Select Committee on Defence First Special Report


Memorandum from the Ministry of Defence concerning amalgamation of the Ships Support Agency and the Naval Bases and Supply Agency (6 September 2000)

  You will wish to be aware that, as a result of rigorous examination of our arrangements for delivering warship support and subject to Trades Union consultation, we plan to amalgamate two defence agencies by 31 March 2001.

  The Ships Support Agency and the Naval Bases and Supply Agency both with headquarters in Bath, deliver support to the Fleets of the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The NBSA comprises the three Naval Bases at Faslane, Devonport and Portsmouth and their associated Stores, Fuel and Ammunition Depots and a number of personnel on ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The SSA is represented at each of the naval bases and at the two privatised dockyards, Devonport and Rosyth. Both agencies have now been absorbed into the Defence Logistics Organisation, which was created out of the Strategic Defence Review with challenging targets for reducing costs while improving the quality of logistics support to the front line. A number of initiatives and studies since the creation of the DLO have had an effect on the business boundaries of both agencies which have led us to the conclusion that a single Agency would be better placed to deliver warship engineering support and related outputs.

  We will, therefore, disestablish the NBSA and create a new agency formed around the SSA and incorporating the management of the Naval Bases and the support to the Strategic Weapons System delivered at Coulport. This new Warship Support Agency will be able to optimise support to the Royal Navy while delivering a cost and operational benefit. It is likely that the rationalisation between the two Bath headquarters sites will lead to an initial reduction of 35 posts (with any staff made surplus transferred to other appointments in the MoD). Potential for any further rationalisation in Bath and at other sites will only emerge as the new agency establishes itself.

  We will be informing our staff of our intentions at noon on Friday 8 September, and I would ask you to treat this letter as in confidence until then. I am writing in similar terms to MPs with a constituency interest. Our national Trades Unions have been informed in confidence also.

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