BBC Radio 5 live broadcast a special feature this morning on the increase in 'green on blue' attacks in Afghanistan in which the MOD said that the increase is not down to a co-ordinated effort by insurgents. | The Times reports that an Afghan policeman wounded at least two foreign soldiers when he opened fire on NATO troops. | The Daily Mirror reports that SAS troops helped smash a suicide bomb plot against the Afghan Government in a midnight raid on a terror hideout. | The Independent's front page claims that the Defence Secretary believes that G4S's failure to provide enough Olympics security guards has taught ministers that private firms are unsuited to providing many public services. | The Independent has also published an interview with the Defence Secretary on a wide range of defence issues but significantly on the role of the Armed Forces during the Olympics. | The Guardian has given a front page splash to an interview with Wing Commander Peter Daulby on the logistics of the Olympic Games. | The Times reports that nearly 90,000 Olympics volunteers are to be given commemorative batons. Armed Forces personnel will be given commemorative coins. | The Sun reports that a former SAS officer, Nigel Ely, has blasted the police for wasting public money investigating him following his bringing back of part of a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein from Iraq. | The Financial Times' front page carries a story that alleges that senior EADS executives were alerted five years ago to questionable payments made to Cayman Islands bank accounts and lavish gifts given to the Saudi Arabian royal family and military by British subsidiary GPT that are now the subject of a criminal probe by the Serious Fraud Office. These payments were allegedly part of a government-to-government programme in which GPT's payments were processed by the Ministry of Defence, GPT's sole customer. | The Daily Express has published a profile piece on Prince Harry including details of his time spent in the Army, how it has given him focus and 'has been the making of him'.
Defence Secretary misquote 'G4S proves we can't always rely on private sector'
The front page of today's Independent reads 'G4S proves we can't always rely on private sector, admits minister', following an interview with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.
However, the Secretary of State did not say this to the Independent. In fact, Mr Hammond said: "I still think that, in general, there's a lot that the public sector still has to learn from the way the private sector does things."
The Defence Secretary also made clear in the full interview that he agreed with Bernard Gray - the Chief of Defence Materiel at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) - who recently wrote in a national newspaper that the private sector should play a greater role in defence procurement.
Mr Hammond told the Independent: "There is definitely a role for a more commercially focused edge in things like procurement. There's also a role for military personnel in DE&S. It isn't an either/or; it's about getting the mix right."
This autumn we will be bringing forward proposals to introduce greater commercial skills into the MOD's procurement system.
It is obvious that there are differences in the way in which the private sector (G4S) and the military have approached the handling of the Olympics and the Defence Secretary explained in the interview that they use two different models when approaching challenges. Below is a transcript of some of what he said during the interview:
"I came into MOD from a private sector background, never having been in Government before except for my stint in Transport, with a starting prejudice that we have to look at the way the private sector does things to know how we should do things in Government.
"And I still think that, in general, there's a lot that the public sector still has to learn from the way the private sector does things. But, the story of G4S and the military rescue is quite informative because as two models of how to approach a problem you could not get two greater extremes than the G4S model and the military model. The G4S model says here is a cost envelope within which I have to deliver an outcome and therefore I have to do it incredibly leanly.
"I have to do it with very little resilience. So G4S were literally hiring people and expecting to deploy them three days later, into a live situation; trying to build up a management structure overnight, at the beginning of the operation. A very lean structure, with lots of dependence on self-motivation by the people in the workforce; scheduling their own shifts, for example, by accessing an internet site.
"The military comes at it from the exact opposite extreme. What's the job that needs to be done; okay, we'll do it. Whatever it takes we'll pour in.
"And that's the way the military works. And that's why everything has operated so smoothly.
"You can't look at a warship and say how can I bring a lean management model to this, necessarily, because it's doing different things and with levels of resilience that are not generally required in the private sector."
Armed Forces recovery from Games legacy
Today's Guardian reports comments made by Wing Commander Peter Daulby, a military planner who was involved in preparations for Olympics security operations. His comments are interpreted as suggesting that the Armed Forces will take two years to recover from their commitment to the Games.
The defence contribution to the Olympics was always planned to avoid any impact on existing commitments. So, while some individual training and leave has had to be rescheduled, this has been carefully managed and there has been no impact on operations, including the ongoing mission in Afghanistan.
Given the scale and importance of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - a once-in-a-generation event for the people of this country - it is right that all across government play a part in ensuring the success of the Games. This includes the Armed Forces who have done a fantastic job while continuing to deliver on other standing tasks and duties.