Can the Officer Corps help save 29.46% of the Defence Budget

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by SIB_GOD, Nov 1, 2003.

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  1. The big thing in the modern Army is not war fighting, it is not logistics, all you hear is how can we all save money. Not so it can be spent on other areas, just save it.

    Well what is one of the most obvious wastes of money we see every day when we walk around barracks? Officers. No I don’t mean the individuals themselves I mean the entire system that supports them. Their uniform grant, their higher allowances, their great Messes with dozens of staff looking after two or three spotty subalterns, their larger houses, all of the Garrison clubs that have to be run with Garrison grants to keep them and their spouses happy (polo, flower arranging, party organisation, war gaming etc etc), officer only entrances to buildings, officer only clerks at pay offices, different (much more expensive) uniforms. God I could go on for ever.

    Why doesn’t someone tell them at Sandhurst that this is not an extension of one of their private school clubs, it is the Army. I have calculated that we would save 29.46% of the annual defence budget if they came down to earth and realised this.
  2. Thank you for your thought provoking post. I could not stop myself from replying:

    Factually wrong - proof ? I agree with you - I would close it down if this occurs. Indeed for any Mess - Cpls or WO & Sgts.

    Public money cannot be spent on majority of these activities. Army sports - yes - not quite sure what you mean by war gaming ?

    Uniform allowance - I presume you mean on commissioning. Yes .. you have a point it would save some money, but the down side would be that the officer corps would more elitist as it would only attract potential officers with money.

    It is up to the RAO how he/she runs the office - no one is mandating offr only clerks. The majority I have used over the years are for all ranks, or by letters of the alphabet.

    Keep questioning the unquestionable though - perhaps we should contractorise out more - eg. RMP and SIB ?
  3. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Ramillies is right; there are many areas where money could be saved, but it's not by ensuring that only those with money could be officers.

    One way to save would be to have better oversight of contracts. The official policy is that penalty clauses are to be avoided, but bonuses are not. So, when a new vehicle/weapon/uniform or whatever is late, the contractor doesn't suffer, but if he produces it on time, he gets paid more - amazing!

    Most contractors employ quality lawyers, whilst MoD don't. This means that MoD get seen off and contractors can make huge profits whilst providing a crap service.

    Failing to do what you said you could do and costing more than it's meant to needn't matter - part of the BFG Health Service has regularly overspent and still kept the contract.

    Then there are the catering contractors who fail to provide the contracted level of service, and get away with it because the contracts aren't monitored tightly enough - I know, I live in a mess where we don't get anything like the service the contractor is paid for, and nothing is done because the complaints go to some civil servant who couldn't care less.
  4. VB I'm guessing that you're based in Germany in which case you're suffering the after effects of one of the worst contracts ever negotiated - the one which handed the NSS squillions of quiddies for one of the worst levels of service known to man. I'm sorry, but you can't hang this one on the civil servants entirely, the great Staff had a lot to do with it as well. There's a thread runnignsome where else which asks about great rip offs. Well this is one of the greatest. Where else would you have a contract which pays literally millions of £ to a contractor to feed a Brigade's worth of troops. Said Brigade then heads off eastwards to deal an almighty blow to the Coumtry's foe for a month or few. Ask NSS for a rebate, based on the fact that there were no troops to feed and guess what? They come up with a few thousand quid. Actually, they were bomb proof. The initial contract was such an enormous heap of doggy doos that they were able to sit back and watch us squirm.

    Nice work if you can get it.
  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Actually I'm in UK, but have suffered the messes in Germany recently too.

    I acknowledge the way that the Staff behave; take a look at how many retired senior officers are on teh boards of many contractor companies.

    The problem often is that we (the users) ask the contractors why they fail to meet the standards - for example, in my current mess they don't do silver service and we don't get the contracted batting service; they reply that they are short of staff. It's their problem, but no one seems to enforce the contract - it's been like this for a year.

    The latest thing is that civilian organisations are using the mess for private functions. We lose our ante-room, and have to wear formal dress if we want a drink. We're told that this raises money which directly benefits livers-in, yet we can't have mushrooms, black pudding or kippers for breakfast because we're told they are luxury items. Unfortunately all our complaints end up with those who live out and are classified (according to the last mess meeting minutes, as 'whinging'.

    I'm sure the bean counters will claim that contractorising messing has saved money, but was the effect on retention considered?
  6. VB.

    There is no excuse here. It comes down to what service was agreed at the start of the contract.

    Your messing member or person in charge of the contract has this very wrong. The Army marches on its stomach and we have always been known for providing good food for all ranks.

    We (ie the Army) deserve the right standards of messing. If it is going wrong - then raise it to the military man in charge of the contract or the CO. Unless you do, then others that follow behind us will accept these low standards as the norm. You clearly know what the standards are - which I applaud. Go fo it !
  7. NSS Service in the messes is second to none - in price

    Recent dinner night for 50 odd people. EUR 925 for everything less service. Service EUR900. It now works out far cheaper to have functions out and usually the service is better - ie you get a smile rather than the usual sour faces you get from the Army wives who wait on in the Messes.

    Yeah, whoever got us that contract must be a red tab by now.
  8. It was probably the man who put all the tents, petrol, helicopters and vehicles together on the Atlantic Conveyor

  9. How about a Few dead contractors :twisted:
    Get it right and get it here on time and in budget or be very ******* afraid. :twisted:
  10. Heaven forbid that we should actually get what we ask in a contract.
  11. I say we abduct a couple of of these contractors, bag them tag them throw them in back of 4 tonner beat them up take photos sell them to red tops for lots of cash :D :D [/quote]
  12. Don't blame the contractor, blame the idiot who negotiated a lousy contract and the fool that fails to cancel it for non-performance. I can assure you that if a contractor for (say) a works canteen for a civilian organisation did not deliver they'd be out and someone else in fairly quickly. The MoD doesn't because, well, basically they're useless.

    Remember, if you're in the chain of command (civil servant or uniform) and things go wrong because you have failed to negotiate or enforce a contract you have two choices. Number one is to fix things and admit you're wrong, the second is to tell the troops that's it all the fault of the big nasty contractor and not yourself. Guess which option usually gets taken ?

    Remember, contractors can only stiff you if you stupid enough and lazy enough to let them.
  13. o_O_t_S,

    There is some truth in what you say but offrs who make descisions whilst in wpn jobs can many years later be called to account either by the military of the Defence Select Committee. SA80 trials is an example that spring to mind.

    This rarely happens because there is so much evidence to the contrary that is now available in the public domain. The forthcoming Freedom of Information Act will do much here.

    But to return to the thread. ............ far better to cut capability in my view rather than salami slice. We have sliced so often now that there is no fat left. We need to be bold.
  14. So that's it then. AAC can take one pace backwards and disappear off the face of the earth. Good riddance to the powder puff blue bereted brigade and RAF fast jet wannabees. To$$ers!
  15. Go to a four day week - think of all the savings on electricity etc! Of course, we would still have to be paid on a 24/7 basis just in case....