MoD pays £2.3bn in consultants bills

#1
The Ministry of Defence has spent £2.3 billion on consultants since Labour came to power

While British forces in Afghanistan and Iraq remain short of helicopters, weapons and other vital equipment, the MoD's spending on management consultants and external advisers has rocketed since 1997: £2.3 billion could pay for an aircraft carrier, 51 Apache helicopters or annual salaries for 17,000 generals.
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A document placed in the House of Commons library shortly before recess shows that in 2005/06 the MoD spent just under £226 million on "external consultants", up from £148.1 million in 1997/98. In 2001/02, the bill exceeded £400 million.

Dr Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: "This is the Government that couldn't find £6 million to fund free parcels to our servicemen and women on the front line."

He added: "A huge amount of money has been wasted on bureaucracy when it could have been spent on giving our forces the resources they need. It gives a vivid illustration of Gordon Brown's priorities on defence."

Nearly a third of the money spent on consultants by the MoD during 2005/06 went to management consultancy firms such as McKinsey and P A Consulting. But the department is also spending millions on private-sector experts to advise it on marketing, public relations, the environment, recruitment, IT and human resources.


During 2005/06 the MoD bought accountancy services worth nearly £20 million and spent £4.1million on external lawyers and £47.2 million on consultants to advise on PFI and other initiatives linked to privatisation.

In one year, it spent more than £3 million on health and safety consultants for its civil servants.

EDS, the IT giant blamed for problems at the Child Support Agency and HM Revenue & Customs, recently landed a 10-year contract worth £2.3 billion to overhaul the MoD's computer systems.


Earlier this year the head of the civil service, Sir Gus O'Donnell, wrote to senior officials at all departments warning them: "We need to exercise stricter discipline, and be seen to do so, in relation to the use of consultants."

A spokesman for the MoD said that "external assistance" was important to increase MoD's efficiency and was used "only where necessary, when all internal resources have first been considered and where the external provider can produce real value".

The Public Accounts Committee agreed that the MoD used consultants to "add real value" and make improvements that would not otherwise happen, the spokesman said.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/09/nmod109.xml
 
#2
It is little wonder that so much of the Defence Budget is spent on consultancy fees, when our retired senior officers join them as soonas they leave as advisors (this no doubt gets them a foot in the very lucrative door). A quick look at PA Consultings web site displays the following boast:

General Sir Mike Jackson GCB CBE DSO served as Chief of the General Staff (CGS) from February 2003 to August 2006 after a highly distinguished career in the British Army spanning more than four decades. He is now Senior Advisor at PA Consulting Group
 
#3
Nearly a third of the money spent on consultants by the MoD during 2005/06 went to management consultancy firms such as McKinsey and P A Consulting
That goes some way to explain how four years down the line they don't have simple s'hit like hard cover in Iraq.
Don't think it would have been any better under the Tories. William Hague was a 'McKinsey Man.'
I hear there is sign on the wall of the McKinsey chairman's office that reads:
"You don't have to have your head up your arrse to work here but it helps."
 
#4
The Public Accounts Committee agreed that the MoD used consultants to "add real value" and make improvements that would not otherwise happen, the spokesman said.
I trust they can provide evidence of this... or is it all covered by 'commercial confidentiality'?

msr
 
#5
armchair_jihad said:
[: £2.3 billion could pay for an aircraft carrier, 51 Apache helicopters or annual salaries for 17,000 generals.
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17,000 generals, well worth the money :roll: it would open more jobs up for their batmen and chefs. Give them a pay rise they deserve it :wink:
 
#7
The problem you overlook is that the MoD is sorely lacking in the skills to do this stuff internally.

Left to their own devices it would be a whole lot worse. Attention might be best turned to the size of their own payroll and what they get for that.
 
#9
the department is also spending millions on private-sector experts to advise it on marketing, public relations, the environment, recruitment, IT and human resources.
Given the outstanding successes in all these areas, don't you think the MoD should ask for its money back?

Marketing - selling the RAF 'brand' so it could be used on a clothing range. Now all at half price since no-one's bought any.

PR - Best PR moments produced entirely by serving personnel (e.g. Patrick Sanders and his 'b*llo*ks' comment). Worst moments produced by serving personnel told it'd be fine to sell their stories of time spent in Iran after advice from PR gurus that this would be a senisble COA.

IT - JPA, anyone??
 
#10
clownbasher said:
The problem you overlook is that the MoD is sorely lacking in the skills to do this stuff internally.

Left to their own devices it would be a whole lot worse. Attention might be best turned to the size of their own payroll and what they get for that.
WOW a novel thought the senior MOD staff and civil servants have all had expensive management training have they not if there not up too the job then perhaps a nice posting to benbecula.

Consults have no more specialist skills than anyone who has attended staff college consultants are a blight on both the public and private sector.

show me a truly successful case where consultants have not only improved productivity, and not on paper real honest to goodness improvement in both working practices and boxes out of doors or reduction in running costs / profit without asset stripping redundancies.

of course i could just be totally wrong and there money well spent! RAF fashion branding line anyone!


edited for real mongo spelling.
 
#12
Scabster_Mooch said:
I read, in relation to the Army PT Shoes, that the Army aims to make full use of all under-utilized capacity and expertise. That seemed to be the reason for making PTIs trial and come out with a comemrcial varient of the PT shoe.

Might that not be why the RAF decided to come out with a clothing range?

I wonder if that originated from these consultants?
yes i cant find the thread right now but some of here know full well the Liabour have embraced the full market concept for years in there use of MOD and HMF plc :x
 
#13
Just what do these 'consultants' consult on precisely? The MoD could do worse than log on to ARRSE and get loads of top notch advice... free.
 
#14
clownbasher said:
The problem you overlook is that the MoD is sorely lacking in the skills to do this stuff internally.

Left to their own devices it would be a whole lot worse. Attention might be best turned to the size of their own payroll and what they get for that.
Erm - actually its not lacking. What they don't do is utilise their skills base effectively. The Army (I quote the Army because that is the Service I was in) used to send people on Masters Degree courses and then patently not used the skills people developed whilst on said course - absolute madness IMO.

However a fcuking good dig out with a G1098 shovel is also in order for b0llocks such as the PR organisation and DHE. If they can't do the job properly then promote someone who can.
 
#15
Consultants are rarely, if ever, used to improve the effectiveness of a business, as it is safe to assume they know very little about the business upon which they are hired to consult.

They are generally hired for a singular purpose, that purpose being to overcome a lack of moral courage in the organisation that hires them. This lack of moral courage manifests itself as follows:

An organisation needs to change, and knows what it needs to do to change, but recognises that if it is to successfully overcome political and external/internal staff resistance, the change proposals are better coming from a 'neutral' entity that can provide 'proof' that the changes proposed are efficient and effective.

PAW

PS. For a cutting and humorous dissection of management I recommend 'In-laws and Outlaws' by C Northcote Parkinson. Last published in 1962 but still relevant today.
 
#16
BuckFelize said:
Just what do these 'consultants' consult on precisely? The MoD could do worse than log on to ARRSE and get loads of top notch advice... free.
BF...your TESCO Defence Value Budget looks less like satire and more like reality every day... :x

And, as someone who actually works for TESCO, let me say this is a truly terrifying thought... 8O
 
#17
General Sir Mike Jackson GCB CBE DSO served as Chief of the General Staff (CGS) from February 2003 to August 2006 after a highly distinguished career in the British Army spanning more than four decades. He is now Senior Advisor at PA Consulting Group
Phew...that was a lucky break for him. I wonder which course he spent his £534 resettlement allowance on.
 
#18
Since leaving the Army, I have been an IT consultant to the MoD, via both EDS, and Fujitsu (technically the Atlas consortium). SC clearance is necessary, obviously. I am self employed, and contracted in, I must admit, the MoD does pay good wages ;)
 

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