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2017 Annual Report item 20 - No good value for money provided by Armed Forces aircraft maintenance cooperation arrangements

The Federal Ministry of Defence did not assess whether the joint maintenance of some types of helicopters and airplanes carried out by the Federal Armed Forces and companies provided the expected benefits and good value for money. Such cooperation arrangements have existed for more than a decade. The Federal Armed Forces did not reasonably deploy their military personnel in the cooperation arrangements and thus could only develop and maintain the skills needed to a limited extent.
Dec 12, 2017

The Federal Armed Forces cooperate with companies in servicing, inspecting, repairing and improving (maintaining) the Tornado and Eurofighter combat aircraft and the UH Tiger and NH 90 helicopters. In these cooperation arrangements, military personnel perform maintenance work under the guidance of companies. By doing so, the Federal Armed Forces seek to identify and remove damage to helicopters and airplanes to a large extent on their own, in particular in missions abroad. Furthermore, they intend to be able to better identify and assess what is needed for operating and further developing the helicopters and airplanes.

Some cooperation arrangements have existed for more than a decade and are of increasing importance for the Federal Armed Forces. Nevertheless, the Federal Armed Forces failed to check whether the cooperation arrangements served to meet their targets. Thus, the Federal Ministry of Defence lacks key data for measuring the performance of cooperation arrangements and for developing them.

The Federal Armed Forces did not define the tasks their personnel were expected to perform in detail in order to build and maintain the skills needed for the maintenance. They did not always provide cooperation arrangements with appropriate military personnel. As a result, the Federal Armed Forces did not fully contribute to the maintenance work and could build and maintain the skills needed to a limited extent only.

The Federal Ministry of Defence admitted that it did not fully check the joint work for their benefits and efficiency. Even though the Ministry announced to have the benefits and efficiency of individual cooperative efforts checked, it had not submitted any results so far. The Ministry confirmed that the cooperation schemes were not always appropriately staffed. However, it did not believe target achievement to be jeopardised.

We expect the Federal Ministry of Defence to promptly develop consistent principles and criteria to measure performance of cooperation arrangements. On this basis, the Federal Armed Forces is expected to check the benefits and efficiency of cooperation arrangements. Moreover, the Federal Ministry of Defence needs to ensure that the Federal Armed Forces organise cooperation arrangements as required and provide adequate staffing.

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