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Labour 'will end outsourcing racket at MoD'

LABOUR will pledge today to end the outsourcing racket at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith vowed the party will halt the practice of outsourcing large MoD service contracts to the private sector.

Speaking at defence think-tank RUSI, she will point to the many examples of contracts handed to private companies that are not delivering the benefits promised.

Her announcement will follow last week’s MoD offer of a 12-year fire and rescue service contract to Capita, ignoring advice that the outsourcer posed a maximum risk rating.

Capita was recently stripped of its contract to run MoD military estates and its contract for recruitment to the Army has been plagued by problems.

The next Labour government would launch an immediate review assessing all major outsourced service contracts and bring them back in house if need be.

Labour would also suspend the process of outsourcing any more significant service contracts.

Ms Griffith will accuse the MoD of “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.”

Referring to the most recent contract, she will say: “It simply beggars belief that their chosen partner for this venture is Capita, which was awarded the highest possible risk rating by the MoD themselves.

“When it comes to fire safety, the security of our Armed Forces, their families and vital defence assets must be the main concern, not the drive to make cuts in the attempt to meet efficiency targets.

“It would be extremely concerning if a situation were to arise where this contract could not be delivered or where it could not be delivered to the standard required. The risks are simply too great.”

She will also highlight the persistent complaints about the quality of housing maintenance provided by Carillion/Amey, with personnel and their families stuck for days with leaking roofs, broken boilers and appliances that don’t work.

An MoD spokesperson said: “Robust assessments have been made to ensure the financial health of suppliers ahead of any contract placement.

“We will monitor the performance of the supplier throughout the contract’s duration.”

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