• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Legacy of mismanagement at the MoD

#1
Fascinating interview on the Today prog. A twerp in a suit really said some things that would shock a fantasy author....or not? If any of it is true, which by the squirming of said brown-nose, alot probably is,I would reccomend that anyone in uniform looked very closely at their contracts to find the earliest opportunity to get out of them.
 
#8
Why does this surprise anyone who has been in the forces, we all know that money is flushed away like a vindaloo and Guinness crap. I am surprised it is fact just that much, I would have put it higher.

One question has to be why does the MOD need to hirer consultants and not have people in place with the appropriate skill sets.
 
#9
I must confess that reports like this make my heart sink - every time we see a report like this, the instant assumption seems to be by many that an incompetent CS was responsible, rather than an incompetent military officer.

In terms of what has gone on, my instinct is that the rise in money was due to the ever increasing loss of core skills in the department, as we move to privatise some areas, see long standing staff (both mil & civ) leave to better opportunities outside and also because some of the decisions required needed deeply technical input that the department as a whole no longer has.

People often forget that if you want to do a 'front line first' philosophy (as seen in the 1990s), or protect force structures, then the back office and support functions get cut. Often this means that the technical experts that were once on tap are now taken as a savings measure, and it suddenly costs a lot of money to get their services again.

EDIT To add:
I've done some shuffling around and thought of a few more things - firstly, people need to be clear that there was not a single pot of £600M of cash in the defence budget (or rather £300M per year) to buy in these consultants. This funding would have been taken from the specific programes funding lines as smaller amounts of cash - last time I looked, there were in excess of 500 major projects being run for equipment procurement alone.

Secondly, the scheme appears to have existed as a result of the need to bring in specialist skills - part of the problem for the last couple of years has been a major ban on recruitment except in the direst need. Having tried to go through the recruiting process, its a total mare, and many project teams have found themselves denuded of good people (mil and civ) who are crash drafted to support UORs or sent to theatre or other posts, unable to recruit externally to get the experienced types, and facing a major train wreck in decision making. By bringing in this advice, it may have been a means of trying to keep a project on track, despite efforts to stop recruitment and getting the right people into post.
 
#10
The primary purpose of too much of MOD 'consultation' is to convince people we shouldn't buy someone elses OTS bit of kit, but buy some piece of BAE or Wasteland vapourware kit.
These consultations that prove the merit of buying from BAE and Wasteland, naturally have nothing to do with the post employment prospects of senior .Mil and MOD staff, who just by coincidence, end up on the boards of the companies they recommended MOD buy expensive and often vapourware kit from.
 
#11
To my point of view, if you grosly **** up in an ordinary business, you get a pat on the back, an envelope with a big cheque in and a hint where to shag another organisation. ****ing up in the military has left a trail of dead bodies that charity has had to help clear up.
 
#12
I must confess that reports like this make my heart sink - every time we see a report like this, the instant assumption seems to be by many that an incompetent CS was responsible, rather than an incompetent military officer.

In terms of what has gone on, my instinct is that the rise in money was due to the ever increasing loss of core skills in the department, as we move to privatise some areas, see long standing staff (both mil & civ) leave to better opportunities outside and also because some of the decisions required needed deeply technical input that the department as a whole no longer has.

People often forget that if you want to do a 'front line first' philosophy (as seen in the 1990s), or protect force structures, then the back office and support functions get cut. Often this means that the technical experts that were once on tap are now taken as a savings measure, and it suddenly costs a lot of money to get their services again.
I agree. I am astonished at how we have run down the departments that used to provide so much of our technical expertise and support. Now we pay huge sums of money to the supposed experts in Qinetiq and BAe for "advice" which tells us what we already know. Kerching! I have heard on the grapevine that Abbey Wood might be run down. If that happens, watch the bill for consultants go through the roof!

I also reckon the journalists have not done their homework properly and have just grabbed the figures from out of the ether: so we only spent £6m on consultants in 2006??

No, boys, we probably spent £6m just on FATS in 2006 which was, IIRC, just starting. I admit to raising contracts both before and after FATS. FATS was (is) much better; swifter and easier.

And therein lies the problem!

Litotes
 
#14
I agree. I am astonished at how we have run down the departments that used to provide so much of our technical expertise and support. Now we pay huge sums of money to the supposed experts in Qinetiq and BAe for "advice" which tells us what they want us to know. Kerching!
Litotes
Fixed that for you.

Things like, shall we buy those very sexy new all digital CH-47F's? No, we'll buy a digital version and fit it with analogue instrumentation ourself - it's bound to work!!!

A decade and half a billion quid in rework later.
 
#15
Yep...

This has been happening at least the past 20 years, and in a number of steps:

1. Civilianise the technical support function and career foul any military who dare to actually learn anything useful or valuable.

2. Fill military post with ex military who has just left the career fouled military post. Result - no change, as a competant individual continues to do the work. Military now ceases to train individuals for the technical role, but who cares...

3. Ex mil expert reaches retiral age, or gets totally pissed off by idiot civilian bosses who may be up to speed with the latest HRM jargon but who, in the best G & S style " would not know on sight a Mauser Rifle from a Javelin"! Leaves and is replaces with a "Kevin" with a certificate in Media Studies on transfer from "Min Ag & Fish" (because nobody is being trained anymore...duh!)

4. We finally reach the situation where we have no "experts" or "intelligent customers" who know anything about anything, so hire in "consultants" who know even less, but can do both roles, write the papers, and can be blamed for the inevitable disaster that will come..

The lie of course is that "you can buy in expertise" - You can't in many cases.. You have to breed expertise - train, develop, evaluate and select..

Folks, this is not new!

Almost exactly the same thing happened in the 1880s which led to QA being brought back in house...

This is what happens when you promote too many generalists and stop nurturing expertise.

For evidence just look at the RAOC+RCT = RLC cluster...!

The problem - all the experts left.

The solution - we will use NCOs as subject matter experts - therefore no officer need have any professional training, qualifications or experience and we can ignore or overrule technical advice with impunity..!
 
#18
2. Fill military post with ex military who has just left the career fouled military post. Result - no change, as a competant individual continues to do the work. Military now ceases to train individuals for the technical role, but who cares...

3. Ex mil expert reaches retiral age, or gets totally pissed off by idiot civilian bosses who may be up to speed with the latest HRM jargon but who, in the best G & S style " would not know on sight a Mauser Rifle from a Javelin"! Leaves and is replaces with a "Kevin" with a certificate in Media Studies on transfer from "Min Ag & Fish" (because nobody is being trained anymore...duh!)

4. We finally reach the situation where we have no "experts" or "intelligent customers" who know anything about anything, so hire in "consultants" who know even less, but can do both roles, write the papers, and can be blamed for the inevitable disaster that will come..

The lie of course is that "you can buy in expertise" - You can't in many cases.. You have to breed expertise - train, develop, evaluate and select..
It's not just the MoD who do this. A friend of mine works for Unitied Utilites as an engineer. He tells me that about 10-12 years ago UU stopped taking on and training apprentices as it was 'too expensive' and instead relied on the current pool of trained engineers. The only problem being is that now the trained engineers are starting to retire and they don't have anyone with the relevent skills to replace them. Hense they have now restarted the apprentice program. The problem they now face however is that there is a rapidly developing skills gap between the experienced engineers who are still retiring in increasing numbers and the newly rained apprentices (I don't think any have actually finished their apprentiships yet either!) which is going to leave them with a skills gap for quite a few years to come.
 
#19
The intelligent aren't usually the first ones to catch a bullet, cnuts often hide behind desks or rank, smartarsed slackers hang out in the bar, I still say, after a couple of years of absolutely nonsensical waste, deaths and...considering the media leaning, a foray into Syria, nobody in their right mind could take this lying down, let alone standing up with shiny buttons.
 
#20
Been going on for yonks this - throwing good money after bad. Lots of posters have hit the nail right smack between the bollocks: the guys and girls with experience have been allowed to leave (or not retained) and the resultant skills gap before the next lot of experts is ready needs to be filled by someone like consultants on megamoney per day.

Have worked with some consultants in the past and they ask for the solution, take the figures away, turn the font from black to blue and Robert's your brother's father - there's your solution. And here's the rather large bill for our effort - which you did by the way!

Rant over.
 

Latest Threads