OSLO, Norway, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A new agency for defense sector materiel has been created by the Norwegian government.
The agency, named Forsvarsmateriell, came into being at the first of the year and is directly subordinate to the Ministry of Defense.
"Forsvarsmateriell's foremost mission and raison d'être is to support the Armed Forces and the country's defense capability," said Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide at the official opening. "Ultimately, it's all about helping to deliver operational capability -- as it is throughout the sector."
The Ministry of Defense said the new agency has about 1,300 employees and will manage nearly a quarter of the defense budget as it plans, procures and manages materials for the defense sector.
"The government and I have high expectations of Forsvarsmateriell. The purpose of its establishment is to achieve a more efficient investment process with better continuity and a shorter completion time for projects, as well as shorter and more efficient control lines," the minister said. "When we sit with a bird's eye perspective, we can see how strategically important this field is for the development of defense capabilities.
"It is also a big point for me that materials management must have high-quality management of the allocated resources. Establishment of Forsvarsmateriell was done by transferring of divisions, investment staff and part of the staff of the Defense Logistics Organization."