Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by J_D, Mar 4, 2010.
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Eh, where's the big surprise here....?
Big fat fcuking surprise!
Surely the story is Government underspending, rather than MoD overspending?
Correct and the continual need to reassess downwards the spending plan as the Treasury puts its boot in. Death by a thousand cuts is a good anology.
Will the wheels stay on after the SDR? I suspect its going to be painful...
Aunty Beebs take on it here:
And in other news; Pontiff takes Mass and bear faeces found in forest.
The problem lies in our procurement system. There are few people out there will suitable commercial experience to see when we are being taken for a ride. Personnel change post frequently so there is no continuity with the Client as people will have different ideas. There isn't enough end user input through out the process. Also the civvy companies aren't going to complain if we keep changing our mind with the specification etc. They view us as a very large company who aren't going to go bankrupt or walk away.
Rather than having staff officers running the IPT's we should have decent, highly experienced civilian commercial managers who are going to be in post long enough to see things through who are supported by staff officers to provide the military input. Also having a more robust contract might help, with penalty clauses for late delivery etc.
The IPT (or PT as it's now known) that I have the misfortune of being in does indeed have a civvy TL, however the only leadership on show is in the job title. Some of our contracts do have penalties but not enough and not robust enough.
I suppose the problem is that the Civil Service won't pay the going rate for a decent commercial manager (Â£50 - 60K pa) so they struggle to attract the best applicants.
Indeed. Your average PT (the "I" was taken out; I'm guessing because we're not Integrated anymore) commercial officer is earning Â£25k (plus or minus Â£5k) and generally trained in contract law by the Defence Learning portal. They're then expected to deal with people earning three times what they do, who have law degrees. Spot the gap.
As for the announcement - it smacks of blame-shifting to me. Underfunding by the current government isn't exactly news, but now they want to make it seem like it's entirely MOD's fault that things aren't being done and money isn't going far enough.
I'd be cynical enough to note that lines on what should or should not be said in front of committees are generally cleared or rejected by Ministers. Don't blame the people for saying what they were told to say, blame the system at the top which made them say it.
The story is that the MOD, despite knowing what the budget was, willfully decided to ignore it and hide. I think it is unjustifiable to argue for an increase in the defence budget whilst there is this culture of hiding program costs, leaking briefs to the press and ignoring the problem.
More money isn't the solution - spending what you have wisely is.
That's 3/4 of a billion pounds thrown away through deliberately delaying projects in one year alone.
ASR - the reason for deliberate delay is a consequence of our planning system - we plan on a Yr1-10 cycle, with expenditure profiled for each year. Over the last few years we've had several planning rounds (i.e. defence cuts by stealth) where we've had to meet an imposed expenditure ceiling.
The reason for delaying, even knowing that it would cost more, is two-fold - firstly it enables us to make reductions in the years where it is is difficult to make savings (e.g. delaying project X by 1 year may save Â£30m in year, even if it costs an extra Â£20m in the longer term). The other reason it happens is that delaying kit is a better choice than cancelling it altogether.
The MOD has a thankless task here - its got to equip the forces and deal with an ever tighter budget, which is shifting its priorities on an annual basis - they are being asked the impossible and are struggling to do it.
Jim, taking what you say at face value, surely then the way to approach this is for the MOD to cancel projects... at the moment they're making do, mending, fudging, delaying all so the government can claim to reduce spending whilst no-one notices the loss in capability, the in-service date just gets pushed back but becuase its in the pipeline Joe Public still feel like they have a well equiped armed forces.
Maybe a bit of working to rule is required... not enough funding = binned project and ministers have to explain to the public why HMF won't be getting upgrade A, or vehicle B, etc.
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