Liam Fox - 'Radical reform' planned for MoD

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Snoreador, Aug 13, 2010.

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  1. "Defence Secretary Liam Fox is due to set out plans to overhaul the Ministry of Defence, in a speech in London.

    They are likely to lead to significant reductions in the number of civilian personnel, in addition to large cuts already planned for the armed forces."

    More: BBC News - Liam Fox - 'Radical reform' planned for MoD
  2. Of those 85000 civil servants he talks about how many are doing jobs that used to be done by Servicemen and Women but were turned civvy to save cash over the years? Things like admin clerks, chefs, VMs and depth maintenance on equipment? I smell a little bit of spin and playing with numbers here, there can't really be 85000 civvys working in MoD main building.
  3. It's a case of kill anything but the welfare budget so workshy will hopefully vote hug a hoodie in again. I fear for the next few years if things arent nice and dandy (heh) for the liberals in all parties. We're but a shell. Bow down to even more masters...
  4. But why a speech at the "Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors"? Is this the first indication that a lot of the TACs will be going? Seriously, what's wrong with using RUSI or, god forbid, Parliament for this sort of announcement?
  5. My bold.

    Clearly not. But there are MoD sites all around the country. Abbey Wood, Liverpool, other London buildings, plus all those research and development sites, plus all those civvy drivers, mechanics, labourers etc.

    I'm sure that with a few reviews of working hours, systems and getting rid of some of the wasterals that it should be easy to trim a few thousand of them.

    Of course, this means that less tax is being paid, and more welfare is being paid. Who really wins?
  6. I pointed this out to a friend yesterday; this public sector reduction, in the hope that the private sector will take up the slack, doesn't really make sense. The reason being that taxation isn't really being reduced by much. So, there is still the same amount going out of each person's pocket, but less of that being spent on public services by govt.; it's not like people are being taxed less and given choice. And don't get me started on the welfare bill: "I'm not working class, I've never had a job!".

    Anyway, that's a bit of a digression...
  7. There's a lot of spin on everything that is being said - trying to obfuscate by saying there are 85000 civil servants compared to 100000 soldiers, when actually those 85K support all three services.

    Having served 33 years and having been a civil servant for the past good few I have seen the replacement of serving personnel by civilianising posts; acted as a line manager for civil servants and woe betide me acted as an award manager for the iniquitous bonus award scheme; and without those drivers, mechanics, accountants, unit admin officer staff, guard service personnel, labourers, stores people and myriad others you are going to be truly fucked - having observed carefully since the announcement of the SDSR, besides it causing needless anxiety, I have identified out of 240 civil servants here a grand total of three that we can probably do without.

    A big thing Fox will announce will be decentralisation, so expect the numbers in London to reduce and perhaps spin about losing regional Forces divison, the staff will probably still be there doing important and necessary jobs, they just won't be called 4 Div or 5 Div; 2 Div is probably safe because it is Scotland's Army, but look for mergers of RF Brigades in the South East.
  8. That's pretty much my point Legs, the spin here is that all these Civil Servants sit behind desks in London spunking money on flamingo beak soup and swans blood when in actual fact a lot of them do things like driving trucks for less than we would pay a Service person to do it.
  9. Yeah!.Lets get rid of all those MOD civies!

    What's that Sgt? I've got to sweep the camp roads, empty the bins and do regular gate guard duties now?
  10. The total of 85,000 civil servants is often used to portray an image of 85,000 bowler hatted 'Sir Humphreys' lurking in various parts of the MOD, doing nothing and not having a clue about the forces. The reality is somewhat different.

    Of those 85,000, several thousand of them are the MOD Guard Service and MPGS. About 2500 of them are the RFA (the Navy store ship crews). About 20,000 of them are industrial workers who do a variety of manual jobs such as dockyard workers, munitions depot technicians, crane operators, warehouse workers etc and all the other technical trades needeed to ensure that the forces get their kit stored and maintained and supported.

    The remainder are of a variety of grades, but over half of which work in direct admin support of units across the UK. For instance many people work in small units doing admin jobs, which would otherwise need to be done by already busy forces personnel. They also run the billing side of life, ensuring MOD pays and is paid for its work, and so on. There are several thousand scientists working at DSTL, coming up with lifesaving kit for HERRICK - many people on HERRICK owe their lives to the kit that DSTL bods have come up with.

    There is only a very small cadre of traditional 'policy wonk' type civil servants, and these are mostly in London doing intelligence jobs and policy planning jobs. Even there, they work in mixed forces / civvy teams - its extremely rare to find a purely civil servant department in the MOD. Even in London there are less than 2000 MOD civil servants of all grades and roles - and this is decreasing heavily.

    The MOD CS also deploys operationally, with Civil servants deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan to fill a variety of roles. At any one time there are around 150 civil servants operationally deployed, and this has been constant now for nearly 10 years. There is a lot more operational experience in the MOD CS than you might think!

    One of the reasons why the MOD CS seems so large is because it had a lot of civilianised ex forces posts put into it in the 90s - its a lot cheaper to employ a CS than it is to employ a Forces person, so back in the 90s we put a lot of forces posts into the civilian world. This makes it seem larger than comparing nations - however many of the jobs done here would be done by a forces person in other NATO countries.

    My personal predicition is to see a MOD CS of about 65000 all up - thats roughly 20% manpower cuts. It won't save huge amounts in doing so - salaries are far lower than their forces peers, and the wider costs are limited to pension, so you don't save much at all. I'd expect to see the DE&S shafted, bases closed losing their admin staff and possibly some more privatisation.

    The question though is what part of Defence do you want the MOD CS to stop supporting and what jobs are YOU willing to do to pick up the workload that will be left when your CS support goes?
  11. "But why a speech at the "Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors"? Is this the first indication that a lot of the TACs will be going? Seriously, what's wrong with using RUSI or, god forbid, Parliament for this sort of announcement? "

    It is a speech to the RUSI, but they're using RICS for the location - I'm not sure why this is the case, but it could be due to numbers and seating, or maybe RUSI is closed?

    This is more of an update - a lot of senior officials gives these sort of talks all the time to RUSI, and as there is no policy announcement, there is no need to give it in Parliament first.
  12. Every government department is over staffed except for the MoD?
    Something has to give.

  13. My dept has halved it's headcount in 3 years. If I go on leave there is now no one to cover me.
  14. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    I think there's a lot to be done not just in cutting wages bills.

    Just one example related to IT - a Central Government Department decides to update and whizz-up all Government Websites to appeal to a younger audience. They employ a specialist company at gazzillions of pounds to do it. They do not however specify any requirements related to security of data. When the specialist company starts contacting all the outsource companies that work for the Government Departments that actually hold the data that's to be processed by this website, they can't have it because it's secure data. Then everyone spends gazillions of pounds arguing whose fault it is, and designing ever more expensive solutions to the problem.

    I'm sure everyone working on Government Contracts, not just those related to MOD, can think of other examples.
  15. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Why is the speech being held at RICS?

    After years around Whitehall, one rule is clear - NEVER believe in conspiracy over cock-up. The speech is undoubtedly taking place there as it was decided upon too late to book anywhere else suitable.

    As for the BBC line this morning about civvies being replaced by Servicemen - yes, right, that'll really work, won't it? As pointed out by many others above it's utter nonsense - it would prove inefficcient, expensive, and morale-negative.

    What is much more likely is that they will decide to transfver whole swathes of the MOD to private industry - why not have a plc running an Airfield, for example? Or why not privatise most of the DES? I'm not saying it would save any money, but it would reduce MOD headcount drastically - good headline-grabbing stuff. However, I am not expecting too much today - as Dr Fox can hardly anticipate the SDSR, after all, it's not as if any decisions have already been reached or anything, surely?.....