful reforms that have taken place right across the department.
Lord Levene describes the elimination of the £38 billion budget deficit as a remarkable achievement and says there is now clear evidence that MOD is more business-like and finance-focused.
His report welcomes the imaginative ways in which the department has increased accountability and reduced bureaucracy by delegating responsibility to the heads of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.
The report acknowledges that better leadership, direction and prioritisation have led to a more strategic approach in MOD.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
We have rightly focused our efforts on reshaping our Armed Forces to meet future threats and delivering better value for money for taxpayers. Lord Levene’s report is a welcome endorsement of the progress we have made in reforming Defence.
We are streamlining MOD, with a reduction of 33,000 civilian posts in total, to make it leaner and more strategic, better able to support the Armed Forces of the future.
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, said:
Defence Reform has required some innovative changes to the structure and management of Defence. But the results of these changes will lead to a more agile force structure with capabilities better suited to the security challenges of the age.
The advent of Joint Forces Command and the greater delegation of authority to the 3 single services is fundamental to this change.
Jonathan Slater, Director General Transformation, said:
I am encouraged that Lord Levene recognises a real change of mindset within the department. We remain committed to continuing with this programme of reform to achieve real and sustained behavioural change.