Bernard Grays Review

#1
I have read the MOD release on the above which seemed not too concerned and talking about challenges but overall not too bad.

Yet the independent press are saying this is a damning indictment.

??
 
#2
In his report, Mr Gray said: “The problems and the sums of money involved have almost lost their power to shock so endemic is the issue.

“It seems as though military equipment acquisition is vying in a technological race with the delivery of civilian software systems for the title of ‘world’s most-delayed technical solution’.

“How can it be that it takes 20 years to buy a ship, or aircraft or tank?

“Why does it always seem to cost at least twice what was thought?

“Even worse, at the end of the wait, why does it never quite seem to do what it was supposed to?”

In an unsparing assessment of the MoD’s performance, Mr Gray concluded the procurement process was so incompetent and inefficient the only solution was to privatise it.

Ah that's a more accurate assessment.....buffoons! And not actually the executive or parliament but our own MOD (with some help from the services I presume).
 
#3
I still have not seen a copy of the Gray review. Is it available through the DII internet page?
 
#5
To give the MoD and even the Labour Party its due, allowing publication is quite a commitment to open government.

The first step, as they say, is admitting the problem.

It also goes to great lengths to say we are no worse or better than anyone else

Privatising does seem rather daft, given the likely candidates would be people like KBR, EDS, VT, BAe etc etc. Wouldnt that be like putting fatties in charge of dunkin doughnuts
 
#6
meridian said:
To give the MoD and even the Labour Party its due, allowing publication is quite a commitment to open government.
The MoD will be blamed for this, whilst New Labour walks away claiming
a) the problems begun under Thatcher; and
b) the problems exist under Cameron and he's doing nothing about it; and
c) we the public should be grateful to New Labour for bringing it to wider attention.

The result was known LONG before Gray was engaged in the first place.

The timing of the report is more interesting.
 
#7
Yes I agree to some extent, there will always be some spin on anything like this and I realise that most of the problems have been known about and discussed for ages.

Why should the MoD and military not carry some of the blame, I have always maintained it is not just the lack of cash, yes that is part of the equation but everyone concerned should share
 
#8
Open government you say :roll:

Exhibit A


Daily Mail - Der Klicken Linken

Exhibit B


Cameron says the MoD asked Bernard Grey to review helicopter procurement. There are rumours it has been delayed. It was meant to be out by July. Will the government publish it?
David Cameron during PMQ before Parliamentary recess...

Labour attempted to suppress the report but have had to release as a result of sustained pressure but even then it was not released until after their conference. For those who wonder what the opposition has been doing with themselves as you can see they are doing their job; which is difficult given the slippery lying way the Government operates...
 
#9
An excellent report!

Unfortunate that much of it has already been said as far back as the Downey reforms. Conspiracies of optimism, bloated procedures, indecsion, lack of accountability.

The absolute key recommendation has to be DE&S as a Government Owned Contractor Operated Organisation - only privitaisation will reduce the overhead hungry "public accountability" and "assurance" buraucracy to a lean cost effective decsion making machine.

Bring it on!
 
#10
meridian said:
Yes I agree to some extent, there will always be some spin on anything like this and I realise that most of the problems have been known about and discussed for ages.

Why should the MoD and military not carry some of the blame, I have always maintained it is not just the lack of cash, yes that is part of the equation but everyone concerned should share
Defence spending has always been seen as a political tool for propping up certain industries in order to 'create' jobs and improve failing balance sheets without breaking WTO, EU or other trading rules. It is also seen as a way of 'confirming' international political relationships. When it comes to the equipment budget, there is little left of the cake for the Services to fight over to purchase the equipment they really need that can do the job.

Yes, the military is also to blame for the gross wastage - inter-service rivalry being the main culprit and the 'failure' to find a balance between military posting limitations and the need for long term appointments to key aquisition slots another issue. However, much of this is off the back of abysmal politicking by that part of Whitehall that considers itself the civilian master-race.
 
#11
I wouldn't pee on the Labour Govt if it was on fire, I despise them more than nearly anything (not quite as much as the Aussie Rugby team!); BUT why is it that we (the Army) must blame someone else.

We the Military/Army play a major role in procurement and therefore have to shoulder some of the responsibility for what Gray says.

Perhaps we should look inwardly, clean up our own backyard and then point at others.

Just a thought
 
#12
mumblemumble_drunk said:
I wouldn't pee on the Labour Govt if it was on fire, I despise them more than nearly anything (not quite as much as the Aussie Rugby team!); BUT why is it that we (the Army) must blame someone else.

We the Military/Army play a major role in procurement and therefore have to shoulder some of the responsibility for what Gray says.

Perhaps we should look inwardly, clean up our own backyard and then point at others.

Just a thought
Quite so. But where (exactly) do you think uniformed staff are going wrong?
 
#13
whitecity said:
mumblemumble_drunk said:
We the Military/Army play a major role in procurement and therefore have to shoulder some of the responsibility for what Gray says.

Perhaps we should look inwardly, clean up our own backyard and then point at others.
Quite so. But where (exactly) do you think uniformed staff are going wrong?
Great question!

There are, regrettably a few guys who either see a procurement post as an interuption/embuggerance to thier command career.

There are also some who are guilty of joining the conspiracy of optimism.

There are occasions when it's obvious to everybody that a requirement is too complicated, too expensive or the timeline totally unrealistic and the uniformed staff don't speak out. Who want's to be the Artillery officer who cans the FAWS gun programme or the RAF Officer who says Eurofighter will take another five years?

It's understandable when you look at a system that equates a 25 yr graduate whose never been outside an office (and I don't mean a design office) with a Company Commander or a 30 yr "fast tracker" with a ship's Captain because they've got a nice MBA - and of course a WO/SNCO is "junior" to the most Admin Assistant!!

Sound like a rant - it is. Somebody needs to walk through ABW on a Monday morning and fire everybody sat in the neighbourhood cafes after 9.00AM - might motivate the rest to get a f***ing grip.
 
#14
... and the one recommendation which the SoS rejected outright was that of contractor operation of DE&S.

I suspect that we won't see any changes, barring the odd new initiative with a catchy title, replacing Smart Procurement. Shall we have a competition to guess what it'll be called?

I'll start with "dumbass panic buying".
 
#15
Cluster said:
... and the one recommendation which the SoS rejected outright was that of contractor operation of DE&S.

I suspect that we won't see any changes, barring the odd new initiative with a catchy title, replacing Smart Procurement. Shall we have a competition to guess what it'll be called?

I'll start with "dumbass panic buying".
Sadly I don't even think there will be that.

Smart procurement (as I was taught about) was supposed to be the answer.... Hmmmmm not so much........... better but NOT brilliant.

I wonder if any of the large sucessful companies out there is the corperate world have systems like we have to suffer. And I would offer that the "Management" side of the military could SERIOUSLY learn from them.

MOTS for a start

But again, sadly votes, jobs, unions and an unwillingness of senior service people in the procurement chain to put their foots down will ensure we maintain a mediocre procurement system.

Again just my rambling thoughts, wish I had the answers as I'd leave and become a contractor and make my fortune :)
 
#16
oldfart said:
whitecity said:
mumblemumble_drunk said:
We the Military/Army play a major role in procurement and therefore have to shoulder some of the responsibility for what Gray says.

Perhaps we should look inwardly, clean up our own backyard and then point at others.
Quite so. But where (exactly) do you think uniformed staff are going wrong?
Great question!

There are, regrettably a few guys who either see a procurement post as an interuption/embuggerance to thier command career.

There are also some who are guilty of joining the conspiracy of optimism.

There are occasions when it's obvious to everybody that a requirement is too complicated, too expensive or the timeline totally unrealistic and the uniformed staff don't speak out. Who want's to be the Artillery officer who cans the FAWS gun programme or the RAF Officer who says Eurofighter will take another five years?

It's understandable when you look at a system that equates a 25 yr graduate whose never been outside an office (and I don't mean a design office) with a Company Commander or a 30 yr "fast tracker" with a ship's Captain because they've got a nice MBA - and of course a WO/SNCO is "junior" to the most Admin Assistant!!

Sound like a rant - it is. Somebody needs to walk through ABW on a Monday morning and fire everybody sat in the neighbourhood cafes after 9.00AM - might motivate the rest to get a f***ing grip.
Good officers posted into procurement slots instantly recognise that they have little chance of making any material difference to procurement decision-making since it's all decided far higher up for political reasons. So, the sensible officer recognises that just 2 missions are to be conducted in parallel:
a) ensure you do not rock the boat and disrupt promotion prospects; and
b) fight for some relatively minor "add-on" to the programme to prove your worth while in post - an "add-on" that the contractor pounces upon to bleed the MoD even further.

The officer is not at fault. The system is.
 
#17
whitecity said:
oldfart said:
whitecity said:
mumblemumble_drunk said:
We the Military/Army play a major role in procurement and therefore have to shoulder some of the responsibility for what Gray says.

Perhaps we should look inwardly, clean up our own backyard and then point at others.
Quite so. But where (exactly) do you think uniformed staff are going wrong?
Great question!

There are, regrettably a few guys who either see a procurement post as an interuption/embuggerance to thier command career.

There are also some who are guilty of joining the conspiracy of optimism.

There are occasions when it's obvious to everybody that a requirement is too complicated, too expensive or the timeline totally unrealistic and the uniformed staff don't speak out. Who want's to be the Artillery officer who cans the FAWS gun programme or the RAF Officer who says Eurofighter will take another five years?

It's understandable when you look at a system that equates a 25 yr graduate whose never been outside an office (and I don't mean a design office) with a Company Commander or a 30 yr "fast tracker" with a ship's Captain because they've got a nice MBA - and of course a WO/SNCO is "junior" to the most Admin Assistant!!

Sound like a rant - it is. Somebody needs to walk through ABW on a Monday morning and fire everybody sat in the neighbourhood cafes after 9.00AM - might motivate the rest to get a f***ing grip.
Good officers posted into procurement slots instantly recognise that they have little chance of making any material difference to procurement decision-making since it's all decided far higher up for political reasons. So, the sensible officer recognises that just 2 missions are to be conducted in parallel:
a) ensure you do not rock the boat and disrupt promotion prospects; and
b) fight for some relatively minor "add-on" to the programme to prove your worth while in post - an "add-on" that the contractor pounces upon to bleed the MoD even further.

The officer is not at fault. The system is.
I hear what you're saying white city and at the lower levels that 100 million% correct. Its more at the senior military/civil servant/political interface.

And we must learn to stop changing the goal post as civil industry F**KS us every time. Maybe we should also get a LOT cleverer on contracting???
 
#18
[quote="whitecity]The officer is not at fault. The system is.[/quote]

Whilst I very much agree with the second statement I cannot accept the first - where is the integrity in accepting you can't make a difference?

In my humble opinion and limited experience some of the best minds in DE&S are the military staff - regardless of what Gray say's about their lack of programme and risk management - there are a few who show a genuine drive (even passion) to get things done.
 
#19
oldfart said:
Somebody needs to walk through ABW on a Monday morning and fire everybody sat in the neighbourhood cafes after 9.00AM - might motivate the rest to get a f***ing grip.
A beeter start point might be with those that clock in first, and then sit in the neighbourhood cafes for breakfast, coffee, or just general leisure time.
 
#20
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
A beeter start point might be with those that clock in first, and then sit in the neighbourhood cafes for breakfast, coffee, or just general leisure time.
A day in Abbeywood:

0745 Arrive by bicycle and clock in, pass by desk and switch on PC. Flash read any emails from the IPT leader so he knows you were in early.
0755 Go for a shower
0815 Go for breakfast
0845 Return to desk and read newspaper "It's part of my job to keep up on current affairs"
0915 Go for a "meeting" with a couple of colleagues in the cafe.
0945 Return to desk - Return to desk read rest of emails, write some crap on various newsgroups.
1030 Official Coffee Break
1100 Write a letter to the contractor
1200 Go to the gym
1300 Lunch
1330 Attend a meeting, contribute nothing!
1530 Return to desk - make a few phone calls.
1600 Go and get changed
1630 Clock out

You think I exagerate?
 

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