The NATO Communications and Information Agency, and the NATO Support and Procurement Agency have signed a Partnership Agreement enabling increased cooperation and mutual support between both Agencies to better serve NATO and its Member Nations.
The Partnership Agreement enhances and formalizes the working relationship between the two Agencies to further improve cooperation between the NATO Support and Procurament Organization (NSPO) and the NATO Communications and Information Organization (NCIO) in the best interests of NATO as a whole. It allows the two Agencies to draw on each other's expertise and capabilities to provide an optimum-level of service to their customers.
The Partnership Agreement was signed in July 2016 by the former NSPA General Manager, Mike Lyden.
At the ceremony, Mr Lyden paid tribute to his counterpart from the NCI Agency, Koen Gijsbers: "I would like to thank you and our respective staffs for working together to become one team with one mission".
"With this new agreement we ensure that this partnership continues when you and I leave."
MGEN (rtd) Koen Gijsbers, General Manager of the NCI Agency, noted that the cooperation between the two Agencies had progressed significantly, and the new agreement "appreciates that we've moved – and that getting to this stage is important" as it builds on the existing partnership which has existed between the two Agencies since their inception.
The agreement is in keeping with the NATO Agency Reform Initiative, focusing on efficiency and preventing duplication of functions. Each Agency is recognized for its prime expertise and responsibilities (as outlined in the partnership principles). The Agreement provides the mechanisms for both Agencies to rapidly exchange services between each other, and to cooperate in order to provide more effective support.
The Agreement respects the charters of both the NSPO and NCIO, but captures a simple and pragmatic way to work together which reflects the different organizations, different rules and regulations and different Agency Supervisory Boards (ASBs) that influence both. The legal teams of both Agencies developed a clear but innovative solution to the complex issue of liability.
The agreement builds on the partnership principles agreed by the two Agencies in 2013, and puts in place an updated mechanism for them to support each other and their customers. It supersedes the agreement between NAMSA, NC3A and NCSA, three former NATO agencies which were reformed into NSPA and NCI Agency in 2012.
The partnership agreement places the following general responsibilities on staff, to:
- Collaborate as Partners and as NATO staff in a spirit of trust, openness, full transparency and cooperation with respect of each other's roles;
- Coordinate to avoid duplication of effort making maximum use of synergies;
- Develop the Service Level Agreement (SLA) jointly when relying on cross-Agency functions, before starting the service support;
- Maintain frequent and timely communication between them at the appropriate levels, as further defined;
- Strive continuously to improve the Participants' joint efforts to deliver the best possible output to the Alliance and other Customers;
- Seek to resolve all matters in a collegial manner in view of continuously enhancing the relationship between the Participants.
The signing of the Partnership Agreement by the Mr Lyden, General Manager of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency and MGEN (rtd) Gijsbers, General Manager of the NATO Communications and Information Agency adds another chapter in the partnership for NATO's largest Agencies to "work together, build trust, and do what's best for NATO".