The news provides a successful culmination to Prospect’s campaign against the threatened privatisation of this sensitive area, which, the union had argued, would have had severe implications for national and international security.
Prospect Negotiations Officer Garry Graham said: "We very much welcome the decision by ministers not to proceed with privatisation as their decision is a victory for common sense. The Export Control Organisation is universally recognised as a world leader in its field and is fundamental to national and international security. The key challenge now is to ensure that the necessary investment continues to be made in this area in terms of IT and staffing, which will allow it to maintain its pre-eminent role."
Representatives from Prospect and the other civil service unions met with Secretary of State Alan Johnson last month to raise their deep-seated concerns over any move to privatise arms export licensing. Their concerns were echoed by many MPs, resulting in an early day motion that expressed alarm over the prospect of the Export Control Organisation’s sale.