wining and dining in preparation for weapons sales – BAE Systems largest weapons manufacturer in the world
Revealed: how BAE Systems wined and dined MoD top brass 52 times
Papers show arms giant’s largesse to senior officers as firm beat rivals fivefold for hospitality over 3 years
Sunday 22 August 2010
by Rob Evans
The close ties between the upper echelons of the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest arms company, have come under the spotlight after new documents showed how the multinational firm has regularly wined and dined mandarins and senior military officers.
BAE took top defence officials and military officers out to eat and drink 52 times over a three-year period, according to the documents. Nearly half of the hospitality was given to the head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy.
The firm is billed as the most assiduous in courting the MoD by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not-for-profit organisation based at City University, London. Using records disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, the bureau calculated that BAE took out the ministry’s top people nearly five times more than its commercial competitors, Thales and Boeing, between January 2007 and December 2009.
The relationship between the ministry and BAE has frequently been criticised for being too cosy, allowing the corporate giant to wield influence over the government through its privileged access. It has been disclosed that the ministry has given security passes to many BAE employees, including its chief lobbyist, permitting them to go in and out of the department’s headquarters as they wish.
Note: Sir Bill Jeffery, attended the following functions according to a list of hospitatility given to board members in British Government between January 1 and Decemeber 31st, 2007 prepared by the Cabinet Office in accordance with civil service codes. Sir Bill Jeffery will be leaving his position as top of MoD’s office.
29 January – Smiths Group – Lunch
5 February – Rothschild – Lunch
5 February – UK Defence – Forum Guest Speaker and dinner
16 February – Defence Manufacturers Association – Annual Reception
5 May – Babcock International Group – Army, Navy Rugby Match and Lunch
30 May – McKinsey – Dinner
4 June – Pricewaterhouse Coopers – Lunch
13 June – Lockheed Martin Holdings UK – Dinner
4 July – Atlantic Partnership – Breakfast Meeting
10 July – Whitehead Mann – In-house Lunch
6 September – Society of British Aerospace Companies – Annual Dinner
10 September – British-American Business Council – Lunch
11 September – PA Consulting – Lunch
11 September – Cohen Group – Dinner
1 October – UBS – Lunch
2 October – First Division Association – Lunch
8 October – Defence Strategy Solutions – Lunch
15 October – Royal Institute for Inter. Affairs – Dinner
1 November – Soldiers, Sailors Family Association Defence Industry – Dinner
15 November – Former Vice Chief Defence Staff – Lunch
28 November – Armed Forces’ Parliamentary Scheme – Buffet Supper