Defence Money Saving Tip - Bring back the PSA

#1
I am wondering how much money is p$ssed up the wall across the MOD, paying infrastructure maintenance contractors silly amounts for work undertaken, often for shockingly poor quality work. Cue jokes about how much it costs to change a fuse or change a light bulb!

Of course, we don't currently employ the people involved, nor provide for their pensions, but we do pay through the nose for absolutely everything. That must add up across the board. In the meantime, the estate crumbles, because there is little or no preventive maintenance (witness trees growing out of gutters etc).

My suggestion to ministers is to bring back the PSA, in one form or another. Yes, the staff bill would go up, but everything else ought to be far cheaper. Also, all those sensible little jobs that nobody can afford under the contracted system can be be done.

Discuss!
 
#2
Gracchus said:
I am wondering how much money is p$ssed up the wall across the MOD, paying infrastructure maintenance contractors silly amounts for work undertaken, often for shockingly poor quality work. Cue jokes about how much it costs to change a fuse or change a light bulb!

Of course, we don't currently employ the people involved, nor provide for their pensions, but we do pay through the nose for absolutely everything. That must add up across the board. In the meantime, the estate crumbles, because there is little or no preventive maintenance (witness trees growing out of gutters etc).

My suggestion to ministers is to bring back the PSA, in one form or another. Yes, the staff bill would go up, but everything else ought to be far cheaper. Also, all those sensible little jobs that nobody can afford under the contracted system can be be done.

Discuss!
I could mention the £259 I was asked to pay for a £25 door bell but had better keep stum as big brother is watching PFIs the biggest rip off ever when you complain you are told to wind your neck in and not to rock the boat as they do us " favours" dohhh do you not think that the cost of the "favours" is built in to other cost's.
 
#3
Too bloody true! It's a big game of stonewalling here. The less they spend, the more they keep, and when you do get the buggers to turn out and do something, it takes a week to do a days work, another two week wait to get them to finish it off and they charge MOD at least twice what it would cost to ring up a local builder to come in and do the job direct.
 
#4
Ahhh the £90.00 bag of cement analogy. We wanted to do some minor repairs at the old TAC , involving a bag of dust, and one of our troops who was a bit handy around patios, only to be told we had to use a contractor and buy cement from them. total cost us doing it about 30 squids. Total cost of contractor doing it, something like £400.

And they wonder where the black holes appear from.

Anymore stories of gouging? Put them up here, someone might take some notice...
 
#5
Don't even get me started on Lyrico! :x

Can anyone explain who it can be cheaper if I run short of paper for me to jump in my car, drive across town to Staples, buy a box of printer paper, come back, put in a petty cash & mileage chit and it's still cheaper than buying it through the system? And toner cartidges? Used to be able to buy them direct, cost £110 and free overnight delivery… got to use Lyrico now, they are over £200 a pop and it can take weeks for them to turn up.
 
#6
ah the world of goverment contracting well guys the PSA were not as good, they operated a system where a £12 bog seat would end up costing you more why you ask simple you reguest the seat, the psa then request the seat from a supplier after they have put on a 25% materials markup, this was a standard mark up which all goverment contracts had, so once they get the seat they then arrnage for it to be fitted they sub it out with another mark up for management of the sub contractor of 10% more offten than not all psa work was sub contracted out. and followed this procedure.
 
#7
PartTimePongo said:
Ahhh the £90.00 bag of cement analogy. We wanted to do some minor repairs at the old TAC , involving a bag of dust, and one of our troops who was a bit handy around patios, only to be told we had to use a contractor and buy cement from them. total cost us doing it about 30 squids. Total cost of contractor doing it, something like £400.

And they wonder where the black holes appear from.

Anymore stories of gouging? Put them up here, someone might take some notice...
Private West F. ? :twisted:

Seriously though, just let whoever is responsible for the day to day running of the particular building organise repairs and maintenance. It will be cheaper and quicker to organise a local tradesman to do the repair.
There are all those Sappers who have construction trades, use them, let them practice, then all you have is your material costs.
 
#8
The PSA were the most incompetent shower of crap in history, I was a contractor for them for the best part of 20 years mainly on runway construction and reserfacing and it was very funny watching them F*** up just about every contract we did. The screw ups at RAF Alconbury were of biblical proportions
 
#9
tropper66 said:
The PSA were the most incompetent shower of crap in history, I was a contractor for them for the best part of 20 years mainly on runway construction and reserfacing and it was very funny watching them F*** up just about every contract we did. The screw ups at RAF Alconbury were of biblical proportions

You think the current lot are any better? My office block looks like a shithole after the DII muppets rewired it. Bone divs ran all the wires in surface conduit, punching holes through all the partition walls… and even then they had to rip most of it out and start again when they kept putting the trunking in the wrong place or the holes in the partition walls didn't line up. Outside my door is a warning sign, rather than move the sign, they ran the trunking up to the sign, turned 90, went up the wall, turned 90 across the wall, turned 90 back down and a further 90 and carried on… how big was this sign? A4 sized and stuck on with blue tac… :x

Nothing wrong with that, except all the ceilings are suspended ones with cable trays already in place above them and it never occurred to the thickies to run the cables through the ceilings. Two weeks and tens of thousands spent on a job that could have been done in a a couple of days for peanuts.
 
#10
I remember a visit from an Admiral who had just returned from a trip to Russia. when he was asked what the Soviet Union was like he paused, thought and then said "It must be like living in a country that is run entirely by the PSA."
 
#11
The clerk of jerks at Alconbury failed to tell me that the Septics were going to lock down the base as they were flying in Cruise Missiles, so about 2000 tons of Asphalt was not allowed to come on the base, and in the days before the mobile phone, this was to cold to be used on another site, so it was dumped at a cost of about £50 a ton plus transport and the days pay for my gang. This happened quit often but the cracker was when they failed to inform the Yanks that we had closed a taxiway, we rammed a Lockheed TR!/U2R Spy plane with a tractor causing £19,000,000 of damage, it was a classic
 
#12
Oil_Slick said:
Don't even get me started on Lyrico! :x

Can anyone explain who it can be cheaper if I run short of paper for me to jump in my car, drive across town to Staples, buy a box of printer paper, come back, put in a petty cash & mileage chit and it's still cheaper than buying it through the system? And toner cartidges? Used to be able to buy them direct, cost £110 and free overnight delivery… got to use Lyrico now, they are over £200 a pop and it can take weeks for them to turn up.
Lol, sounds like the MOD have not changed. They really need to sort this Sh1t out and fast!
 
#13
A better option would be to have a US-style Corps of Engineers. Not only could they take care of the defence estate, but they'd keep their hand in with gubmint infrastructure projects. That way, the management and budget control would be in-house, the Army would be significantly in the public eye in times of peace, the Army benefits from a huge pool of manpower and equipment reserves, and you'd have one heck of a deliverable "reconstruction" capability instead of the dismal feck-ups of Iraq and...
 
#14
4(T) said:
A better option would be to have a US-style Corps of Engineers. Not only could they take care of the defence estate, but they'd keep their hand in with gubmint infrastructure projects. That way, the management and budget control would be in-house, the Army would be significantly in the public eye in times of peace, the Army benefits from a huge pool of manpower and equipment reserves, and you'd have one heck of a deliverable "reconstruction" capability instead of the dismal feck-ups of Iraq and...
Whenever we worked for the USAF we had CofE people with us, and they were a good bunch who were just as f***ed up as we were by the unbelievable antics of the PSA plonckers
 
#15
bonehead21L said:
ah the world of goverment contracting well guys the PSA were not as good, they operated a system where a £12 bog seat would end up costing you more why you ask simple you reguest the seat, the psa then request the seat from a supplier after they have put on a 25% materials markup, this was a standard mark up which all goverment contracts had, so once they get the seat they then arrnage for it to be fitted they sub it out with another mark up for management of the sub contractor of 10% more offten than not all psa work was sub contracted out. and followed this procedure.
Ah, but in the New World Order where I am in charge alongside Jeremy Clarkson, this will be impossible. The New PSA would not be able to add any markup. All work will be at cost. Feedback on performance and quality of service will be encouraged from the end customer, with suitable penalties placed on Chief Executives etc (eg pillory) if each job does not fully meet the expectations of the end user. Furthermore, a Governance Panel of Royal Engineers should top it off nicely.

A bit severe, possibly, but there has got to be a way of maintaining our estate properly, without being ripped off. Bringing the whole lot back in-house may be the way to go; however someone has to look at the way these maintenance contracts are written and what we get back in terms of service. As Jeremy Clarkson often says - how hard can it be?
 
#16
When the Americans resurfaced the Ascension Island runway some years ago they used a US Army Coy from Big Red 1 [Think WWII Seebees] who shipped in a 2 million dollar machine into which they put boulders shipped in from Nova Scotia plus other stuff to harden it to specific quality. It was expedited in a timely fashion and an excellent job done. Road from the airhead to town needed resurfacing and UK civvy contractor [Think ver large constuction company in UK] to the island said that will cost you [IIRC] a couple of a million quid a mile at least. Yank Mil said we will lay a new surface for you using our machine for xxxxx [peanuts compared with Contractor]. Guess who did the job. They ditched the machine on completion as it was too expensive to return to the USA. IMHO, Mil construction in a timely and cost effective manner without drama should be job of an expanded RE Corps.
 
#17
I know the MOD and the government are supposed to have something in place where money goes into the local areas economy by using local tradesmen for certain tasks.

But it used to drive me insane to watch a gang of decrepit old civilian codgers dangling off stepladders putting up razorwire on top of our fence at the rate of about 10 foot a day......around a Royal Engineer Regiment for fecks sake!

We had a thousands of metres of the stuff in training stock, hundreds of sappers going through being taught field defences and more plant equipment than you could poke with a shitty stick.....but No, lets get a civvy firm to fleece us.

I feel calmer after that rant.
 
#18
Roadki11 said:
PartTimePongo said:
Ahhh the £90.00 bag of cement analogy. We wanted to do some minor repairs at the old TAC , involving a bag of dust, and one of our troops who was a bit handy around patios, only to be told we had to use a contractor and buy cement from them. total cost us doing it about 30 squids. Total cost of contractor doing it, something like £400.

And they wonder where the black holes appear from.

Anymore stories of gouging? Put them up here, someone might take some notice...
Private West F. ? :twisted:

Seriously though, just let whoever is responsible for the day to day running of the particular building organise repairs and maintenance. It will be cheaper and quicker to organise a local tradesman to do the repair.
There are all those Sappers who have construction trades, use them, let them practice, then all you have is your material costs.
A wonderful idea when we had lots of tame Sappers hanging around but they are now a rare beast and are more usefully deployed on ops.

Litotes
 
#19
Just a couple of examples of how we are being taken to the cleaners by the contractors who work on various defence sites:

1. I was tasked to get a sign put up on a wall. For me to get the contractors to do it, it would have cost £150 and about a 6 week delay in getting the job done. For the price of a packet of masonry rallplugs and screws (£2.80), and 15 minutes of my time and my trusty drill, it was done no time at all. (To all the H&S Nazis out there, the wall was checked for electrical cabling or pipework prior to drilling, and the building is a new build so no dramas with asbestos). The CO & RSM were well chuffed, but the site contractor's weren't as they had lost out on the money for it.

2. We are having cabling fitted for the switch over to DII(F). Now because some idiot has read somewhere that data cables for different systems (not neccesarily of differing protective markings) cannot be run in the same conduit due to the possibility of data compromise due to the electromagnetic interaction between electrical wire (it all gets a little technical), we now have a second set of conduits being fitted and all the drilling, disturbance and hassle that comes with this kind of job. What no-one seems to realise is that the present systems being used and the incoming DII(F) system use fibre-optic for their data transfer, and as such fibre optics are not susceptible to data compromise as there is no electromagnetism present. I even over-heard the project manager stating to his guys that "we didn't need to do this after all" and then the contractors just kept on work and installing the new conduits. I mean WTF! How much money has been wasted because some fcuknut didn't bother to check a basic concept like 'what kind of cable is being run'?

It really does make me sick to the pit of my stomach to see so much money being wasted, mainly due to the fact that whoever deals with and signs contracts in MOD and elsewhere in defence obviously looks for the lowest quote but then doesn't read the fine print in which the contractors have slipped all kinds of get out clauses, and other details meaning that we will continue to pay through the nose, sometimes for things we don't actually need.

Bearing in mind that whoever gets elected next year is going to have to make cuts across defence, why don't they make it their priority to get a number of lawyers in to draw up the contracts based upon a properly staffed and completed operational requirement process, which does not allow contractors wriggle room, contains legally binding clauses in the event of non-delivery of products or services, and start clawing back some of the tax-payers money that seems to get frittered away, due to bad planning. Oh, and possibly posting staff officers in to project management positions and then not posting them out again until they have completed their project.

We are unfortunately our worst enemy. The amount of money that gets wasted because a project creeps is unfathonable. I know that we would all like an all singing all dancing product, but everytime a change gets made to a design or system, the contractors bung on an extra extortionate charge, on top of the already inflated original cost. They are making an absolute mint. No wonder Gordon Brown thought that he could prop up the economy based upon public service spending. It was like bending over, displaying a raped ragged raw and bleeding arrsesole and saying to the contractor "please sir, I want some more". Considering that my unit has had its budget cut to the extent that we cannot even hire minibuses to transport JNCOs to their xmas function, I am disgusted that we continue to waste money.

Rant over,

Ish
 

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