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I issued the following press release on 25.07.2007

MP critical of flow of MoD staff to BAe Systems

Lynne Jones MP raised concerns today about what could be seen as an overly cosy relationship between BAe Systems and Ministry of Defence officials, revealed in Written Answers the MP received from Defence Secretary Des Browne[1].   The MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said today, “I was shocked and disturbed by the large number of MOD staff applying to join BAe – 147 in the last 10 years, and 17 in the first 6 months alone of 2007”. 

At the end of June, Lynne Jones asked a series of Parliamentary Questions about the numbers of Ministry of Defence staff applying to join BAe Systems under the Business Appointments process.  The process affects civil servants, special advisers and military personnel at a senior level and, in addition, those who have had official dealings with, or who could have made decisions that could have benefited, their prospective employer.  Des Browne indicated in his answer that it was possible that some cases may not be included in the figures.    Lynne Jones said, “A question I asked on 10 July, about the total number of staff allowed to join BAe and their status, remains unanswered today, but, we do know that, of the 21 MOD staff who applied in 2006, all 21 were granted permission!”[2]

Lynne Jones voiced her concerns on the day that the Defence Secretary announced that a consortium of BAe Systems and the VT group had won a contract worth £3.6 billion for two new aircraft carriers.   The MP said, “I am of course glad for ship workers on the Clyde, at Barrow and in Portsmouth.  This contract is great news for them.  There is, however, a very important principle at stake here, and that is that the awarding of contracts must not only be impartial but it must be seen to be impartial.   We depend upon the objectivity of government officials, both to scrutinise tenders and ensure that this Country is getting a good deal from defence contractors, and also to give ministers advice on the most important priorities for our money.   To put it in stark terms, money spent on ships cannot be spent on equipment for our troops in Afghanistan.  I know that the current thinking is that public servants should gain commercial experience but we need to remember that the traditional clear line between public service and commercial interests is there for good reasons and should not be allowed to become blurred.”

Dr Jones drew attention to Section 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code, which sets out the rules on the acceptance of outside appointments by crown servants, and which expressly aims “to avoid any suspicion that the advice and decisions of a serving officer might be influenced by the hope or expectation of future employment with a particular firm or organisation”.   Lynne Jones said, “Such an annual steady stream of MOD staff to BAe could well engender such a hope or expectation, indeed, it could look like a veritable gravy train!” 

The Code clearly states that where applicants have had “some degree of contact with the prospective employer”, for the avoidance of criticism that a post could be a “reward for past favours”, departments or agencies are asked to take into account such issues as “whether the applicant has been dealing with the receipt of tenders from … and the award of contracts to the employer “.

In 2004 Tony Blair overruled a decision by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments to make the RAF Air Chief Marshall, Sir John Day, wait a year before taking up an appointment with BAe Systems.  The then Prime Minister said it was in the "wider national interest" for Sir John to be allowed to start work within three months of leaving the Ministry of Defence.[3]

Dr Jones stressed that she was not calling into question any individual appointment but rather was concerned about BAe’s general recruitment policy.  “I can see that some of those joining BAe may possess some specific and highly technical expertise but this does not seem to invariably be the case, thus raising the question as to what particular advantage BAe is gaining from employing them.  Are some of these people being hired simply in order to ‘interact’ with their former colleagues?”  “I look forward to understanding the whole issue better!” she added.   

E N D S      

Notes for Editors:

[2] In answer to Parliamentary Question 149675 Hansard record.
       PQ 149676 remains unanswered as yet.

[3] Blair overruled watchdog on RAF Chief’s defence job, Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2004

My Parliamentary Questions:

Hansard 5 July 2007 : Column 1132W

Departments: BAE Systems

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials from his Department applied to join BAE under the business appointments procedure in each of the last 10 years. [146952]

Des Browne: The number of staff (both civilian and military) from the Department who have submitted applications under the business appointments process to join BAE over the past 10 years is as follows:


Number of business applications where BAE quoted





















2007 (to June)




This information has been compiled from manual historic records of business appointment applications where ‘BAE’ has been quoted in the record and a date given. It is therefore possible that some cases may not be included in these figures.

Departments: BAE Systems

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2007, Official Report, column 1132W, on Department: BAE Systems, how many of those applicants granted permission to join BAE in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007 had dealt with (i) the receipt of tenders from BAE and (ii) the award of contracts to BAE, alone or as part of a team, while employed by his Department; which jobs those granted permission to join BAE took up; and what jobs those people had performed while in his Department. [149675]

Des Browne [holding answer 16 July 2007]: The number of those granted permission to join BAE Systems in 2006 and 2007 are as follows:



Granted permission to join BAE Systems

Who had dealt with receipt of tenders

Involved with contract awards (alone or as part of a team)





2007 (to date)




23 July 2007 : Column 683W

It is not possible to confirm from records where the applicant actually took up the post, but the proposed post in the application, i.e. the last post in MOD, were as follows:

BAE post

Last MOD post

UK Customer Relations

Naval Advisor

Procurement Adviser

DG, Trafalgar 200th Anniversary

Senior Software Assurance Engineer

Quality Assurance Representative

Executive Secretary to Tornado Director

PA/Harrier Assistant Director

Sales Support

Regional Director/Central DESO

Team Leader Supply Chain

Tornado IPT

Procurement Manager

AD/DG Log Proc

EVP Market Development

On secondment to BAE

Test Pilot

Equipment Capability

Maintenance Programme Manager

Engineering Manager


Supply Engagement Manager

Project Ldr Comms Suite

Senior Equipment Support Manager

Marketing Development and Sales

Procurement Manager

Consultant , defence matters

UK Government agreements with Saudi MOD

Typhoon Information Systems Officer

Typhoon Information Support Officer

Resource Engineer

Managing Technical Demo Programme

Senior rep on RAF Station

OC Depth Support Manager

Head of maintenance

AD Depth Support Tornado

Bid Team

Niteworks Business Co-ordinator

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer

Logistic Sustainability Deployability Audit

ILS Manager

ILS Engineer

Business Manager, Light Munitions

CO Duke of Lancaster Regiment

Cost and Pricing Manager

Project Manager Army Base Repair Organisation

Avionics Implementation Manager

Tornado Project Office

Programme Manager

AD Engineering Policy

Trials and Delivery Manager

OC Comms Services Group

Test Pilot

Test Pilot

Senior Support Project Engineer

Tornado Project Support

Director of International Maintenance and Logistics

DG Logistics DLO

Engineering Support Engineer

Harrier Engineering Authority

Tornado Customer Liaison Manager

Tornado IPT Manager

Export Support for Typhoon

Regional Director for DESO

Flying Training

SO Fast Jet Training




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