QinetiQ, an international provider of technology-based solutions and services, today confirms the creation of a new role of Group Safety Director, reflecting the recommendations of Sir Robert Nelson's independent review of the findings of the Haddon-Cave Report into the loss of Nimrod XV 230 as they apply to QinetiQ.
The Board of QinetiQ Group plc asked Sir Robert Nelson QC, a former High Court Judge, to carry out the formal investigation in November 2009 following the publication of the Haddon-Cave Report dated 28 October 2009 into the loss of the RAF Nimrod MR2 Aircraft XV230 in Afghanistan in 2006.
Sir Robert’s task was essentially twofold:
- to look back and analyse the criticisms made of QinetiQ in the Haddon-Cave Report and assess their weight and depth to enable the Company to know what steps needed to be taken to avoid such failings; and
- to look to the future, in order to learn the lessons and more generally assess how QinetiQ’s systems might be improved in order to ensure the required independence and effectiveness in the delivery of its safety related work.
In his investigation Sir Robert considered the Haddon-Cave Review, many of the documents referred to in it, and took evidence from witnesses who are, or were, employees of QinetiQ. He did not have available any of the statements or evidence from the other parties nor did he take evidence from them.
Sir Robert recognises that substantial improvements have occurred in the business since 2004, but recommends that further changes are implemented and that the improvements which have been made to date are consolidated. He recommends that a Group Safety Director is appointed, responsible for establishing a revised safety framework within which QinetiQ will operate.
Sir Robert has also made a number of specific recommendations for consideration by the newly appointed Group Safety Director including the appointment of an advisory council and the simplification of the competency framework.
Welcoming the report, QinetiQ Chairman Mark Elliott said:
"The Board would like to thank Sir Robert Nelson for his clear and frank report which adds further impetus to our own analysis of the Haddon-Cave Report. The QinetiQ Board believed that by appointing an independent third party, an important fresh insight and perspective would be brought to our own internal review. I am pleased that Sir Robert’s recommendations do exactly this.
"We were determined to learn the lessons from these tragic events and we take onboard Sir Robert's principal findings. Whilst he has identified that since 2004 QinetiQ has already made substantial improvements in the way it operates, we recognise that further enhancements are required and will adopt his recommendation to appoint a Group Safety Director. The Group Safety Director will then work through the additional recommendations.
"QinetiQ has a long established heritage and track record in airworthiness and safety and we will ensure through our actions, processes, procedures and people that we are able to reinforce our credentials in this crucially important field."
Notes to Editors
Sir Robert Nelson QC – biography
Educated at St John's College Cambridge, Sir Robert was called to the Bar in 1965, made a QC in 1985, and was a High Court Judge in the Queen's Bench Division from 1996 to 2008. As a High Court Judge, Sir Robert decided a variety of issues including contract, negligence and commercial cases.
A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ is a leading international provider of technology-based services and solutions to the defence, security and related markets. QinetiQ develops and delivers services and solutions for government organisations, predominantly in the UK and US, including defence departments, intelligence services and security agencies. In addition, it provides technology insertion and consultancy services to commercial and industrial customers around the world. With over 14,000 employees, QinetiQ operates principally in the UK and North America.