Government waste

I believe I have the answer to not only our funding problems but the UK s in general., sack all the clowns responsible for the quite outrageous wastes of money detailed below and appoint a minister of common sense who has absolute veto over all government stupidity in whatever form it takes. The proviso to getting the job being, that they are apolitical, and do not subscribe to political correctness.

£20bn on an IT system for the NHS that has had questionable trials, and lacks the support of NHS staff, who have also indicated a limited confidence in the systems capabilities. Another £3bn has been lost in tax credit fraud or errors £1.7bn of taxpayer’s money is being spent settling Metronet’s debts following the failed privatisation of London Underground and it worth reminding ourselves that it was Gordon Brown, who forced through the controversial Public Private Partnership of the Tube when he was Chancellor. A further £300m will go to Transport for London to cover its cost in taking on Metronet’s contracts.

Let’s take a look at the Department of Work and Pensions which has wasted £300m on two cancelled IT projects In 5 years the DWP managed to spend £2.14bn on IT projects, both ongoing and cancelled, with over £500m going to consultants alone.
A further £486m has been wasted on the computer project for the Child Support Agency and £140m on a system designed to streamline payment of benefits which was shelved because it never worked.

Or perhaps £77m on an IT system meant to clear the backlog of immigration casework which was shelved because it missed deadlines. Maybe he should consider the waste in respect of a system that was being introduced to manage the applications of adults applying for independent learning grants which was scrapped after millions was lost in fraudulent applications; the cost of this was another £97m of taxpayer’s money.

Ministry of Defence (MOD) £2.3bn to make civil servants comfortable. After failing to include a clause ensuring that Chinooks purchased from the USA would meet UK airworthy standards (responsibility of the previous Conservative government), the MOD has spent more than £300m, now forecast to be £500m to upgrade them. Ordered in 1995, after 20 years, the upgrade on these 8 Chinooks has still not been completed. Likely waste is in the region of £500m plus the cost of the Chinooks! The MOD also scrapped a computer inventory scheme before it was introduced at a cost of £118m and a further £77m on a radar system for the Harrier before it was decided to withdraw it from service. It also ordered 62 of the next generation of Lynx helicopters at £27m each, but they will not be delivered until 2012. The MoD had the option of buying the Blackhawk helicopter, made by Sikorsky in the US at £8m each, which would have been available last summer.

Once again the MOD judgment must be called into question over a similar situation with the Nimrod AEW aircraft that was supposed to replace the RAF Shackletons. Despite the fact that a well proven replacement, The Boeing E3 was available, the Government decided it was better to spend £1.5billion on a radar system that didn’t work. Having wasted this £1.5bn, they went on to spend another £750 million buying the 7 aircraft that the RAF had wanted to begin with!

The MOD also wrote off £118m on a failed inventory IT project (DSMS). In fact, the MOD may end up writing of over £3bn for a programme to upgrade RAF Nimrods, a plane that is built on the 1950’s Comet airframe and almost certainly with a very limited lifespan. David Cameron does not have to look very far to find government departments where good judgment has been demonstrated to be highly questionable.

The Pathway project, which promised to introduce a benefits payment card in 2000 and was scrapped after four years of expensive development at a cost of £1bn Another £400m was spent on a project aimed at ‘cost control’ for the 2012 Olympics. Something else that should be taken into account when considering the use of taxpayers money is the plan to share services for human resources, payroll and finance using a computer system which was originally forecast to cost £55m with savings of £112m. It is now forecasted that costs will reach £120m with savings of just £20m.

This government has presided over a situation where in spite of the fact that nearly £3bn per annum is spent on ‘consultants’, the decisions that have been reached, remain highly questionable. Has anyone taken any responsibility for this complete waste of public money, the expensive consultants, the lofty, highly rewarded civil servants or the inexperienced ministers? I don’t think so! In spite of proving that they are incapable of making the right decisions in respect of Information Technology projects, this government is forecasted to spend another £14bn of taxpayer’s money this year, this is roughly equivalent to a reduction in personal taxation of 7p in the pound, or if you prefer, a reduction in the top rate of tax from 40% to 33%. Has David Cameron provided any indication that this wanton waste of taxpayer’s money will be a priority of his government if he got into power, I don’t think so!

Now this government wants to spend another £5bn on a computer system to manage a new ID card system. Granted, David Cameron has indicated, in one the few policy decisions he has announced, that the Conservative party, in government will scrap the ID card system. If however, no matter how unlikely, the Conservative government do not get into power, how certain can we be that the Labour government have learnt the lessons of the past and that this, highly questionable project, would be brought in on budget. A recent report indicated that 82% of IT projects have either come in over budget or are expected to. That is an appalling record and for Gordon Brown, someone who is often held up as one of the best (and toughest) chancellors of all time, a very poor legacy indeed. In fact, in my personal opinion, I believe in years to come, this government and specifically this chancellor will be seen to have done more long term damage to this country than any previous government or chancellor in history and we shall be paying the price for decades to come.

An example of what the new minister could do would be the recent TA funding farce and the government’s subsequent embarrassing u turn, remove the bulk of the following listed below from the budget, and you could fund the reserves every year with money left over.

The MoD spent £55.2m on advertising and publicity and another £2 million on employing 35 press officers in the central department, which works out at almost £60,000 per head.The department also spent £3.9 million on employing 68 “marketing and external communications staff” in the central department, which equates to £57,000 per head.

Another 75 press officers and several more marketing staff are employed by the MoD outside its central organisation. However the department declined to compile the cost of employing them. It said it would have taken too long under freedom of information guidelines. Bit of digging on my part and the figure is £16.8 million and yes that bone idle civil servant would go to saving a further £30,000 odd.

Ditto the £2.3bn spent refurbishing the civilian offices of MoD just think what you could spend that on, oh yes the blokes on Ops, simple really.
You've forgotten this gem from the MOD.

Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk10
The design and build contract for ten Mk 10 LCUs was placed with BAeSEMA (now part of BAE Systems) at Glasgow in May 1998. The craft were to be built by Ailsa-Troon in their shipyard on the Clyde under a £20 million sub-contract, however the yard went in to liquidation after delivering only the first two. In November 2000 the contract for the remaining 8 units was re-awarded to BAE Systems Govan at a revised cost to the MoD of £30 million!
Starts with an IT system which came in over-budget and no_one who has to use it wants (when was the last time any new system was introduced that was greeted with praise from those who had to use it?) then moves on to IT systems which were cancelled, presumably because either they were not going to be cost-effective, or would not acheive the stated aim. So what the fcuk do you want? You can't have your cake and fcuking eat it. The only option you leave is no new IT systems. If you had your way, we'd still be sending signals using semaphore, and doing calculations on an abacus. Nice first post, by the way.
What about the 2 billion quid to do up the MOD offices, and just how much was spent to get replace all the paintings of dead admirals
once_a_maverick said:
Are those pubs that you are loafing in on Fleet Street by any chance?
Perish the thought mate, journos are just above traffic wardens in my book.
drain_sniffer said:
dockers said:
Tropper66 - tell us more about the dead admirals paintings
are you insane? How the hell does a dead admiral paint?
It was mentioned yesterday in the TA debate, they had replaced all the paintings of dead Admirals that used to adorn the walls of the MOD with a few million pounds worth of modern art
A Minister for Common Sense you say?

Okay, who chooses him? He's either appointed (in which case unelected and a toady) or he's directly elected and therefore needs to appeal to an electorate. How are his decisions going to be checked and balanced?

What we really need is an elected representative body that can debate spending plans in the best interests of the country, pass them into law and are which then put into practice by an impartial apolitical structure. We could call it something wacky like Parliament and the Civil Service.
but not our civil service or our MP's :evil:

The NHS it scheme sounded like a good idea if it could be done.
bit like chinooks big wokka wokkas we will have some of that.
devil is in the detail.
Tropper - don't believe everything you hear in Parliament!

If I recall correctly, 4 paintings were commissioned as part of the MB refurbishment, and hang in the pillared hall. That is the only expenditure MOD has spent on new art for many years. All the other paintings are still out there, but hang in different parts of the building, or in new areas.

Its often misunderstood that MOD doesnt actually own most of its art - much of it is on loan or donated.

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