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Royal Ordnance Factories

Volume 31: debated on Thursday 4 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to make any changes to the management of the Royal ordnance factories.

I am pleased to be able to announce that Mr. F. Clarke, who until recently was a director and general manager of IBM(UK), has today taken up a new appointment as chairman and chief executive of the Royal ordnance factories for a period of two years in the first instance. In this post Mr. Clarke will be responsible for planning and supervising the development of the ROFs into a free-standing commercial organisation, and for directing and expanding the business of the ROFs both within the United Kingdom and abroad. He will act as accounting officer to Parliament while the business of the ROFs is still managed under a trading fund.In his new post Mr. Clarke will assume the chairmanship of the ROF board from my noble friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement who will continue to exercise day-to-day ministerial responsibility for the ROFs.I see this appointment as an important step in the process of changing the status of the ROFs in order to enable their business to be developed further for the benefit of the country and the employees of the ROFs.