Defence Business Services

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Defence Business Services (DBS) is one of the largest ‘Shared Services Centres’ in Europe and was initially set up to deliver Corporate HR, Payroll, Finance, Vetting and Information Services across the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The creation of DBS was a result of Lord Levene’s Defence Reform Report published in 2011 and the Grimstone review within Defence. DBS’s aim was to deliver Corporate Services across MOD more efficiently.

DBS is an organisation within the UK Government's Ministry of Defence with management outsourced to Serco until 1 April 2016 and is responsible for providing high quality and professional corporate services to the department. It was established on 4 July 2011 by bringing together several MOD executive agencies, later supplemented by a further merger with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, into the following ‘Pillars’ within DBS.

  • DBS Civilian Personnel provides a full range of civilian human resources and pay services to Defence, its civilian staff and their managers. These services are also available in whole or part to other customers on repayment. DBS Civilian HR enables managers in Defence to manage their staff and enables staff to get their entitlements and manage their terms of employment through a range of services: is responsible for providing HR services to MOD employees. It manages payroll for 52K Ministry of Defence civil servants and providing career-related guidance for 40K civilian personnel. It joined DBS on 1 July 2011 and was formerly the People, Pay and Pensions Agency.
  • DBS Finance provides expert information, advice and services to and on behalf of MOD business areas. It is responsible for payments to MOD suppliers totalling more than £27 billion a year, and for recovering £2 billion of receipts in respect of MOD invoices. It also generates the associated accruals, debtors, and creditors in the Departmental Financial Management System and accounts for MOD’s fixed assets valued at approximately £102 million. With a focus on central transaction processing, DBS Finance is leading the simplification of financial processes, allowing MOD to concentrate on value added activities:. It joined DBS on 1 July 2011 and was formerly the Financial Management Shared Service Centre.
  • DBS Knowledge and Information DBS Knowledge and Information (K&I) provides Management Information (MI) and data management services, long-term storage and management of records, and library and web services to a range of customers within the Ministry of Defence as well as to other government departments. K&I is responsible for managing the MOD’s archives in accordance with the Public Records Acts. This includes the selection, review and physical transfer of records to The National Archives. It joined DBS on 1 July 2011 and includes the Information Coherence Authority for Defence (ICAD).[1]
  • DBS Military Personnel is responsible for providing HR services to the UK’s Armed Forces personnel and oversees the Joint Personnel Administration HR IT System. It processes pay, pensions and allowances for 200K military personnel. The Ministry of Defence Medal Office part of DBS Military Personnel is the sole authority for issuing medals authorised by Her Majesty. Military Personnel also manages the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC)which is responsible for the management of military casualty and compassionate cases, including overseeing the informing of Next of Kin 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, The JCCC also conducts commemorative funerals where British remains are found on historical battlefields and aircraft crash sites. DBS Military Personnel joined DBS on 1 April 2014 and was formerly part of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.
  • DBS National Security Vetting DBS National Security Vetting (NSV) is the UK’s largest government organisation carrying out security vetting and the only government organisation whose core business is NSV. Within the defence community it provides vetting services through direct financing to the Armed Services, MOD civil service and defence contractors. It also delivers a range of NSV services on a repayment basis to customers across the public sector. It has more repayment customers than any other UK NSV organisation and this number is increasing. Its customers are provided with assurances ranging from site admission, unrestricted access and access to material classified up to Top Secret. As the biggest provider of security vetting to government, DBS NSV handles 80% of all government security clearances (circa 135K p.a.). It serves not only MOD but also 84 non-MOD departments and organisations. It joined DBS on 1 October 2011 and was formerly the Defence Vetting Agency.
  • Veterans UK is responsible for the administration and delivery of the Armed Forces pension and injury/bereavement compensation schemes, including the War Pension Scheme. Veterans UK directly supports over 500k Veterans and dependants including caring for over 90 Polish veterans in the Ilford Park Polish Home, established to meet a promise made by Winston Churchill during World War II. It works with the charity sector to provide joined up services for customers and delivers the UK’s Veterans Helpline service (0808 1914 2 18). Veterans UK’s Veterans Welfare Service provides in the home welfare visits to 9,800 veterans and their families each year and also provides dedicated welfare advice over the telephone. It joined DBS on 1 April 2014 and was formerly part of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.


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