§ Lord Gavron
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made since the launch of their defence industrial policy in October 2002. [HL5518]
§ Lord Bach
The Government launched their defence industrial policy in October 2002. We sought to maximise the economic benefit to the United Kingdom from our investment in defence and to enhance the competitiveness and global sustainability of our defence industry. Since we launched the policy we have worked closely with industry to develop and pursue a joint implementation plan. We have completed a review of progress over the first year. During this time our close and productive relationship with industry has developed further and we have agreed how we will take forward our common aims over the next few years.
The policy has been a significant driver in bringing together government and industry, resulting in better communication and access to information. We both recognise that the policy is for the long term and that it will take some time to measure the full effects on defence programmes and the industry that supports them. We remain committed to the policy and will continue to monitor its effectiveness and to develop best practice in this area among the MoD acquisition community. We will also continue to work to improve 219WA access to overseas defence markets and to maximise the benefits from our investment in research and technology. We will conduct a further review of progress in a year's time. Copies of the review have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Ministry of Defence and DTI websites.