What recent assessment he has made of the quality of service provided under outsourced departmental contracts.
The MOD regularly monitors the performance of all its contractors, including outsourced services. That is carried out through the robust monitoring of contract performance indicators and taking action as appropriate where standards are not met.
Despite the fact that Capita has failed to fulfil its contract for Army recruitment, letting down both the Army and the taxpayer, the Government are now tendering to outsource veterans’ services as well. Does the Minister consider that the Government should be directly consulting and rewarding our veterans rather than multinational defence contractors who have proved time and again that they are incapable of delivering?
I recognise there have been challenges in the Capita contract, but we are working closely with Capita on an improvement plan. We will always ensure that we do everything we can to support our veterans, and I know the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend Mr Ellwood will be working day in, day out to support that.
The Government’s ideological obsession with outsourcing MOD contracts to the private sector has led to appalling service for personnel and families, poor value for money for the taxpayer and a worsening of terms and conditions for MOD workers. Many of the private companies that hoover up these services are in a fragile state of affairs financially. Will the Minister therefore tell the House what possible justification the Department has for privatising veterans’ services, given that this contract is currently being delivered perfectly well in-house?
We will always ensure that we get the very best for the people who have served in the armed forces and that we get value for money for the taxpayer, too. That is the responsible thing the Government should do.