• 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.

MoD Mil/Civi Flights

#3
That's about £90 a flight which sounds about right for a domestic flight, but 175000?? That is a lot of flights. As most civil servants (assume it includes them) are based in London, where the fcuk are they flying to? Rumour has it one came to Catterick once but it was grim up the North.
 
#4
I spotted this in the Times, and was wondering when someone would post it! Its an interesting figure, but worth making very clear that it applies to both Civilian AND Military personnel – in other words the whole of Defence, and not just the CS (doubtless we’ll get lots more “inventive” abuse towards CS during the course of this thread though).

I’ve got a good idea where a lot of the money went though, and that is on reserve forces flights between NI / Scotland and the UK. I know for a fact that the RNR (and I presume TA / RAuxAF) have a policy of flying down their personnel from their units to national training weekends in the SE. Given we’re talking about 800 people in the RNR alone, each of whom will have done probably 4 – 8 weekends away in a year, and the costs soon mount up. Similarly I flew to Scotland 4 times last year with MOD, and only once on MOD business – the rest was done for the Reserves to save on T&S costs.

My point to this is that Defence has decided that when people need to travel from NI / Scotland or to the far flung points, its usually quicker, cheaper and results in less days out the office than if you drove or took the train. (Say driving to Scotland from Portsmouth – average rail ticket – lots, average mileage claim is about £400, average flight is £90). Do we need to get worked up about this – maybe we do – but we need to point the finger of blame mainly at the Reserves and other military units that allow people to fly to / from Scotland from further south as part of their posting.

PS - any chance we can change the title to "MOD Mil / Civvy flights" or are we just looking for a cheap dig at the CS again?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
A lot of these will be "GYH" flights for those on postings away from home. Not sure how many these are now - used to be around 1 per month, but probably all changed now. With people being encouraged to buy homes, and Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen now in fewer, larger Garrisons/Bases, where frankly you would probably not want to raise a family, this cost will only increase.
 
#7
I wonder if anyone goes to the Airlines "Well, last year we used your planes 175,342 times, where's our discount...? "

I doubt it very bloody much.......
 
#8
Jim, changed the title as per your comment. I can see how it might read and it wasnt for a cheap shot but to highlight the fact that they were with civvy airlines not military flights.

Anyway, 175 thousand still seems a lot

I do a lot of travelling and flying is sometimes the cheapest best option when taking into account time and alternative fares but it is not automatically the cheapest.

In general dont have an opinion on this at all just thought it would be an interesting point to discuss

It also highlights how the MoD seem accident prone due to their own bungling, the news came from an FOI request so why didnt they simply make sure the leave and training flights were highlighted, job done, news story snuffed out, simple.

But no, what do they do, admit to not really knowing the split and then go on to admit there is probably more

You just couldnt make it up
 
#9
Thanks Meridian - much appreciated!

The problem is the MOD is stuck by its own costs - to actually highlight the cost of leave/GYH would need collating over all TLBs, which in turn would cost too much to do for answering PQ/FOIs. Instead MOD has chosen to take top level data as it answers the question - Oooops!

IIRC it was a PQ and not an FOI - pretty sure I saw it in Hansard.
 
#10
I thought the all singing all dancing cure for cancer that is JPA would enable a simple database query or am I being hopelessly optimistic :D

This is what really fcuks me off about the MoD, its so amateurish and bungling, almost seeking out banana skins with a zeal

Thanks for the correction on the source
 
#11
jim30 said:
Thanks Meridian - much appreciated!

The problem is the MOD is stuck by its own costs - to actually highlight the cost of leave/GYH would need collating over all TLBs, which in turn would cost too much to do for answering PQ/FOIs. Instead MOD has chosen to take top level data as it answers the question - Oooops!

IIRC it was a PQ and not an FOI - pretty sure I saw it in Hansard.
But surely the highly complex and very useful JPA could collate such figures without any tricky manual involvment...? A simple querry to the database of how many GYH warrants for travel by air were issued...? or How many requests for warrants to fly were made and issued. It can't be that hard to do......
 
#13
No - they use a different system which is very different in nature. Having used both, I think the MOD CS system is far more user friendly, but they are designed for very different purposes. JPA should track an individual through their entire career, while the HRMS system is designed mainly for admin claims and recruitment. Not sure why there are two different systems, but as they were procured at the same time, there is doubtless a good reason why.
 
#15
jim30 said:
............I’ve got a good idea where a lot of the money went though, and that is on reserve forces flights between NI / Scotland and the UK. I know for a fact that the RNR (and I presume TA / RAuxAF) have a policy of flying down their personnel from their units to national training weekends in the SE. Given we’re talking about 800 people in the RNR alone, each of whom will have done probably 4 – 8 weekends away in a year, and the costs soon mount up.
Well, maybe have a pop at the RNR - but even then not all those 800 folk will have been flown about - The few who live north of Manchester maybe ?

Reserve forces coming over from NI ? Again, not many that I'm aware of and I'm knocking about Scottish training areas quite a lot. The entire TA would have to be flying about like pop-stars to get 175,000 flights in ! ( Well, 5 or 6 each..) Getting flights approved in the TA is almost a non-starter and has been for years.

I'd lay odds that a lot will be leave, courses and meetings. People seem congentially unable to cope with tele-conferencing, which costs peanuts and is very easy to set up.
 
#16
There is also the ridiculous structural farce that is imposed on the Army to have units subordinated to formations in far-flung parts of the country whereby staff from both ends of the chain of command are required to travel vast distances to visit units and to attend conferences/seminars (and 'no' VTC does not cut this down in any significant manner.

As Ops Officer I was required to travel from the mainland to NI weekly to attend COS's and Comd's conferences as well as visit forward mounted sub-units; likewise I am sure the mainland-based units subordinate to a NI-based formation need to travel significantly, as will the NI-based formation staff in order to attend their superior formation's requirements.

There is also a likelihood that a number of these domestic flights might have previously have been accomplished usuing non-operational communications flights, which were targetted about 18 months prior to the period referred to.
 
#17
meridian said:
QUESTION
How many domestic flights do you think the MoD made last year

ANSWER
175,342

At a cost of £15.9million

These were split between mil and civilian MoD personnel and DOES NOT include other flights booked outside of its booking agent

What i want to know is, who is collecting the air miles and bonus points


Source
http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=11106
I've made 27 'duty flights' in the last 12 months both to Scotland and the US. No bonus points or air miles can be used for anything other than upgrades on existing duty flights. Even when flying to the US only economy is booked and an upgrade to business class coming from combined points earned through previous flights.

My only gripe about the 'new system' of justifying flights is that getting flights signed off at one star level is now costing the tax payer more money. Once a business case is raised for the flight and the costs put through several layers of management more often than not the cost has actually risen from the initial quote in some cases by a factor of 5 due to the delay in getting authorisation.
 
#18
Agree with Baldrick on the wasteful approval process.

Travel budgets are very tightly controlled on every unit I have been at. Justification has been pushed for every journey and that has been for the last couple of years. Flying is way cheaper than most trains and most car journeys over longer distances - I don't really see the issue.
 
#19
OldSnowy said:
A lot of these will be "GYH" flights for those on postings away from home. Not sure how many these are now - used to be around 1 per month, but probably all changed now. With people being encouraged to buy homes, and Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen now in fewer, larger Garrisons/Bases, where frankly you would probably not want to raise a family, this cost will only increase.
The Defence/FCO aspect includes 50+ Defence Attache's and Military Attache's across the world making regular trips to and from the UK, coupled with the 6 flights per year that each child receives if receiving education in the UK.
 
#20
jim30 said:
No - they use a different system which is very different in nature. Having used both, I think the MOD CS system is far more user friendly, but they are designed for very different purposes. JPA should track an individual through their entire career, while the HRMS system is designed mainly for admin claims and recruitment. Not sure why there are two different systems, but as they were procured at the same time, there is doubtless a good reason why.
ISTR that, perversly, they have the same back-end software just a different front-end interface
 

Latest Threads