Dec 11, 2013 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Reuters; published Dec 10, 2013)
Britain Ditches Plan to Outsource Military Buying (edited excerpt)
Britain said on Tuesday it had abandoned plans to engage a private contractor to run a multi-billion dollar defence procurement programme plagued by spending overshoots, delays and technical problems.
Britain's Conservative-led government had earlier this year trumpeted a reform of the way it buys equipment for its armed forces to help rein in public spending.
The plan hit problems when one of two bidders for the contract pulled out on Nov. 19, leaving only a consortium led by U.S. engineering group Bechtel, and with PA Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers, in the competition.
"We do not have a competitive process. I have therefore concluded that the risks of proceeding with a single bidder are too great to be acceptable," Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said, confirming earlier reports of the cancellation.
"It's another embarrassing U-turn for the government," Labour defence spokesman Vernon Coaker told parliament. "His flagship policy on defence procurement has come crashing down around him." (end of excerpt)
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