2 Serviceman for Each Snivel Serpant

#1
From this mornings Telegraph

Link

Seem there is some outrage that there or two servicemen for each civil servant. Now casting my mind back a few years the Gobment had a policy of making 'None Operational' posts civilian as it was 'cost effective' ie an E1 Civilian Clerk gets paid around half of what an AGC one does. A civi Driver costs less than an RLC one. The list can go on and on. Seems the plan will be to cut 10,000 posts and replace them with what? Contractors? Because sure is eggs they won't increase the size of the Armed Forces to cover the jobs cut.
 
#2
I'm being transfered from MOD Contractor into the MOD CS in January.

Reason why? I will be cheaper to employ.

Go figure! 8O
 
#3
Its a line that has been doing the rounds for some time - sure on paper it looks like there are 87.500 office workers sitting in whitehall doing sweet FA.

The problem is, that when you start breaking it down, you realise this figure includes just about every possible job going in the MOD done by civvies. This includes canteen workers, nursery assistants, armourers, deckhands, surveyors, stewards, laborourers, dockyard workers, engineers, rocket scientists, admin clerks and so on. The mythical "Sir Humphrey" style CS is a tiny fraction of this - barely 2000 posts in London at all levels.

Its all very well cutting them, but the question is what do you no longer want to do in Defence as a result of this?
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#4
Which two can I have then? Can I have a couple of Loggie birds instead of two guardsmen?
 
#5
jim30 said:
Its a line that has been doing the rounds for some time - sure on paper it looks like there are 87.500 office workers sitting in whitehall doing sweet FA............Its all very well cutting them, but the question is what do you no longer want to do in Defence as a result of this?
I'd make a start by looking at the output of many Departments compared to their size. Overblown processes and outdated working practises, double-handling and general ineptitude.....

A good recent example is the process we go through for CRB checks. It regularly takes months to move the paperwork around within MoD - but the civvy organisation that does CRB here in Scotland turn their bit around in 10 days. The rest of the delay is in nonsense like the section of APC in Glasgow that handles clearances having to ask another section of the Defence Vetting Agency to actually request the check, then wait while the paperwork goes to Liverpool and finally back to Glasgow. Nothing added, at least 10 days wasted ?

Another is the complete nonsense of having to request land-clearance for activities that we can all do quite legally as citizens - Hillwalking on public Rights of Way for example. Ask Bde for permission to contact the landowner, take a day out to visit the landowner, get them to fill in a form thats effectively a formal contract and return it to Bde - 6 weeks notice required, letters copied to the Police, G2 branch in the loop, more letters produced if you then cancel the activity.... Fine for a "green" exercise with weapons etc - but for a simple hillwalk a total waste of effort, doing SFA except add cost and reduce the urge to do any AT at all while p*ssing off landowners who see identical activity conducted by the Scouts, Boys Brigade and DoE groups conducted with at most a phonecall.

My personal view is that with a cold hard look at what we do, why and with whom we could significantly reduce the amount of non-productive work done. How the CoC decide to reallocate the resource is up to them.

Bottom line is that we have a huge admin tail compared to the effect delivered. ( Or better yet, the effect required !)
 
#6
saladin said:
jim30 said:
My personal view is that with a cold hard look at what we do, why and with whom we could significantly reduce the amount of non-productive work done. How the CoC decide to reallocate the resource is up to them.
If we're going to look at the CS can we look at those uniforms that have hidden themselves away in the corners of the MoD, holding down £60/65K jobs with little to no outputs?

We all know where they are and yet they get away with it year in year out.

MWA
 
#7
Saladin

I completely agree with your points about the banality of life in the Regional Forces. Having seen how RF work, I am convinced that the Army RF structure could be disbanded, with very little impact on force generation and operational effectiveness. It was an area where petty people (both civvy and military) led lives where they genuinely believed they were the most important thing since sliced bread, and would get very irate if you didnt play by their rules (vols 1 - 685834).

Scrap RF Bde structures, scrap whole swathes of mid level officialdom, and get the SO2 ROs out of the mess and onto their retirement homes, to free up cash and resources.
 
#8
Hmmmm… some joined up writing and a common policy across the MOD might help.

My department? No more overtime payments, TOIL, or no payment. Over the last few years, no more capital expenditure, water coolers removed from the offices, no decorating or upgrading of Offices to be undertaken, pay for our own tea boat, furniture looks like a collection from a 2nd hand shop.

Had to go to the Early Learning Centre on Thursday for a IT security course… Freshly decorated offices, all new carpets, all new matching desks, a nice telly on the waiting room wall with the news on, rented coffee machine with unlimited free drinks.

Tightened budgets? Not in some departments it seems.
 
#9
old_fat_and_hairy said:
Which two can I have then? Can I have a couple of Loggie birds instead of two guardsmen?
I'm sure someone can find you a couple of prop forward Loggie carpet munchers :D
 
#10
mediumwhiteamericano said:
saladin said:
jim30 said:
My personal view is that with a cold hard look at what we do, why and with whom we could significantly reduce the amount of non-productive work done. How the CoC decide to reallocate the resource is up to them.
If we're going to look at the CS can we look at those uniforms that have hidden themselves away in the corners of the MoD, holding down £60/65K jobs with little to no outputs?

We all know where they are and yet they get away with it year in year out.

MWA
No problem with that at all. I'd suggest there are entire little empires that add SFA to our ability to conduct Ops. A comparison of our structure with Industry is not actually valid - but would also show some interesting differences in the shape of the Pyramid !

Anyone know if there is a wiring diagram for the whole organisation anywhere ? Might be interesting to try labeling it with "Defence output" boxes.

I am minded of the occaision when, due to an error by his PA, the great ICI Chairman Sir John Harvey-Jones ( Ex RN btw) found himself sitting in a conference called to discuss group wide catering issues ( A novel concept in itself...). He stuck it for about 5 minutes before declaring that " We're here to sell Chemicals, not talk about F8cking Cooking" and walked out. Some "structural changes" followed.

Edited to add - Jim, I agree with the thrust of your comments re RF - but I'd start with Div level if looking for sheer pointlessness. The main purpose of Div appear to be to add a minimum of a three week delay mechanism into any budget discussion, request for figures etc and to add a cover letter (normally along the lines of "See attached") to any paperwork from LAND. No wonder MacKay walked.

As for the comments on spend - Yep. I sit here looking at a carpet held together with "black nasty", looking at "self-help" shelves my predecessor made by nailing together some planks.... meanwhile some contractors have just spent two days painting the white rocks yellow "so they show up in the snow".
 
#11
saladin said:
No problem with that at all. I'd suggest there are entire little empires that add SFA to our ability to conduct Ops. A comparison of our structure with Industry is not actually valid - but would also show some interesting differences in the shape of the Pyramid !

Anyone know if there is a wiring diagram for the whole organisation anywhere ? Might be interesting to try labeling it with "Defence output" boxes.
I'm sure industry would not put up with the vast amount of internal auditing that happens in the MOD just a simple travel claim seems to need to be authorised by half a dozen people these days due to the never ending demand for stats and justifications by senior management.

Defence Intranet has some pretty good diagrams on it (Some may even be truthful!) :D
 
#12
Oil_Slick said:
Hmmmm… some joined up writing and a common policy across the MOD might help.

My department? No more overtime payments, TOIL, or no payment. Over the last few years, no more capital expenditure, water coolers removed from the offices, no decorating or upgrading of Offices to be undertaken, pay for our own tea boat, furniture looks like a collection from a 2nd hand shop.
Sounds like my offices.

Much of our furniture wouldn't be sold as second hand. It would be dumped in the rubbish at the back of the second hand shop. Every chair has either a hole in the fabric seat cover or a broken arm rest. These are not old chairs, just poor quality and not in any way hard wearing.

Carpets are thread bare and loose bits are held down by strategically placed furniture or black and yellow hazard tape.

Do you have any photocopiers or faxes? We have one, when we used to have four. We had no fax for 6 months.

Are your laser printers are so old the PFI contractor says he can't (read won't) repair them because they are out of warranty and parts are scarce. Yet these printers belong to the PFI company, except when they need to be repaired or replaced, or are out of warranty then the belong to the government department?

Do you have rooms without electricity or heating?

Have you any stationery, apart from the cheapest, thinnest A4 copier paper that looks shite and jams regularly? We even have to buy our own pens now. I just knick those blue biros from argos or betting shops instead.

And of course we all have new and expensive (but poor quality) trendy uniforms with loads of corporate branding. Many of us still wear the old uniform items, as they are more serviceable and better quality. We are told we will be disciplined if we continue to do this.

Of course HQ has pot plants and oil paintings and the aroma of fresh coffe from the Gaggia Espresso machine is overwhelming.
 
#13
walt_of_the_walts said:
Oil_Slick said:
Hmmmm… some joined up writing and a common policy across the MOD might help.

My department? No more overtime payments, TOIL, or no payment. Over the last few years, no more capital expenditure, water coolers removed from the offices, no decorating or upgrading of Offices to be undertaken, pay for our own tea boat, furniture looks like a collection from a 2nd hand shop.
Sounds like my offices.

Much of our furniture wouldn't be sold as second hand. It would be dumped in the rubbish at the back of the second hand shop. Every chair has either a hole in the fabric seat cover or a broken arm rest. These are not old chairs, just poor quality and not in any way hard wearing.
That sounds like the perfect way to describe the worst part of my office furniture, which also doubles as one of my biggest anti-productivity devices. Five brownie points for whoever guesses it first.
 
#14
walt_of_the_walts said:
Oil_Slick said:
Hmmmm… some joined up writing and a common policy across the MOD might help.

My department? No more overtime payments, TOIL, or no payment. Over the last few years, no more capital expenditure, water coolers removed from the offices, no decorating or upgrading of Offices to be undertaken, pay for our own tea boat, furniture looks like a collection from a 2nd hand shop.
Sounds like my offices.

Much of our furniture wouldn't be sold as second hand. It would be dumped in the rubbish at the back of the second hand shop. Every chair has either a hole in the fabric seat cover or a broken arm rest. These are not old chairs, just poor quality and not in any way hard wearing.

Carpets are thread bare and loose bits are held down by strategically placed furniture or black and yellow hazard tape.

Do you have any photocopiers or faxes? We have one, when we used to have four. We had no fax for 6 months.

Are your laser printers are so old the PFI contractor says he can't (read won't) repair them because they are out of warranty and parts are scarce. Yet these printers belong to the PFI company, except when they need to be repaired or replaced, or are out of warranty then the belong to the government department?

Do you have rooms without electricity or heating?

Have you any stationery, apart from the cheapest, thinnest A4 copier paper that looks shite and jams regularly? We even have to buy our own pens now. I just knick those blue biros from argos or betting shops instead.


And of course we all have new and expensive (but poor quality) trendy uniforms with loads of corporate branding. Many of us still wear the old uniform items, as they are more serviceable and better quality. We are told we will be disciplined if we continue to do this.

Of course HQ has pot plants and oil paintings and the aroma of fresh coffe from the Gaggia Espresso machine is overwhelming.

We seem to inhabit the same non shiny HQ world of want. :(
 
#16
Yeah why do we need the Scots Div which contains 1 Regt with 5 Regular Bns and x amount of TA Regts or why we need the household division? Which contain 4 Bns and 2 cav Regt's?
 
#17
Had this discussion today at work they have just taken on two Retired officers on the top C2 pay band both with only four years max to retirement they do none jobs that could be done with one D grade. But oh no jobs for the boys and all that. One even asked me how he can get all the EXTRAS ie claims my answer was dnt no im only a low life civil serpent ive never claimed for doing my job now sod off and spend your pension this did not go down well at all.
 
#18
jim30 said:
Saladin

I completely agree with your points about the banality of life in the Regional Forces. Having seen how RF work, I am convinced that the Army RF structure could be disbanded, with very little impact on force generation and operational effectiveness. It was an area where petty people (both civvy and military) led lives where they genuinely believed they were the most important thing since sliced bread, and would get very irate if you didnt play by their rules (vols 1 - 685834).

Scrap RF Bde structures, scrap whole swathes of mid level officialdom, and get the SO2 ROs out of the mess and onto their retirement homes, to free up cash and resources.
I pointed this out a while ago, when I suggested a rethink on the set up.

Bin all these RF nonsense and 2, 4 and 5 Divs.

Reform the Divs... ie 1, 2 & 3 each with 2 "fighting" Bdes and 1 "Reserve" Bde (TA) which is to provide IAs, Sects and Plts... maybe the odd Coy.

Bring 1 Div back, so we could have a Div for Scots and NI, a Div for Midlands and Wales and a Div for the South.

Form 3 and 16 in to a "Light Div" bolstered by a reformed 24 Airmob so they have a 3 way split, and add a Reserve Bde (4 PARA, RMR etc).

That would do nicely.

It would be nice also if we could have a 4th Div, of HD types... ie CRF. With 3 Bdes of Reg/TA hybrid units. Who would also have a IA responsibility, again one for Scotland/NI, one for midlands/wales and one for down south. Obviously an increase in the number of men we need.

Group these in to Corps. One for 1,2 & 3 and one for 4 Div and the light div, this one could also take on UKSF and the other responsiblities ie a Bde group combining Gib, FI, Cyprus and Brunei.

A new and envigourated 1 (BR) Corps (nee ARRC nee 1 (BR) Corps) could easily take this on, with the aim to have an active UK Div and a couple of foreign Divs.

THis would be our deployable Corps HQ, with the other one just babysitting 4 Div and looking after the Admin of the remainder, it wouldn't be expected to deploy in support of its own Divs and groupings.

This has the bonus of allowing all the Bdes to know what they are doing, and provides the framework for a more enhanced mobilisation... which alledgedly the RF system carries out. ie the 3 reserve Bdes could be turned in to Bdes, and manned, as could the 3 HD Bdes, the Divs could all be out of the door, and you have a spare Corps HQ that could be bolstered.

Could mention the Bde setups too, but I'll leave that for now.
 
#19
benjaminw1 said:
Can someone explain to me why the Royal Regiment of Scotland needs the Scottish Division?
Oh come on, its obvious. There has to be a home for the keepers of the tartan traditions and the lists of suppliers ready to manufacture ( In Pakistan of course) the "Traditional" items of Highland wear required and ready to argue about what shade the new TA Bn Hackles will be.
 

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