Sunday, 14 October 2012

Can MOD procurement be influenced by ex-Generals?

Today's Sunday Times carries an Insight Investigation into MOD procurement, claiming that ex-generals are available for lobbying those who make procurement decisions. The focus of the report appears to be on the so-called 'revolving door'.  That presents only one side of the potential problem.

Whether or not the Generals are breaching agreements and lobbying too early, to me, is irrelevant.  What is relevant, yet doesn't appear to have been probed, is why do both the lobbyists and the Generals appear to believe that investment in them will pay dividends?

Surely, it implies that the Generals, who were formerly MOD staff, did see and experience  procurement decisions improperly influenced - that  has to be the real issue. If procurement decisions have been influenced in the past, we need to know and we need to see the full might of the Bribery Act 2010 brought to bear.  Of course, if the Generals are found to be misleading and self-serving, they need to be discredited and an end brought to the implied allegations against MOD procurement.  We need to have a reassurance that such enormous sums of of public money are spent honestly; up to now we have had no cause to doubt that.  Now the Generals have muddied the waters the doubt has to be removed.  The Generals have cast aspirations on MOD defence; they have brought shame on the organisation with which they should have had greatest pride.  Shame on them.  Shame on us if we don't remove the doubt.

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