The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has offered a series of managed service provider (MSP) contracts in support of the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) transformation project.
Offered to CH2M Hill, Bechtel and PwC, the contracts require the companies to work alongside existing DE&S staff to transform the way DE&S manages the acquisition and support of defence equipment, while helping to deliver the MoD's ten-year £164bn equipment plan.
Specifically, the tailored private-sector skills are expected to complement DE&S' current in-house expertise, and also provide the external support required.
CH2M Hill was chosen for the contract for project delivery in the land and joint enabler areas, while Bechtel and PwC were offered the contracts for the air and fleet areas, and human resources, respectively.
UK Defence Equipment, Technology and Support Minister Philip Dunne said: "The contracts we have offered to CH2M Hill, Bechtel and PwC represent a key milestone in the work to transform DE&S into a higher performing project delivery organisation.
"Once their work gets underway, we can expect the MSPs to provide DE&S with some of the best private sector skills available, to improve even further our ability to procure defence equipment and support as cost effectively as possible.
"Today's landmark will help DE&S to provide better value for money for taxpayers and ensure that the armed forces have the best possible support."
The offer of contracts has initiated a mandatory commercial stand-still period, which will last for at least ten calendar days.
Following the successful conclusion of this period, the contracts will be signed to provide strategic support and assistance in specific areas of the DE&S business, such as project delivery and human resources over a defined period.
Employing approximately 12,500 people, DE&S acquires and supports all of the equipment used by the UK armed forces and has an annual budget of £14bn.
Image: A UK Army's Foxhound light-protected patrol vehicle on operations in Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of Corporal Si Longworth RLC, Crown copyright.