CGS Briefing Team - AGC(SPS) Mention

For those who haven't seen it - here is an extract from the CGS Briefing Team report, CGS' Comments at the end:

6. Administration Of Pay And Allowances. There was a widespread and strongly held view that, in spite of the initiatives that have been put in place to ameliorate the situation, the administration of pay and allowances is still failing our people. The specific issues were:

a. The Hardware. There was a widespread opinion that the AFPAA computer system is simply not up to the job. UNICOM also suffered considerable criticism because it is difficult to use - this leads to pay problems and makes them difficult to resolve. There were reports of a systemic inability to deal with Regular re-enlistment's, R IRISH (HS)’s and S-Type engagement’s pay.

b. The Staff. Perceptions varied, but there was general agreement that the AGC(SPS) staff were largely trying their best under difficult conditions. Specific criticism was levelled at the manning of AGC(SPS) detachments in units. The detachments themselves were critical of the standard of training of recruits and the growing number of soldiers in the SPS Branch whose native language is not English. AGC(SPS) morale was noticeably poor across the range of units visited.

c. The Enquiry Service (ES). The ES at Glasgow has been heavily criticised over the past year. A recent review by AFPAA concluded that it is getting over its teething problems and that the service is now a good one. There is little evidence that this improvement is making any impact at unit level where the service still comes in for much criticism. There is a feeling that, even if it worked well it would still be a bad idea as it puts a firewall between the soldier with a pay problem and the desk officer who is responsible for solving it.

d. Late Payment And Prompt Recovery. The Team was made well aware of the frustration caused by the feeling that allowances (LSSA particularly) are always paid late but when soldiers are overpaid the recovery of funds is immediate and brutal (not for officers). This causes inconvenience, embarrassment and expense to soldiers and probably provokes more emotion that any other single issue. This should have been solved by the introduction of the electronic pay statement but for some reason this has not always been the case. The recovery issue is being addressed in April by a change in the recovery system and this should, if it works, take the heat out of the complaints.

CGS Comments

It is well known that our pay and administration hardware is creaking at the seams, but I am slightly frustrated that we are still experiencing the same level of problems. The fact that static units experience very few problems proves that the system can be made to work and so I exhort commanders at all levels to give their AGC(SPS) staff the time and the direction to get their part right. If we can do that, and AG is right about the system improvements, I would expect to see things get better over the next 12 months. I am particularly pleased to see the end of the current recovery system for over payments and I have tasked my Briefing Team to monitor the success of the new system.

I think this raises a number of relevant issues - especially the poor morale across the corps!
I think it is hilarious, non English speaking people in the AGC!!

I can just imagine the recruiter, in come some guy/gal and says "I want Army join",

"Hey" says the recruiter, "A clerk is the job for you!!!"

My god, put them behind a truck or someting, but not as a Clerk who needs good written English!
On the (V) side of things I rebadged to AGC because my sub-unit was bereft of TA clerks (as opposed to NRPS and Civ). I found the content of my training at Worthy somewhat puzzling (All Arms Clk only so far yet to do PersFin). The emphasis is on what I would expect to be doing were I mobilized to a Regular unit. As we know TA units are more likely to be called on as a pool of replacements than deployed whole so on one level thats fair enough but what about the remainder of the time? Do I not have a role to play in the upkeep of my unit which warrants formal training? If my role is only to be prepared to be deployed to the regulars then why is my training not geared towards that? Should I not be part of a pool?

The troops seem to think that wearing the (other) green beret instantly qualifies me as an expert on all the paperwork they come across (and a touch typist too). Would it not be useful to provide familiarisation training for new TA clerks in this over say a week end at the least.

Its frustrating. I was proud to wear my former cap badge and only made the switch to AGC (SPS) (V) because I thought I would be able to provide a better service to my mates than they would otherwise get. I seem to have ended up as a metaphorical appendix in the guts of the unit but with no real function.

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