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Bernard Gray has been appointed as the MOD's Chief of Defence Materiel, leading on the delivery of all aspects of the Defence Equipment and Support Plan. This includes responsibility for MOD assets worth £104Billion and an annual operating budget of £13Billion.
Bernard Gray replaces General Sir Kevin O'Donoghue who has been in the post since its creation in April 2007 and is retiring. Bernard Gray will take up his 4 year appointment on 4 January 2011.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr. Liam Fox said:
"Bernard Gray is without question the best man for this hugely demanding post at a uniquely challenging time. He brings to it deep knowledge and experience of defence generally, defence procurement specifically, of the
Whitehall machine and the commercial world.
"Unlike many others who talk about the problems facing defence procurement, he talks about solutions. He will provide clear direction and leadership to DE&S during the very challenging time ahead and will be a huge asset to the Defence Board and the civilian leadership team in Defence."
In a message to MOD staff, Bernard Gray said:
"It is a great privilege to be asked to lead this key component of our defence effort, and to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated and vital group of people. The work we do is extremely important, and that is why I have accepted the invitation to take on this role."
In 2009, Bernard Gray was commissioned to carry out a review of the MOD's procurement process and to suggest further recommendations for how the Department could improve the purchase and delivery of equipment. The MoD
accepted the report's two main themes: a need to bring equipment plans into line with likely available resources; and a need to improve equipment programme planning, management and delivery.
The Chief of Defence Materiel role attracted a strong field of both internal and external candidates who were keen to accept the challenges of this key public sector role. Recruitment for the role took place in
accordance with the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Principles.