Wednesday, 25 July 2018 04:56


SNP MPs have written to Tory Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood following a previous complaint about outsourcing contracts for the Defence Fire And Resource Project.

Carol Monaghan,  Martin Docherty-Hughes and Stewart McDonald from the Westminster Defence team have co-signed a letter reflecting concerns about the MoD outsourcing work to Capita. Today the Ministry of Defence suspended the contract to provide firefighting services on military sites after rival Serco began a legal challenge to the decision. It is vital the MoD now keep the Defence Fire and Rescue Project in house.
This follows yesterday’s MoD suspension of the Type 31e frigate programme – on the grounds of cost – throwing the shipbuilding sector into disarray over yet more Tory betrayals
Stewart McDonald SNP Defence spokesperson commented: 
‘’This is yet another MoD Whitehall farce. Two weeks ago I wrote to Defence Minister Tobias Elwood objecting to the Defence Fire and Rescue service being outsourced to Capita, after the contract received the highest possible risk rating by the MoD. Now the contract is in court. I have again written to him with my colleagues to underline our concerns and to receive assurance about the dangers of outsourcing sensitive MoD work.
‘’This follows yesterday’s cynically sneaked out announcement - on the last day of parliament - of the suspension of a major frigate programme, that has deeply damaging potential for our shipyards and our naval capability.
‘’The MoD has a massive budget black hole and all these deeply serious issues show it’s becoming clear that Gavin Williamson isn’t up to the task of being Defence Secretary.’’
See here Letter from
Stewart McDonald  MP               -  SNP Defence spokesperson
Carol l Monaghan     MP              -   SNP Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs spokesperson
Martin Doherty-Hughes  MP    -   SNP Member of the Defence Select Committee
Dear Minister,
We are following up on the official objection made to the Departmental Minute from the Ministry of Defence, dated 18 June 2018, concerning contingent liabilities relating to the entering into contracts regarding the Defence Fire and Rescue Project.
Given the Ministry of Defence has now suspended the contract for outsourcing group Capita to provide firefighting services on military sites after rival Serco began a legal challenge to the decision, it is vital the MoD now keep the Defence Fire and Rescue Project in house.
The awarding of this contract to Capita has already caused a sense of insecurity and instability across the MoD estate, and this legal challenge has added to that feeling.
In addition, the fact that MPs have also – just today – warned that outsourcing NHS services to Capita was a “shambles” that put patients at serious risk of harm, it is therefore imperative that the Defence Fire and Rescue Project is kept in house to ensure the Defence estate, and jobs, are not at risk.
The MoD stated that Contingent Liability will reach a maximum value of £37 million in Financial Year 2020-21, and our objection warned this was too costly to the taxpayer and did not provide value for money.
We have already warned that the company’s risk rating, potential cost to the taxpayer, and the uncertainty amongst the MoD estate were too big risks for this contract to be awarded to Capita.
As the contract has been suspended, having been challenged in court, we believe the risks that were highlighted have been validated, and thus the Defence Fire and Rescue Project should be kept in
We would therefore be grateful if the MoD could confirm that the contract for the Defence Fire and Rescue Project will remain in house – as we believe it should be.
We look forward to your response.

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