DESO to be scrapped?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by OSLO, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    I was thinking "North Wales" for my hols this year, since you asked...
  2. I really think scrapping DESO is but appeasement to the pacifists. Most of what is done in DESO will still have to be done and the work will move to somewhere else, it will in reality save little money. The whole idea is but spin and windowdressing.
  3. It easily pays for itself, and it's interesting that they see themselves not as a sales organisation, but as an agent for the cutomers in the UK.

    I'm kind of ambivalent though, in a liberalised global economy British industry shouldn't need a branch of the MOD to support it, they already have their own trade association and other elements of government which are involved in the export sales field.

    That said, it's an odd one.
  4. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Perhaps after the BAE rows Govt thinks Defence Sales are a political tarbaby and wants to distance itself (NB I do NOT know of any DESO people implicated at the present time - this is meant to be a slur on politicians not on DESO professionals). Maybe second-hand ships can be sold to venture capitalists.
  5. DESO does a number of things and most of them are not really export sales assistance in the obvious sense. They facilitate security clearance for export licences, they dispose of military assets, they run the UK Govt part of Al Yamama (remember that is a RSA/UK govt to govt contract) and they brief UK Govt and UK Govt representatives overseas. For the exporter they do collect some market information and provide contact with UK Embassies etc and have facilities for helping with paperwork in the USA which is a big help really if you have ever tried to get stuff in there. The reality though is even if it is not done under the DESO banner much of the work if not almost all of it will still need to be done.
  6. I'm content that it does stuff, but I'm unconvinced that it's stuff which needs to be done by MOD. FCO have their own security branch who work closely with the international group in what used to be DTI.

    The Al Yamama deal is legacy and any successor needn't be done that way in future.

    Both of which could be done by FCO or DfID. I do have some experience getting stuff out of the US and I'd agree, the US level of state interference is one of the reasons I'd prefer a lighter touch government.

    Some will, yes, but it needn't be done by MOD, or indeed government.

    It creates an opportunity for market liberalisation, although I have a feeling that it'll be done in a half baked and ill considered manner so that any improvements which could be made will be lost in a mass of cock ups and inefficiencies.

    I have no illusions about the competence of this government in actually liberalising the economy.....
  7. I would accept that the liscensing bit could probably be done anywhere, but it still must be done, so no saving here.

    As for AL Yamama, the contract is still running and the new one being negotiated as we speak is I understand in a similar format, because that is the way RSA wants it. I suspect HMG would be happy to duck out if the opportunity existed.

    Whilst I agree that the FCO for example could do the contact and market intelligence type stuff, it would still need to be done so no real saving here, there are I think good reasons though for the paper work cell in Washington who equally support parts of the MOD on MOD specific work so breaking the link with their main customer would probably not be a good thing.

    As for Govt Light, all for it but in this field I fear there is little hope especially as our process is emulating the US one in return for certain benefits in reducing the direct UK/US problem.

    Keeping the functions within the MOD will hopefully retain the experience even if the resourcing is cut so one may still be screwed but you will be screwed by some one who understands the pproblems they have created, move them out and you will get the work carried out by people who do not understand the problem and are under resourced, a real recipe for disaster. As for market liberalisation if you mean contracting out then see above, grand disaster, if you mean making the process easier, forget it, they will never make the arms trade easier. You should just be thankful we don't have the full US system operating here and sometimes common sense is applied to the problem.

    Just an observation though I see in the Times today the investigation of BAeS in the US has been linked to Raytheon.
  8. If they get rid of DESO, who is going to dispose of MoD kit? Just DSA? If so, how will they deal with a repeat of the T22 and T23 sales to Chile & Romania? Yes they are primed by BAES/FSL, but who deals with teh transfer of ownership from HMG to some other party, be it the prime or the end-user?
  9. Disposal of kit is now supposed to be built-in to equipment lifecycles, but yours is a good question if the kit is to be sold off in working order in a government to government basis. Who will manage, for instance, the sale of the remaining T23s, when their time is up, or even Invincible (should there be a buyer and a need to sell)?
  10. Well it was only a conduit for sorting out who got what bribe and what percentage the supplying company directors got.

    So it is alledged

  11. Alleged by whom?
  12. With your experience Nutty you still believe a civil servant could get that sort of importance stuff right.
  13. It seems that the reported disbandment is wishful thinking on the part of the Guardian and these buggers:

    Many foreign goverrnments won't deal with feelthy tradespersons for things like defence and will only negotiate Government to Government. I believe that the Saudis fall into that category.

    Oslo is right and disposal of kit is now supposed to be built-in to equipment lifecycles. DESO still provides the means, though, and can be better value than relying on the original equipment suppliers. They also provide a focal point and, to use that dreadful phrase, joined up management. It is a guard against special deals that actually cost us additional money.

    I wonder when the Septics will dismantle their equivalent.
  14. Peter

    I did notice a little nibble from the Norwegian Fish Stock. I do agree, yer average civil servant could not organise his own overtime payment let alone a decent brown envelope. Now Honours thats a different matter if we could only find a way to market them UKPLC would be quids in.

  15. Worked for a UK Co. Couple of years back, asked me to take a 'Thank You' envelope to Brazil (where I worked at the time). They weren't too happy when I said only if it was open and I can see the contents. No way I was taking a sealed envelope through customs.

    Anyway, did it and gave it to the guy who sorted out the 'Employment Issues' (a.k.a. Union Rep).

    Corrupt country to the core (I'll let you decide which one!)
  16. I'm still unconvinced that much of it needs to be done by Govt, just because it's always been done that way doesn't mean it needs to continue in that vein. I did neglect the issue about govt to govt negotiation in this sector though, although again that could be done outside MOD. Whilst the work might still need done there are efficiencies in having it all the responsibility of one department. Having a browse around earlier I noted that Comrade Digby is dual hatted with FCO and Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. He's got the background to help improve things in that respect.

    More a question of getting government out of the industrial marketspace, if British firms can't compete on the global market then let them go under, that provides just the incentive to do better.

    In the general sense regulation should emphasise transactions, particularly cross border, employee/ firm etc rather than the minutiae of telling us how to manage the firm.

    Although I recognise that the arms trade is a bit of a special case given the circumstance above.

    Oh I've been there, the lunacy of having to get export approval for equipment we'd helped design!

    Interesting, although BAeS have been cosying up to all the big firms in the US in an effort to secure more of the market there.
  17. DESO does not tell you how to run your company and except in exceptional circumstances does not get involved in actual deals. I certainly never expected then to make me in some way more competitive, that was always down to your skill. In my experience they were facilitators who helped and made easier the necessary interface with UK government as a whole, and acted as intermediaries with Embassy/High Commision staff when they were populated with stuck up characters who did not deign to mix with tradesmen. They surprisingly have developed some expertise over the years and do help rather than hinder.

    On the US case, all US firms cosy up whilst stabbing you in the back, BAeS is number four over there and is thus seen as a potential threat by some rather than a partner of choice. Raytheon in particular is not the most fiendly to BAeS.
  18. No, but government in general does, which I perhaps wasn't clear about.

    I read an article in the Economist recently, in the order of months, which was considering the possibilities of a Merger/ Acquisition at some stage for them. Raytheon were, as I recall, an unlikely. can't remember which of the various candidates was considered most likely though.

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