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Report: US Concerned Over UK’s Defense Acquisition Outsourcing Plan

PentagonThe U.K. Ministry of Defense is considering outsourcing its procurement and support operations management as part of efforts to revamp its defense equipment and support operation, which manages nearly $21.4 billion in acquisitions per year, Defense News reported Monday.

According to the report, the U.S. Defense Department believes the U.K.’s plans to choose a contractor to manage acquisitions by mid 2014 could enable third parties to access sensitive information the two governments traditionally manage.

Philip Dunne, Britain’s minister for defense equipment, support and technology, said the U.K. has previously handled the government-owned, contractor-operated framework covering sensitive data through an atomic weapons establishment group responsible for maintaining warheads intended for trident submarine-launched nuclear missiles.

“We do have some concerns over an option that would put contractors in roles normally filled by government employees and the effects this would have on ongoing and future cooperation,” said U.S. Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan, a spokesperson for Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.

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