HC Deb 23 October 2000 vol 355 c33W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the Modernising Defence initiative. [132177]

Mr. Hoon

Modernising Defence is not a single initiative; the term covers a number of areas of work where we are improving the management of defence.

This work builds on the modernisation and reshaping of our armed forces set out in the Strategic Defence Review. We are introducing a new Performance Management system, implementing Resource Accounting and Budgeting and conducting a review of our defence training needs.

Modernising Defence also includes the work of five project groups that were formed in the Ministry of Defence to seek ideas for ways to improve our policy formulation, to address the needs of our people, to explore ways for the Ministry of Defence to work more closely with other Government Departments, and other public sector bodies, to look at our information needs, and more generally to examine what people need to help them do their jobs. These groups have now made their recommendations, and these have been agreed by the Defence Management Board who have set in hand an action plan for implementation. The plan includes the formation of an External Relations Unit to act as a Gateway between Ministry of Defence and other Government Departments and regional bodies and the appointment of a new Director General for Information to draw together an Information Strategy for the Ministry of Defence.