The Defence Secretary said “the real battle for defence” will come in the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2024-25, and “I’m not sure I’ll be here in two years”.
Gove is ready to localise as much either as he wants to or as his colleagues will let him, or both. I hope it’s work in progress.
In that sense, his speech could easily have been given by a much more fitting figure for the Ditchley Foundation: Tony Blair.
Many of the most technically-gifted would run a mile from the strictures of military discipline. Greater agility in procurement could also give us an edge.
At one point, City Hall officials told me the only way to get a project done was to hire external lawyers to take City Hall’s procurement lawyers to court.
The MoD should use the opportunity of Brexit to reflect on whether EU competition rules should continue to apply to procurement.
We must seize the opportunities to provide services in a more efficient way – cutting the long delays on public procurement is an obvious example.
We cannot say the NHS is free at the point of access if people face extortionate fees to get to appointments or visit sick relatives.
Take the time to create an accurate specification – millions can be wasted on late changes.