NAO report on Army 2020

#1
Now published. My bold. Nothing new, but lots of stuff brushed over is picked up on.
http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Army-2020.pdf

Key findings
6.Army 2020 requires the Army to adopt a fundamentally different structure. Implementation of that structure requires a significant reduction in the size of the regular Army and is reliant on the recruitment, training and integration of a substantially increased number of Army reserves. The primary judgements in our report are that:
  • The decision to adopt an Army structure with fewer regular soldiers and an increased number of reserves was made to enable the Department to provide defence outputs within its available budget. We have not seen evidence that the feasibility of increasing the number of trained reserves within the planned timescale, needed to provide the required capability, was robustly tested.
  • The Army has made progress in implementing structural changes and reducing the size of the regular Army, but the transition to the new Army structure comes with some significant further risks. If not mitigated, they could significantly affect value for money and the Army’s ability to achieve its objectives.

The decision to adopt a new Army structure
7.The future size of the Army was determined by the need to make financial savings while maintaining enough military capability to deliver required defence outputs. The Department developed eight high-level force structures that would enable the Army to achieve the financial savings it needed. The Department costed and assessed options against whether it could meet several potential defence scenarios. The capability risks associated with these options were assessed by a senior military judgement panel on the basis of its military judgement. Such panels are considered by the Department to provide a suitable level of challenge on the risks and benefits to providing military capability. None of the eight options developed were considered by the panel to provide adequate capability and a ‘hybrid’ option was instead developed and chosen. The ‘hybrid’ option proposed a regular Army of around 80,000 personnel and options for an Army Reserve of between 19,000 and 38,000 (paragraphs 1.8 to 1.10 and 1.14 to 1.16).
8 The Department did not test whether increasing the trained strength of the Army Reserve to 30,000 was feasible. The government commissioned a review of the reserves. The review recommended that the Department increase the trained strength of the reserves from around 19,000 to 30,000. The Department accepted this recommendation. However, the Department did not assess whether it was feasible to recruit and train the required number of reserves within the necessary timescale. Undertaking such testing was particularly important in view of the requirement for reserves to undertake a substantially different role in a smaller army in order for the Army to provide the defence outputs required of it (paragraphs 1.15 and 1.23).
9 The Department’s recruitment targets for reserves are not underpinned by robust planning data. When the Department set the target to increase the trained strength of the Army Reserve from around 19,000 to 30,000 it did not have a mature workforce model or good data to help it accurately assess how long it would take to recruit the required number of reserves. The Department has since developed a workforce model for reserves but it contains limited historical data. It is not yet clear what effect steps being taken by the Army to improve recruitment, such as marketing campaigns and the offer of financial incentives, are having on recruitment rates. However, the model suggests that it could be 2025 before the trained strength of the reserve is increased to 30,000. This assessment assumes an increase in recruitment rates for new reserves as well as an un-evidenced assumption that the percentage of reserve recruits that go on to become ‘trained strength’ can be increased from the current level of 34 per cent to 55 per cent from 2015-16. A significant further improvement in both areas will be required if the Army is to increase the trained strength of the Army Reserve to 30,000 by April 2019. The Department is confident that the action it is taking will increase the trained strength of the Army Reserve to 30,000 by April 2019 if the trained strength of the Army Reserve includes reserves returning from Full Time Reserve Service in the regular Army and sponsored reserves. We were not provided with the revised model that informs this assessment and have not, therefore, been able to test the Department’s assumptions (paragraphs 1.17 and 2.28).
10 Reducing the size of the Army will not alone deliver the financial savings required. The Department’s 2011 decision to further reduce the size of the Army from the previously planned 94,000 to 82,500 enabled it to reduce the Army budget by an additional £5.3 billion over the ten years to 2021-22. However, the Department identified that further savings of £1.1 billion a year would need to be made across the armed forces from budget areas other than equipment by the end of the ten-year period. The Department accepted that further savings would be required to offset the higher costs of the chosen option and took these into account when finalising its overall financial position (paragraphs 1.1, 1.14 to 1.15 and 1.25).


11 Greater reliance on reserves will help the Department make savings but may lead to increased costs for HM Treasury. Costing work considered by the Department suggests that reserves cost around 87 per cent compared to regulars when mobilised. However, these costs do not take account of all of the costs related to the training, integration and preparation of reserves for use on operations. As a result, the senior military judgement panel identified that the "Treasury might be required to pay more when [reserves are] mobilised". This is because the Department is funded to generate armed forces ready for operations and the extra costs of military operations are currently funded through the Treasury Special Reserve. Relying more on reserves will help the Department to make savings on its staffing budget, but if reserves are used on operations there may be an increase in costs for the Treasury. The Department planned on the assumption that the Treasury will continue to meet these costs, in line with existing government policy (paragraphs 1.21 to 1.22).
12 The Department did not fully assess the value for money of its decision to reduce the size of the Army. Work carried out by the Department following the Strategic Defence and Security Review aimed to develop options for providing required defence outputs while also bringing the Department closer to its budget. The Department assessed that value for money could be achieved on the basis of the cost savings the Army could make through staff reductions, while also maintaining enough military capability to provide required defence outputs. However, cost reduction itself does not necessarily result in value for money. For example, other factors that can influence value for money, such as whether the Army would achieve its outputs more efficiently, were not considered at that time because the implications of the decision on the Army’s structure and ways of working had not been determined. Since developing the Army 2020 structure, the Army is seeking to assess value for money as it develops detailed implementation plans for the programme and establishes the consequential impact it may have on Army basing, training and equipment (paragraph 1.24).
 
#3
#4
Isn´t this what 99% of arrse has been saying since this stupidity started,before they start wrecking the Regular Army they must insure that the Reserve is fully manned and ready for service,to cut our defence before the Reserve is in place and ready to defend the Country is either criminally stupid or just plain treason?
We might not have any serious enemies at the moment but the World can change very quickly,the US after Obama and with a Republican puppet might just start on Russia over Crimea and the Ukraine,the US weapon lobby is huge and another War might bring suffering and misery to many millions, but they just don´t give a damn as long as they make money?
 
#5
Picking headlines out of the Summary:

"11 Greater reliance on reserves will help the Department make savings but
may lead to increased costs for HM Treasury."

Arguably a feature, not a bug. If using the Army in any significant quantity means the Treasury has to climb on board then pointless vanity wars become less likely.

"17 The Department failed to provide ICT infrastructure critical to the success of
the Army’s Recruiting Partnering Project with Capita."

"18 The Department’s failure to enable the setting up of new recruitment
software has impacted on recruitment activities and increased costs."
Makes blaming everything on Capita as the Army is doing now problematic.

And finally, if despite this report the MoD and Army are promising politicians they will deliver then what do we expect politicians to do - believe them or call them liars ?
 
#6
Much of this is due to a simple (and predicted) project management failure. A2020 plans were implemented after the letting of the Capita contract, which did not allow for Reserves recruiting (the assumption largely being at the drafdtign stage that there would not be much of a need for that sort of thing). This was well known at the time and the problems were obvious and highlighted, but it was too late. Retro-fixing a faulty contract has not worked.

In fact, the failure has been so simple and predictable, that it has led many to wonder whether those opposed to A2020 on ideology grounds, might have turned a blind eye. Not that there is anyone left at senior level in the Army who hold such outdated views, of course. Perish the thought..
 
#7
"The Ministry of Defence hopes to raise the numbers of trained reservists from the current 19,400 to 30,000 by 2018.
It said it was confident the recruitment targets would be met."

This is not physically possible...

"The NAO said a total of 3,020 soldiers entered the reserve last year putting the trained strength at 19,400 in April 2014."

And did they also notice that about 2,960 left?
 
#8
The RSS response feed is up!
http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/th...onal-audit-office-report-on-army-2020.214899/

I liked this bit:
"After years of neglect, the reserve forces are being reformed and revitalised, with £1.8 billion being invested in better training and equipment to fully integrate them with the rest of the Armed Forces. Although there have been a number technical challenges, the programme is on track and the reserves are now growing in size for the first time in 18 years."

I thought that many of the years of neglect were otherwise known as Op ENTIRETY.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#9
Picking headlines out of the Summary:

"11 Greater reliance on reserves will help the Department make savings but
may lead to increased costs for HM Treasury."

Arguably a feature, not a bug. If using the Army in any significant quantity means the Treasury has to climb on board then pointless vanity wars become less likely.

"17 The Department failed to provide ICT infrastructure critical to the success of
the Army’s Recruiting Partnering Project with Capita."

"18 The Department’s failure to enable the setting up of new recruitment
software has impacted on recruitment activities and increased costs."
Makes blaming everything on Capita as the Army is doing now problematic.

And finally, if despite this report the MoD and Army are promising politicians they will deliver then what do we expect politicians to do - believe them or call them liars ?
So, with reference to points 17 and 18, who is being fired over this?

I won't hold my breath...
 
#10
The RSS response feed is up!
http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/th...onal-audit-office-report-on-army-2020.214899/

I liked this bit:
"After years of neglect, the reserve forces are being reformed and revitalised, with £1.8 billion being invested in better training and equipment to fully integrate them with the rest of the Armed Forces. Although there have been a number technical challenges, the programme is on track and the reserves are now growing in size for the first time in 18 years."

I thought that many of the years of neglect were otherwise known as Op ENTIRETY.

Oh wonderfully on message Sir!

Baron Peter and the HoL anyone?

General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, said:


The NAO report fails to capture the nature of the national austerity we faced at the time these decisions were made. The Army has designed a novel and imaginative structure which best meets the challenges we are likely to face within the resources made available. Thankfully, most of the structural change for our new model, which we call Army 2020, is now behind us. We are recruiting regular and reserve soldiers for this new Army avidly. I am confident that, having made such significant changes, the Army 2020 model will endure.
 
#11
The RSS response feed is up!
http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/th...onal-audit-office-report-on-army-2020.214899/

I liked this bit:
"After years of neglect, the reserve forces are being reformed and revitalised, with £1.8 billion being invested in better training and equipment to fully integrate them with the rest of the Armed Forces. Although there have been a number technical challenges, the programme is on track and the reserves are now growing in size for the first time in 18 years."

I thought that many of the years of neglect were otherwise known as Op ENTIRETY.
An increase of 60 in the last year is barely 'growing in size'
 
#12
Oh wonderfully on message Sir!

Baron Peter and the HoL anyone?

General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, said:


The NAO report fails to capture the nature of the national austerity we faced at the time these decisions were made.
The primary austerity was in leadership, moral courage and intelligent thought.
 
#13
It must give everyone a warm feeling inside seeing all the MoD RSS anouncements of money being spent all over the place on various projects. It makes all the treacherous cut backs and the ill thought out redundancies seem worthwhile........
 
#14
Oh wonderfully on message Sir!

Baron Peter and the HoL anyone?

General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, said:


The NAO report fails to capture the nature of the national austerity we faced at the time these decisions were made. The Army has designed a novel and imaginative structure which best meets the challenges we are likely to face within the resources made available. Thankfully, most of the structural change for our new model, which we call Army 2020, is now behind us. We are recruiting regular and reserve soldiers for this new Army avidly. I am confident that, having made such significant changes, the Army 2020 model will endure.
Baron Munchausen, more like.
 
#15
Oh wonderfully on message Sir!

Baron Peter and the HoL anyone?

What General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff, actually said:
"The NAO report kindly omitted to note that we failed consistently failed to meet our budget for 30 years. We then blew the best part of 20 Billion pounds of Treasury reserve failing to win two wars of choice against very low tech opposition. So the Government forced us to balance out books. We threw together a detailed concept and, using the our best in class program management skills, (the ones that caused us to continually overspend), we developed a sophisticated plan for delivering our concept; two up, bags of smoke"

I'm no-where near FR2020 and my attempt at humour is shite, but, as a program manager looking from afar, its pretty obvious that there has been a significant failure to manage this properly, particularly regarding program risk management. There's not much cause for hope that the Army will manage to live within its new budget.
 
#16
Get with the programme!

MoD_RSS has assured us that the Reserves are a huge success and the backbone of the new, leaner, meaner and more capable armed forces!

http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/forums/mod-news.201/

It'll be lean allright. When I was a PSI, my Sqn was 30% under strength when I arrived and 30% under strength when I left and there was sweet fa I could do about it. The main reason for people coming in and then leaving was that the TA was boring, with restrictions on travel, training, ammo, rations etc.

The guys got sick of doing "training" in camp and wanted to do interesting, even exciting stuff. But restrictions....

I dont expect that things have changed much.
 
#17
"The NAO said a total of 3,020 soldiers entered the reserve last year putting the trained strength at 19,400 in April 2014."

And did they also notice that about 2,960 left?
Sort of. Para 15 of the summary mentions the total numbers but when you get to the detail in paras 2.26 & 27, it is just talking about recruiting.

Commercial experience suggests it is much better to retain people (workforce or customers) than keep trying to find new ones.
 
#18
A2020 plans were implemented after the letting of the Capita contract, which did not allow for Reserves recruiting (the assumption largely being at the drafdtign stage that there would not be much of a need for that sort of thing.
This is an attractive and persistent meme. Unfortunately, it is a myth.

This is from the Capita PR announcement at the time of signing:

RPP will deliver the entire process for the attraction and recruitment of soldiers and officers to the Regular and Territorial Army.
I'm perfectly happy to believe that the Army, and Capita, grossly underestimated the effort required for Reserves recruitment, but they did know they were going to be doing it.
 
#19
This is an attractive and persistent meme. Unfortunately, it is a myth.
Not entirely a myth. The Invitation to Tender didn't include recruiting for the reserves and the Preferred Bidder wasn't selected against criteria that included recruiting for the reserves. That bit was negotiated in at the Preferred Bidder stage.

Whilst there's nothing procedurally wrong with doing this in terms of competition law, it does bring risks into the contract award process. Without doing too much thinking I came up with these:

Firstly, there's no way of knowing whether the Preferred Bidder would actually have produced the winning bid against the parameters on which the contract was actually awarded, rather than tendered. So you may have a sub-optimal solution to the problem.​

Changes made to a contract specification after tender submission rarely get the same attention as those introduced in the tender itself. The Preferred Bidder knows he is in a strong pole position and has already spent his bid budget; he is trying to minimise costs at that stage.​

Thirdly, both parties are under considerable pressure to get the tender from Preferred Bidder to Contract Award because project deal ones are fast approaching by now.

Finally, the bit that is added after the ITT is always an extra for both parties; both the project team and the bid team have worked very hard to get the original requirement optimised; they rarely put the same effort into the changes. Tender psychology really.
So whilst what you say is partially true, in that Capita were awarded a contract that included recruiting for the reserves, the underlying truth is a bit more complex.
 
#20
Maybe,but probably just a faint hope and I´ve been out a long time;When the Army becomes a Garrison Type and stationed permanently in their barracks in the UK then the reserves can be directly `welded´ to regular Regiments/Corps etc and their scope of training and activities will increase accordingly and therefore making the reserves more attractive?
If that´s not the plan then they can´t get rid of the regulars before a solid reserve is formed,or,the ex Regulars will need more incentives to join the TA when they leave,cheap housing near a Barracks etc.
Basing the future defense of our Country on a theory of 30,000 reserves that can´t be met isn´t governance it´s gambling IMHO?
 

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