Keeping the United Kingdom secure and dealing with threats to our national interests is a priority for this government. We are working hard to transform defence in order to deliver battle-winning armed forces and a smaller, more professional Ministry of Defence (MOD), whilst getting value for money for the taxpayer. The Defence Reform Act enables the MOD to make significant changes to the way we deliver defence without impacting on its effectiveness.
The Defence Reform Act achieved Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 The main provisions of the Act are:
Part 1: Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S)
Reform of the DE&S organisation, which is responsible for the procurement and support of defence equipment and the supply of logistics to the armed forces, is a main element of Defence Transformation. Part 1 of the act relates to arrangements which the Secretary of State may make for a commercial organisation to provide defence procurement services under contract with a Government Owned and Contractor Operated (GOCO) company in future should ministers decide the model offers the best value for money.
Part 2: Single Source Procurement Reform
The Act introduces the most significant change to the department’s approach to non-competitive procurement for a generation. It creates a new statutory framework governing Single Source Procurement and an independent Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB), the Single Source Regulations Office, to oversee the framework. It also makes provision for a civil compliance regime and creates a criminal offence for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive commercial information. The reforms aim to achieve significant savings for the department and to make the system fairer and more transparent.
Part 3: Reserve forces
The act will allow reservists to play an even greater role in our armed forces: it extends powers to call out reservists so that they can be called out for any purpose for which members of the regular forces may be used. It also allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to provide for the making of incentive payments by him to employers of reservists. The intention is to focus these payments on small and medium-sized businesses as mobilisation can be much more difficult for them to manage.
The act also provides greater employment protection for reservists by disapplying the statutory qualification period for the purposes of claiming unfair dismissal from civilian employment where the reason for dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the reserve forces. The act also changes the name of the Army’s volunteer reserve force from the Territorial Army to the Army Reserve.
Finally, the act requires Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations to report annually to the Secretary of State for Defence on the state of the volunteer reserve forces.
Are you interested in joining the reserves? Find out more here.
The act enables the MOD to make some of the changes recommended in Bernard Gray’s independent ‘Review of acquisition’, the Defence Reform report by Lord Levene, Lord Currie’s review of single source procurement and the Independent Commission’s review of the UK’s reserve forces. The links to these documents can be found below.
You can also view information on the parliamentary process following the progress of the Defence Reform Act 2014 through the Houses of Parliament and the accompanying impact assessment.