The Defence Operating Board (Transformation) leads and governs the transformation activity of the project portfolio. The board meets at least once a week and is chaired jointly by the Second Permanent Under Secretary and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. The Director General Finance is the other permanent member of the board and the Director General Transformation and Corporate Strategy also attends regularly. The board is supported by the Defence Transformation Unit. The board manages those developing and delivering the programmes and holds to account the Senior Responsible Owners delivering them. The board also reviews portfolio-wide risks, issues and dependencies, efficiency and wider transformation business.
A Senior Responsible Owner is nominated for each transformation programme, with those for Tier One programmes being formally appointed by the Permanent Under Secretary and made accountable to the Defence Board. So far the Department has identified 31 Senior Responsible Owners (some of whom are responsible for more than one programme) to manage 35 of the 37 programmes within the Transformation Portfolio. The remaining two programmes have not yet had a Senior Responsible Owner identified as they are still in the planning phase. Many of the Senior Responsible Owners have additional duties alongside managing the transformation programmes.
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The Ministry of Defence (the Department) has a poor track record of making realistic plans and effectively using its resources (illustrative findings from previous Committee of Public Accounts and National Audit Office reports are set out in Appendix One). The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review and Lord Levene’s 2011 report on ‘Defence Reform’ have identified the key underlying reasons for poor performance and recommended how the Department can address them. The Department is in the early stages of implementing these recommendations.