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The UK National Audit Office published a report recently looking at the work of the Single Source Regulation Office and how the Ministry of Defence manages single-source contracts generally. It is another interesting report from NAO, highlighting the need for good contract management. It finds that while Competition is the best option to drive value, “such competition is frequently absent on the largest defence contracts where there may be only one supplier or where security considerations require the Department to contract with a trusted national supplier, for example, for nuclear-powered submarines or complex warships. In 2015-16 the Department spent more than £8.8 billion non-competitively”. So while the NAO applauds the SSRO, it does point out that sometimes the MOD does not support it as well as might be expected. The chief executive of the SSRO has also recently resigned – we do not know whether the two are connected. But, we will have a full article exploring the report next week on Spend Matters UK/Europe.

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