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.