Labour vows to strip private firms of defence contracts

Posted On: 
25th June 2018

A Labour government would strip private firms of their contracts to deliver services to the military, the Shadow Defence Secretary will declare today.

Labour has highlighted problems with existing military contracts
PA Images

Nia Griffith will promise to bring work back in house if outsourcing firms are “not delivering”.

And she will vow to halt all pending bids for new contracts and will shift the approach so the state is most likely to carry out military work itself.

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The Government sparked fears last week when it emerged a fire and rescue service contract for military personnel had been awarded to Capita - a firm awarded the maximum risk rating by website Company Watch.

Labour highlighted a string of other military contracts currently held by the outsourcing giant which the party argued it was failing to deliver on.

It noted that personnel numbers have been falling and missing targets while Capita has been in charge of recruitment, and said a new IT system being implemented by the firm has been plagued with defects.

And it pointed to the fact that in 2017 a contract awarded to Capita to run infrastructure on military estates was amended to end in 2019 rather then 2024 as originally planned.

In a speech at the Rusi thinktank, Ms Griffith will say: “These examples typify the MoD’s current approach – rushing to privatise services without being clear about the rationale, failing to monitor these contracts when they have been outsourced, and then doggedly refusing to take any action against companies that do not deliver.

“The next Labour government will get to grips with outsourcing at the MoD. Upon taking office, we will carry out a root and branch review of significant service contracts that have been outsourced by the Department.

“And where they are not delivering, where they are failing our personnel and their families, or failing to provide value for money to British taxpayers, we will have no hesitation in bringing these contracts back in House.

“And we will call an immediate halt to the significant contracts that are currently being considered for outsourcing, with Labour introducing a clear presumption in favour of public contracts being delivered by the public sector.”