Armed Forces support staff face market competition

June 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

defencesupport
A committee of MPs has produced a report on the future of the Defence Support Group.

DSG is a wholly-owned Government Trading Fund established to support the Armed Forces and deliver wider defence objectives “in support of the key Defence Industrial Strategy requirements.”

It employs 3,500 staff and provides “expert in-house maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for the through life support of the air, land and maritime systems of the UK Armed Forces.”

The Defence Committee said that DSG is currently the only organisation in the UK that is able to maintain the military’s legacy fleets of armoured vehicles and large aircraft.

“In its contracts with industry, the MoD is increasingly placing responsibilities on companies to ‘provide capability’, and therefore to take on repairs, maintenance and modification work themselves,” the committee said.

“These contracts will increase the pressure of competition, and DSG will become potentially more vulnerable to the market-place.”

The Chairman of the Defence Committee, James Arbuthnot MP, said:

“DSG has shown its ability to trade efficiently and effectively both with the MoD and the Armed Forces and also with industry.

“Managing these relationships while maximising performance and keeping as buoyant as possible its remaining unique and historical capabilities will be key to DSG’s future.

“The MoD should do nothing to threaten this, unless it takes serious stock of DSG’s position and decides that the Trading Fund model is no longer appropriate and that DSG’s future lies elsewhere.

“This is a decision that must not be taken lightly.”

DSG was created last year from the merger of the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) and the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA), which have been providing support and manpower to operational theatres since the start of the Iraq War.

“We express our gratitude to all those DSG employees who have volunteered, sometimes on more than one occasion, to deploy in support of operations,” said Mr Arbuthnot.

“Such commitment is of great value to DSG and to our Armed Forces and clearly indicates the high level of dedication amongst the staff within the organisation.”

photo: DSG website

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Entry filed under: Committees, Commons. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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