With two NEDs due to reach the end of their appointment terms this year, the Chair wishes to ensure Board continuity and manage the effect of NEDs departing within a similar time frame. DE&S are seeking to recruit two NEDs in the near term; one with particular experience of Systems and Digital and an Audit and Risk Committee (ARAC) Chair. NEDs will be hired on an initial three year term based on a time commitment of 24 days per year
Introduction from the Chair
Thank you for your interest in the role of a Non-Executive Director on the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Board.
DE&S is a vital arm’s length body of the Ministry of Defence, with responsibility for equipment procurement and support across all the UK’s armed forces. The outputs of the organisation enable the UK’s armed forces to succeed in their efforts on behalf of the nation and are key in the delivery of the overall defence mission.
Our Board plays a key role in the governance of DE&S, providing strategic advice and direction to the organisation and its executive team. The Board and its sub-committees also provide assurance on behalf of the Ministry of Defence that the organisation is well run and meets the requirements of Government, particularly the stewardship of public funds. The DE&S Board is made up of talented individuals from a variety of backgrounds who all have in common a keen interest in improving the organisation across all levels and areas.
Our organisation has a key role to play in delivering the Government’s response to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Increasingly, we need to harness cutting-edge technology and ensure that it works as it should every time; lives depend on this. The pace of technological change is accelerating and the forthcoming activities in our Digital Strategy will upskill our people and introduce new digital techniques to the organisation. As the war in Ukraine has highlighted, our relationships with our clients, industry and international partners are fundamental to the success of UK defence.
DE&S employs some 11,000 people, many of which are based at our headquarters in Bristol. We also have sites throughout the UK and others around the world. The organisational and individual efforts to professionalise our workforce are paying dividends for the successful delivery of our projects.
If you are excited about the opportunity to be part of a critical Government body and at the forefront of the UK’s defence equipment programme, I encourage you to apply for one of these roles.
Chair, Defence Equipment & Support
Systems and Digital NED
The Board is collectively responsible for the oversight of the operation of DE&S, with
emphasis on its strategic direction, management control, and corporate governance. All
NEDs are expected to contribute substantially to decisions covering the strategy for the
organisation and the overall direction of the business, adding value by offering wise
counsel, advice and challenge.
General information about the role of NEDs in Government is provided in the Corporate
governance in central government departments: code of good practice and guidance.
Broadly, NEDs are expected to contribute to the work of Departments in the following areas:
- Independence: provide independent support, guidance and challenge on the progress and implementation of the business plan.
- Strategy: constructively challenge and contribute to the development of strategy and business planning, including the setting and development of key objectives and targets.
- Performance: scrutinise the performance of the organisation in meeting agreed goals and objectives, and monitor the reporting of performance, including financial targets.
- People: develop and encourage appropriate behaviours to maintain or improve the departmental people strategy, including ethical and directional issues such as diversity and senior jobholder moves.
- Governance: satisfy that governance, internal control and risk management systems are effective and capable of delivering relevant, accurate and timely management and financial information to the Board.
- Support: the Board in developing skills and tools to help it engage with strategic issues in ways which have practical resonance.
- Connect: the Board to people and organisations who can provide different perspectives, opinions and expertise which will assist in furthering the business of the Department.
- Specialist Responsibility: underpin, support and specialise in the area of accelerated digital solutions, supplementing skills and experience already in place within the DE&S executive and Board.
ARAC Chair NED
The ARAC Chair will Act as the independent non-executive chair for the audit & risk
assurance committee (‘ARAC’) and report key findings and recommendations to the board,
which will include:
- Providing assistance and guidance to the Finance Director in forming key judgements required in preparation of the annual accounts.
- Oversee the process for approval of the annual audited accounts by direct engagement with the audit partner.
- Report key audit findings and recommendations made by DE&S’ auditors (the National Audit Office) to the board following engagement with the audit team.
- Oversee systems of internal financial control and make recommendations for improvement as appropriate.
- Provide approval of financial transactions required by the ARAC terms of reference.
- Develop a positive and constructive working relationship with the executive team and provide coaching to the Finance Director as appropriate.
The Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), with responsibility for equipping and supporting the UK’s armed forces. It manages a vast range of complex projects to buy the equipment and support services that the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force need to operate effectively. It procures around £14bn of equipment and support per annum and has an operating budget of £1 billion.
DE&S delivers some of the most complex projects and programmes in the world. This often involves the use of innovative technologies, sophisticated supply chains and a mix of market sourcing strategies and outputs. It works closely with industry, in the UK and overseas, including through partnering agreements and private finance initiatives.
DE&S employs around 11,000 people - both civilian and military - who are employed across 11 professional functions including project management, project controls, engineering, finance, logistics and contracting. The organisation has locations around the UK and abroad, with its main headquarters in Bristol.
- On behalf of its customers, DE&S is responsible for:
- The procurement and continuing support of ships, aircraft, vehicles, weapons and supporting services.
- Delivering other general requirements including food, clothing, medical supplies and temporary accommodation.
- Decommissioning and disposal when equipment reaches the end of its service life.
The DE&S Board is currently comprised as follows:
- Independent, Non-Executive, Chair
- Six independent Non-Executive Directors
- An MOD Non-Executive Director
- DE&S Chief Executive Officer
- DE&S Chief Financial Officer
- Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Military Capability)
Other senior Executives may be invited to attend the Board for specific agenda items as required where they are not members of the Board.