Ministry of Defence Organisation and Collaboration: 1976 to 1987
After Lord Rayner had returned to the private sector in 1972, the Procurement Executive which he had created was allowed by successive administrations to pass into the hands of chief executives, not with an industrial background but from the armed forces and the civil service: this remained the case until, in 1985, Mr Peter Levene (now Sir Peter) exchanged the chairmanship of United Scientific Holdings for the top post in the Procurement Executive. Nevertheless, in June 1981, a reform took place in the MOD organisation which can be regarded as equal in significance to the establishment of the Procurement Executive in its importance for defence procurement management. Since the radical structural changes of 1964, ministerial representation of each armed service had continued. Although the level had dropped to Parliamentary Under Secretary, the representational nature of the roles continued, as the report of the Defence Committee 1981/2 comments, ‘with all the problems of Service rivalry which that implied.’1 Quoting again that report, ‘It is the task of the defence Ministers to allocate resources between the services in accordance with defence priorities. It should therefore be the aim of the Ministerial structure to assist in the achievement of this goal.’2
KeywordsEquipment Programme Defence Procurement Defence Committee Service Rivalry Prime Contractorship
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