LONDON — The British government expects to award a contract to industry this summer to teach the military how to switch from fighting wars to understanding spread sheets.
Known as the Acquisition Support Partner (ASP) program, the deal could be worth up to £30 million (US $47 million) for the successful company, as the Ministry of Defence rolls out a plan aimed at improving the business skills of military and civil personnel newly tasked with controlling the individual budgets of Britain’s four frontline commands.
“This is about embedding and sustaining the recent changes to the frontline commands which enable them to act as a stronger customer in deciding what equipment and support they wish to acquire and holding the Defence Equipment & Support [DE&S] to account to acquire it,” an MoD spokesman said.
Project, program and performance management are among the skills the armed services are trying to acquire. Leaders hope that workers at the end of an expertise-building effort, which could run for up to three years, will be match-fit and able to fend for themselves.
The plan is not mandatory at the moment, though, an industry executive familiar with the bidding process said.
The Army, Air Force, Navy and Joint Forces Command can decide to opt out if they want to adopt another solution, the executive said.
As things stand, the Navy and Joint Forces Command look like they are in, the Army is still considering it and the Air Force is the least likely to take part in the plan, he said.