Now you see it...

The Ministry of Defence has been accused by MPs of masking the true costs of military spending.

The cross-party Public Accounts Committee says transferring costs of major projects between budgets makes it impossible to assess value for money.
And the report also stated that over-optimism among defence chiefs and the defence industry led to unrealistically low estimates of the cost of major pieces of equipment, which later have to be revised upwards during production.

Committee chairman Edward Leigh said the moving of expenditure was "not acceptable".

He said: "The Ministry of Defence is trying to persuade parliament that the forecast costs of major defence equipment projects are under control - by moving expenditure from those projects to other defence budgets.
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So who drives this sort of nonsense then? CS at the behest of politicos? Military?
I took his point to be that the MoD goes round bleating about lack of money being behind shoddy barracks, poor med provision and pay and allowances being a disgrace, yet can't (probably deliberately) account for the value of what they're spending at the moment.
mediumwhiteamericano said:
Sorry PE4, not too sure what your point is. What are you saying?
I was rather hoping someone would appear to comment on the article.
We are all aware that smoke and mirrors are integral parts of explaining away mis-management, delays, cost over-runs etc. but who are the prime movers? More to the point what impact does this actually have on the timely provision of kit when an Operational requirement rears its ugly head.
Blogg said:
Read the report itself than pre digested pap from the press. What it comes down to is an objection to MoD juggling with cost so some of them fall outside the scope of "Major Projects" budget lines.

Some reallocations may be justified but suspicion is that all it does is make it more difficult to see what the real costs are.

MoD Major Projects Report 2007
Thank you, I'm obliged. Smoke and mirrors is apt I think. Sir Bill has to be the model for Sir Humphrey.
Thanks PE4, that clarifies things.

I can confirm that MoD Main Building is awash with smoke and mirrors when it comes to this sort of thing. I've seen my boss prepare a paper for those at the highest level who then go on to spout the information as if it's all true. However, even at that level it's all been a pack of carefully constructed 'mis-speak'.

It really comes as no suprise. The MoD have, and continue to, wasted £M on poorly managed projects of which a great deal are quietly scrapped when another project comes along. The SIngle Services are determined to operate as stand alone groups who will do the upmost to keep themselves to themselves.

Only a Government Department could spend an annual budget of £B without a care in the world. I mean, it's not as if they're worried about where next years budget is coming from is it?
Without wishing to defend what they have done, it is common in business to 'shuffle' the bugets to make things work. one part is under budget, another is over, so money is moved for convenience.

Whether the same process could or should be employed in the MoD is a different story, as accountability to the taxpayer is important.

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