"The UK armed forces will be better able to exploit their Sentry 'early warning' aircraft under a new £665 million support contract awarded to Northrop Grumman. "


Do these PFI deals have any genuine up-sides for military end users or are they really just a dodgy form of off-balance sheet financing for Gordon Brown and HMT?
As an avid reader of Private Eye, I suspect the dodgy accounting answer is closer to the truth.

To be fair, the accomodation at JSCSC is very nice, and I believe it's a PFI venture. If the rumours about how much the tea and coffee cost for our course, you can see where the PFI companies might make a return.
This is my job at the moment...PFI is a bizarre head fck to those involved - but will deliver the goods on those projects relating to ‘accommodation’ and ‘training facilities’

Soldiers will not loose out – others may, but we won’t.

The 'Project Slam' PFI - namely the nation-wide residential project, will deliver each single soldier, private accommodation consummate to the average 2 star hotels.

Each soldier will also have an en-suite bathroom and lockable drying space….but no mini-bar.

In Aldershot, a wider PFI deal called ‘Connaught-Allenby’ is rebuilding a large part of the garrison – including leisure facilities and training areas.

It will become a model for Colchester, Catterick and a few other garrisons

Lastly, Larkhill (and the glorious Royal Regiment!) are benefiting from a complete rebuild of their training and residential facilities.

Private Eye is spot on with its criticisms but from my point of view:

1. We can afford to build squib on our own (Fact)…and with a bit of legal planning, we can get the private sector to do it for us.

2. PFI companies like Bovis Lend lease and Carillion are tied with allot of red tape and can only build what is agreed from the onset – they can’t change the rule book halfway through without loosing allot of money. (For instance, one days delay on completion, will cost £1million in damages to the building company)

3. I worry that the catering standards / laundry and cleaning facilities could alter for the worst and we may see varying standards across the country. This said, if we tie the building companies into maintain high standards, they cant alter them later on.

4. We will see a higher standard throughout the camps…for instance, under SLAM, all carpeting in the residential areas will be changes every 5 years (or immediately upon damage). All walls will be painted every two years (or immediately upon damage). All bath block will be fixed immediately – and we wont see the dire standards of Catterick return.

5. Single Soldiers will see the first benefits and families slightly later. That said, the ROC Build (?) family quarters are AAC Middlewallop look the fcking nuts and I’d buy on of them if they came up for sale.
Most interesting topic! Friend of mine just spent time in JSCSC - it won't break even until about year 17+ of the 27 or so year contract, so thats a big gamble for the Private side of the house. They can only be attractive financially if they have a long enough time to recoup the initial costs.

Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're a nightmare and god forbid you ever get asked to draft one! I agree that UK MOD can't afford diddly squat on its own - just goes to show the priority defence has in the Govt's eye.
PFI.............Always nice for a couple of gallons before the Corps Dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PFI..........Many a fine ale, pity its a building site at the mo due to the local chavs 2 attempts at burning it down! Suggest we try the Redbridge in Royston Vasey, absolutley packed with the finest sights this side of Catterick.

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