MoD to cut 2,000 civilian jobs in corporate services

Ministry of Defence sign in Whitehall The cuts form part of civilian job losses announced in the strategic defence review last year

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The MoD will cut about 2,000 civilian jobs in corporate services by 2014, Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said.

In a written statement to MPs, Dr Fox announced plans for a new Defence Business Services organisation.

The body would deliver services such as human resources and finance for the whole of the Ministry of Defence, saving £73m a year, he said.

The move forms part of civilian job losses set out in the strategic defence and security review last October.

'Significant contribution'

Dr Fox said: "Defence Business Services will deliver corporate services - human resources, finance, information, commercial and vetting - from a single structure to all areas of the department.

"This new single organisation will allow us to provide high quality professional services more efficiently and with fewer civil servants."

The defence secretary said the MoD was exploring the option of bringing in "outside professional management expertise" to lead and direct the new organisation.

He added: "By making these changes we expect to reduce the overall civilian workforce by about 2,000 corporate services posts with a net saving of £73m per annum by 2014.

"This will make a significant contribution to the civilian staff reductions set out last October in the strategic defence and security review."

'More changes'

The defence review outlined plans to cut 25,000 civilian personnel by 2015.

Last month it was announced that Defence Estates, which is responsible for 2,400 hectares of MoD land and its buildings, would be replaced by a new Defence Infrastructure Organisation, with the loss of 2,500 jobs over three years.

Dr Fox said: "Along with the creation of a new Defence Infrastructure Organisation, the corporate services reforms are the first changes arising out of the work of the Defence Reform Unit chaired by Lord Levene on restructuring the department.

"There will be more such changes as we receive and consider further proposals."

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