Defence Business Services (DBS)

9 May 2011



Corporate Services are currently undertaken by over 9000 members of staff across the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The proposals have been issued to branches via the consultation document but the headlines include:


  • The DBS to have an initial operating capability covering the delivery of civilian HR, finance, and some information and commercial functions, and employing around 2000 staff.
  • DGHRCS directly managing both the DCP element within Head Office and a new forward deployed HR Business Partner organisation within TLBs
  • A reduction from the 1000 plus core HR staff to less than 600 by 2013
  • SPVA should move into the new organisation six months after the contract is let in 2013
  • Finance staffing to reduce from 3500 to 2700
  • Internal Audit to reduce from 150 to 120
  • Vetting to be placed in the DBS in the autumn of 2011 subject to the decision on the single vetting provider across government
  • 70 Information Services posts to be transferred into DBS on 1st July 2011
  • Initially those functions going into DBS should each retain their own existing MoD (usually civil service) management who will look to identify savings and efficiencies between functions and review long term strategies including opportunities for outsourcing of any of the constituent elements
  • Consider bringing in an outside management company to carry out the future management role selecting any such management company on the basis of their track record in these areas; therefore, in parallel with this consultation the MoD intends to explore the option to bring in outside management expertise
  • The cost of the DBS would be in the order of £2M per year against which the department hopes to generate a saving of £62M per annum by April 2014 – 1600 posts - though cuts. The department is also anticipating additional savings of £13M or 20% of the cost of functions in the DBS – an additional 400 posts.
  • The department is anticipating it will be able to reduce the net cost of providing corporate services by around £73M per annum in total and save around 2000 posts from the department’s 2011 establishment. This will be achieved through our members losing their jobs.

In the current climate of cuts across government the brigading of corporate functions might reduce the risk of salami slicing that is the usual process in the MOD of achieving savings; however, the consultation document does not detail how current levels of corporate function services will be maintained.


It is clear that the proposals to stand up the DBS are about cuts and PCS is incensed that the MoD believes its civil servants are unable to provide value for money and needs to consider bringing in the private sector to run the DBS at its highest levels.


This can only give the private sector a foot in the door and further increase the risk of privatisation.


Our bargaining agenda includes:


  • Opposition to job losses and reductions in current services
  • Post Mapping must be in accordance with the departmental agreement
  • Compulsory redundancies and enforced moves are unacceptable
  • Opposition to the bring in any private sector company to manage the DBS
  • There must be an in-house option
  • Information to ensure meaningful consultation must be provided by the MoD
  • No members should be placed in a double jeopardy situation with TLB’s and DBS taking savings from the same resource base line

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