Organisations and agencies
NATO Agencies are an essential part of NATO and constitute a vital mechanism for procuring and sustaining capabilities collectively. They are executive bodies of their respective NATO procurement, logistics or service organisations, and operate under North Atlantic Council-approved charters.
The NATO Agencies are established to meet collective requirements of some or all Allies in the field of procurement, logistics and other forms of services, support or cooperation.
Although NATO Organisations and Agencies are autonomous, they are required to follow the terms set out in their charters.
The NATO Agencies reform activity is part of an ongoing NATO reform process, which is also examining changes to the military command structure. The reform aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of capabilities and services, to achieve greater synergy between similar functions and to increase transparency and accountability.
At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to reform the 14 existing NATO Agencies, located in seven member countries. In particular, Allies agreed to streamline the agencies into three major programmatic themes: procurement, support and communications and information.
In July 2012, a major milestone was reached, with the creation of four new NATO Organisations, assuming the functions and responsibilities of existing agencies. The reform has been implemented through several phases, to incrementally achieve increased effectiveness, efficiency and cost savings, while preserving capability and service delivery.
NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), with headquarters in Brussels, providing NATO-wide IT services, procurement and support in areas such as Command and Control Systems, Tactical and Strategic Communications and Cyber Defence Systems.
NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), with headquarters in Capellen, Luxembourg, providing responsive, effective and cost-efficient acquisition, including armaments procurement; logistics; operational and systems support and services to the Allies, NATO Military Authorities and partner nations.
The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) is to include a Programme Office for Collaborative Science and Technology and a Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation. The STO is headed by a Chief Scientist, based in Brussels, who serves as a NATO-wide senior scientific advisor.
The NATO Standardization Office (NSO), with headquarters in Brussels, provides support and administers standardization activities under the authority of the Committee for Standardization (CS). The NSO also reports to the Military Committee for operational standardization.