Anger at MoD’s £6m on parties

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by kennys-go-nad, Nov 26, 2007.

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  1. "The department admitted its massive “hospitality and entertainment” budget for 2007/8 after questions by the Tories."

    Hmmmm wonder what the same is for the MP's ???
  2. Why does the MOD need to spend money on "Markecting and branding."?

    Unless they are thinking of floating the MOD on the stockmarket this seams a little odd.

    I can see the slogan now, "The MOD, we'll kill all the brown people you want, at a bargin basement price."
  3. Surely they'd be better if they said they'd kill all the brown people you don't want?
  4. More of the same:

    Defence officials in costly awaydays

    DEFENCE officials entrusted with ensuring troops are properly equipped in Iraq and Afghanistan have spent £7,000 to go on a team-building event, featuring hot tubs, ducking stools and celebratory glasses of champagne

    Figures released by the Ministry of Defence show that the Defence Equipment and Support division has allocated £330,000 for civil servants to go on courses for team-building, training and personal coaching. It is part of a total £20m allocated for outside consultancies in 2007/8.

    Last month a group of MoD officials working on the Type 45 destroyer took part in a “splash and dash” day in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, with Friday Island, a team-building company.

    It involves events such as archery and canoeing, and the winning team is entitled to use the hot tub while sipping champagne. The MoD allocated £7,000 for the awayday
  5. You could at least have supplied Cso No's and dates!!
  6. Are we sure they weren't trialling the hull, propulsion and weapons suite on the Type 45??!! :D
  7. A few years ago, an IPT I worked with went away on a team building jolly complete with personalised baseball caps.

    (IPT - DPA procurement or project team, can't remember what it stands for; DPA - people who are supposed to buy equipment)
  8. Yet again the moment someone has a go at the govt the press are set up to have a go at expenses. These junkets are all part of trying to motivate the CS. A bit like your Adventure Training or paid travel to play sport - with time off for same.

    In the grand scheme of things it is very little money and if you see the pittance that these CS get paid for some fairly tedious and miserable jobs you would not be so agressive towards them. Some are complete plonkers but the majority I have come across really do work for their money for very little thanks.

    I am surprised that the tories raised this one. They are obviously so keen to screw the govt that they have forgotten who is on their side.

    Not a fashionable view I know but one honestly held.

    "Friday Island’s ‘Dash and Splash’ days are popular team-building events incorporating land and water-based activities designed for teams of six to 10 people. There is an obstacle course, a treasure hunt, a shooting range, a climbing tower with a zip wire and an aqua-relay in which teams are allocated different craft for a relay race across the lake. Dragon boat racing, with 20 people in each boat is a novel and colourful option. Some activities are skill or fitness based, while others encourage team members to plan together and trust each other. (In the MOD?????) Companies can mix and match depending on the size and profile of the group. Afterwards there is a prize-giving, with a good-natured dunking for the losers and a hot tub for the winners and drinks and dinner are served around a camp fire to encourage togetherness!Burton claims a high success rate in boosting team spirit. ‘The biggest successes are often among the groups that you wouldn’t expect to enjoy it,’ he says. ‘People working in government offices, for example, are often quite shy and nervous when they arrive, but by the end of the day they are laughing together like school kids and they take that feeling back with them.’

    Oh how we laughed as Simpkins ordered another crate of Moet. meanwhile we have to compete with other Government organisations for cash. :x
  10. If you read the handsard question, you'll discover that it in fact refers to hospitality by senior military and MOD officals. A lot of this bill is to do with generals hosting dinners for their opposite numbers, doing defence diplomacy, trying to strike deals for access / sales / ops etc. You'd be amazed how much business is done at times like this.

    As for the teambuilding - well people always go on about how dysfunctional MOD CS are to Forces, so spending some money to try and improve working relationships seems to make sense. Get them out of the office, try to understand why Forces and CS see things differently and work on improving that. If it helps get kit into the field faster through less misunderstandings and cock ups, then how can this be bad?
  11. To be fair...if you tot up how much sport and AT we've all done over our (short) careers, add in our daily rates, other costings etc you'll probably find its an eye wtaering amount...

    picture yourself in the shoes of a low ranking civil servant on £17k pa at DE&S who sees Maj x & Col Y goiung off sailing and skiing every year, or each time they pick up soldier mag and read of a 3 week exped / sports tour to barbados, mexico, tenerife etc, or of Cpl Z representing the Army in some minor winter sport or other knowing that they've had 12 months off to train....

    careful what you wish for....

    (thinking PAYD, type Z etc....whinge too much and kiss good bye to sports in work time)
  12. I've been paintballing and orienteering with CS colleagues, all self-funded events although I suppose taxpayers (like all of us) footed the bill for our day out of the office. However corny, such team-building activities certainly paid dividends in lowering personal barriers, revealing people's human sides, showing what made each other tick, pricking the balloons of some pompous twits and raising the morale of others, particularly more junior members of staff who were given some rare moments of glory. Best of all, it was fun and everyone got the chance to laugh with (and at) each other.

    With regard to spending £6m on entertainment, if only one of the defence diplomacy events results in a piece of vital life-saving intelligence, a multi-million pound arms sale for UK plc, cements an alliance with a potential adversary, enables us to use their training facilities on advantageous terms, or persuades them to send their forces to us for training, then it will have been money well spent. In truth, we know many such benefits are accrued in this manner every year. It's just such a shame we don't have a Royal Yacht to showcase our wares and services around the world in such impressive style any more. HMY Britannia more than earned her keep for the country but now we have to pay exorbitant prices to hire space at international trade fairs and suchlike.

    In recent years, the bean counters have made our training courses too expensive for most of our traditional overseas customers and this has done untold damage to our potential arms sales and future goodwill between our countries, not to mention being privy to their capabilities and likely tactics because they got them from us (e.g. Argentina during the Falklands war).
  13. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Can someone do a search for local council 'team building' event costs up and down the country, or add up the total cost of MP junkets and holidays?

    How much did Prescot's trip to the US to get his Texan hat cost us? What about Bliar's trips abraod, or better still, the cost to the taxpayer of MP's second homes, or Grace and Favour apartments?

    What about the 'costs' of MP websites that we pay for so that they can 'brand' manage their public personas?

    I'm sure that the MOD junket budget is far outstripped by some other gobment departments.

    I'll tell you something else too: It's a drop in the ocean compared to the 147 BILLION of tax-payers money spent on 'focus' groups and quangos in one year alone. Yes, you read that correctly - £147,000,000 . . . 000.00 spent on unelected gobment special interest and 'focus' groups.
  14. I work for a large private sector organisation and due to cost cutting we never ever were able to do these sorts of things.

    Oh ....... apologies, I once went 10 pin bowling with some clients and got 4 pints of free beer, after which we had to pay.

    Shameful. I think some in the CS have an inflated perception of courses and entertainment spend in the private sector.

    Team building has been out for years in my industry sector.