In a report released today, Wednesday the 15th of July 2020, the Public Accounts Committee highlights the Ministry of Defence’s continued “lamentable failure” to “get a grip” and deliver on key defence capabilities needed by the UK’s Armed Forces.

Despite PAC and NAO warnings “year after year” the MoD still hasn’t established a stable basis for making an affordable military Equipment Plan, or a realistic approach to delivering efficiency savings.

The MoD admits it has encouraged a culture that prioritises hitting internal targets above delivering defence capability, with a short-term focus on managing annual financial pressures that reduces the UK’s military capabilities yet further, while increasing overall costs.

Echoing its recent report on failures in the MoD’s nuclear defence programme, the Committee urges the MoD and HM Treasury to consider moving to a system of managing strategic programmes on a multi-year basis – with the MoD to demonstrate “why it should be trusted” with this new approach as it is rolled out. Together the MoD and HMT should report to the Committee on the development of this new strategy by the end of the year.

Covid-19 has worsened existing concerns about the financial resilience of some defence equipment suppliers with the potential to worsen the already lengthy delays to the delivery of many key capabilities.

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“The MoD knows what it’s getting wrong. We know what it’s getting wrong. For years we have made concrete proposals to improve delivery of key strategic priorities and here we are again, with the same gaps in our national defence and the same risk to our armed forces personnel, year after year. We are saying to the MoD and to the Treasury now: come back to us by the end of the year with a concrete plan for how you are going to turn this around, how you are going to do this differently, from now on. The nation and the armed forces that protect us are owed that much.”

The report summary reads as follows:

“The Ministry of Defence’s (the Department’s) 10 year Equipment Plan (the Plan) continues to be unaffordable despite this Committee and the NAO consistently highlighting serious affordability issues in the Plan year after year. The 2019–2029 plan is too expensive by between an estimated £2.9 billion and £13 billion. The Department has still not made the hard choices necessary to balance the Plan and address the affordability gap, which arises in part from a failure to fully fund ambitions set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The Department is instead stuck in a cycle of managing its annual budget, using additional funds to offset financial pressures, and making short-term decisions which result in poor, long-term value for money. Plans for efficiency savings remain totally unrealistic; for example £4.7 billion of savings are assumed without plans for how they will be delivered.

The Department has also struggled to deliver key military capabilities, including equipment, to anything like their required timescales. Of 32 of its top priority programmes, a third are at serious risk of not being delivered on time and capabilities are reaching the full operational stage on average over two years late. The most common cause of delays is late or faulty equipment delivered by suppliers, a problem exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19. Ongoing Departmental transformation programmes to improve capability delivery lack clear metrics to measure their success. We are extremely frustrated that we see the same problems year after year and that, despite repeated departmental assurances that it will make progress, there appear to be no consequences for failure to deliver.”

You can read the full report here.

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Mike R
Guest

All caused once again by under funding and trying to do to much with too little. I hope SDSR 2020 puts this right an awards an appropriate amount for the defence budget, as it would be cheaper in the end.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Lack of funding is the biggest issue but at the same time I feel that if Rishi Sunak increased the defence budget by £10 billion a year, the MoD would piss away £5 billion of it.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Let’s not forget that the MOD is run by the defence secretary. Ultimately it is this person who should be taking the rap. However as always, MPs tend to blame all below them and never take responsibility themselves.

Masterblaster
Guest
Masterblaster

No chance. Defence is about to be cut even more. Even if they maintain 2%, the economy has contracted so much as a result of Brexit and Covid that it’s going to result in a real terms cut. A huge one. I suspect that we’ll see something akin to, or even worse than the 2010 review.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

I don’t think so. Boris has already said there won’t be more austerity. Rishi Sunak isn’t George Osborne. I think we can kiss goodbye to any finding increases but I don’t think we will see more cuts; there is nothing left to cut.

I think tax rises are on the way, rather than spending cuts.

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

Boris said something and you think it will be true? He also said there would be a proper review into IR35 and there wasn’t and when one was done by the lord’s instead he and the treasury refused to read it at all! He said there would be no border control in Northern Ireland despite his own policy stating that there would be and then subsequently had to admit that there was going to be controls. He said kippers had to be frozen due to EU law which clearly was never true, said he would release the Russia report yet… Read more »

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

No I don’t think it will be true just because Boris said so. But he sacked Sajid Javid because he was more cautious with spending and brought in Rishi Sunak, who doesn’t seem to be an Austerity Tory like Osborne was. The fact that Boris keeps talking about building our way out of recession, quoting FDR’s New Deal, pledging an extra 20,000 police officers, which is beginning to happen, and his insistence on continuing projects like HS2 show that he doesn’t seem to be considering austerity as a viable option. Also, he saw like the rest of us, that Austerity… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

The cynic in me see’s BoJo’s ‘spending out of recession’ approach as an attempt to keep voters onside, he doesn’t seem to have an ideology as such, just wants to stay in power so happy to kick the can down the road with regards to debt. It won’t be his problem then and he’ll be the ‘good guy’ who pandered to us NOW.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Tax rises to pay for Cyber warfare, not cash diverted from other areas of defence!

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Its simple to say that we could just lump more cash into the MOD and if we had a bottomless pot of cash then sure but as it is, we look to the guys holding the purse strings to get more ‘bang for their buck’ and the MOD have made an arse of that. Consistent delays to programme introduction and gear not doing what it said on the tin. It can’t just be me that thinks its a good thing for the MOD to be better at procuring their gear, its just a shame that its come to this and… Read more »

ChariotRider
Guest
ChariotRider

This is not entirely a lack of funding, although that is also part of it. I spent 22 years in the defence procurement industry roughly half my time on each side of the customer / supplier relationship (after privatisation). The biggest cost to the MoD was caused by indecision (see the T26 gestastion saga) and even when a decision to move forward is eventually made the system requirements are often changed after detailed design has started because someone thinks they know better. Result delays, cost over runs and yet more delays. The MoD doesn’t claw the costs of delays back,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“MoD still hasn’t established a stable basis for making an affordable military Equipment Plan, or a realistic approach to delivering efficiency savings.” How can they? They can only work with the money HMG gives them, while having a ball and chain called 2%, PENSIONS, and SUCCESSOR tied round their legs. Added to that, yes, the usual incompetence in procurement! “The Department has still not made the hard choices necessary to balance the Plan and address the affordability gap” What, cuts? “which arises in part from a failure to fully fund ambitions set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

How many years Daniele. It’s like listening to a scratched record. Excuse after blunder after excuse et al… The latest gem is Corvid 19. What a load of bull. They are just inefficient and ineffective and the whole outfit should be scrapped

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

It’s a peculiar mix of arguments, some of which seem to be mutually exclusive. On the one hand criticism is made; ‘…with the same gaps in our national defence and the same risk to our armed forces personnel, year after year.’ and then; ‘ The Department has still not made the hard choices necessary to balance the Plan’ So the MoD must close the capability gaps and balance the books. Slow down production as we see with the Astutes might save money in a 12 month financial period but longterm costs more. In addition every penny take away from spending… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree with that Nicholas. On Cummings, I still wonder just how much of that is due to his many enemies. I asked this earlier on UKDJ, where is the proof he wants to remove conventional? Have you read a genuine piece by him on what he wants? If, so, can you give me the link? Or is it just an expansion of his QEC/Drone/Laptop comments that have been jumped on and expanded by all and sundry? On procurement he is right. He must stay out of capability. Your comments on pensions, deterrent, and the need for reviews to be led… Read more »

Longtime
Guest
Longtime

My problems with Cummings is quite simple, 1) He can’t stick to the rulebook, his COVID drive is 1 example, then happily admiting he drove whilst he thought he was unfit due to his eyesight needing to be checked at a landmark. He also clearly broke employment rules when he demanded to check an aides PRIVATE phone to prove she spoke to another party member he doesn’t like, he was within the rules when he asked to view her business phone. 2) He is an unelected individual with no defence background wanting to chair a defence review. Imagine the outcry… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Thanks for pointing out that info on C.
It is quite concerning!

Gareth
Guest
Gareth

To add to that he seems to be supported by a PM who, lets face it, isn’t normally afraid of sacking/purging colleagues when they don’t side with him. Cummings breaks the rules he had a hand in making, with brazen arrogance, and the PM does nothing. Why?

Can’t help wondering sometimes if Cummings has a hold over Boris. Seems unlikely to me that anyone else who behaved that way would keep their job very long, especially around Boris.

lee1
Guest
lee1

I totally agree. Cummings is very dangerous as he knows nothing yet has control of pretty much everything. His “Friends” companies as well as his own (Including one that he and Gove both own a big stake in) are being given Government contracts with zero tendering processes at an alarming rate. Including Faculty which lets not forget was instrumental in the playing the mind games regarding Brexit. Mention Gove to a teacher and you will be lucky to escape with your life. He is deeply hated in the education world for the damage he did and his chief adviser was… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I do think B. is going to last until the
next Election, the way things now are going!

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

That Bloody spell checker again!
I mean Not last to the next election as leader of C. Party.

Sanely
Guest
Sanely

The ultimate decision making power is still lie on the hand of elected ministers, and they have power to fired any unelected bureaucrats(including Cummings). It is pretty much how every normal functioning democratic country operate, and it is democratic. Unlike EU, the ultimate decision making power is lie on UNELECTED bureaucrats and they CANNOT be fired or remove by true elected EU representative, and yet, you still call it democratic???

Andy
Guest
Andy

Hi Daniele,

I think Cummings is the top operator we need to come in and “sort out the MoD”.

His bad press is purely political and should be ignored, he is just a smart guy with a lot of good idea that knows how to make big decisions which are usually correct. We should judge him on results, and that means we should give him a chance.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Fair enough Andy, personally I see him as a bit of an ‘oddball’ which is fine in itself, its not a popularity contest. He does strike me as ‘on the spectrum’ though, a bit of a Sheldon Cooper. You can have all the grand vision in the world but if you don’t know how people work as individuals then you’re maybe not the ‘Messiah’ after all. He seems unable to see that other people don’t see themselves as the pawns he does. I’m sure he thought his handling of his trip to Durham (and subsequent trips) was clever and he… Read more »

Gareth
Guest
Gareth

In defence of Sheldon Cooper, I would say that, unlike Cummings, Sheldon is genuinely an intellectual genius and where Sheldon is merely socially inept but is fundamentally well intentioned Cummings is clearly corrupt and abuser of power, not as smart as he thinks he is (and certainly not as smart as Sheldon), and is willing to act with malice towards people who he regards as in his way or beneath him (which is everyone, including the PM). Personally I think he is a dangerous man and I’m still amazed how he ever acquired security clearance to work at that level… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Multi-year budgets are the only way to go to drive efficiency. Every other industry worldwide outside of MOD/Defence procurement does this for a reason. Civil Servants have had it drilled in to them to hit internal targets as it says above, with little regard to the real term impacts on capability. Some one needs to grow a pair of bollocks and say no, we will not draw out production over multiple years on this project purely to hit cost brackets on a spreadsheet. As it will delay delivery of the capability, and increase cost overall. We’ll pull the finding forward… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

Frankly the MOD do not deserve any increase in funding until they demonstrate an understanding, that the entire reason for their existence is to delivery capability to the Armed Forces.

Not make themselves look good on a fucking spreadsheet, so the boss can blow smoke up their arse & wank them off at the Christmas do.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

🙂

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

The MoD is run by a senior member of the armed forces rotating between Army, Navy and RAF.

Rfn_weston
Guest
Rfn_weston

The company I work for is run by an American based in America. He is my boss, but I’ve never met him… you get the picture… Middle management tend to be the issue.

Nicholas
Guest
Nicholas

I hear you. I worked on projects for a few years, don’t get me started on the professional manager.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Couldn’t agree more. This is the big positive I take from this report- the NAO have told the MOD and HMT to go away and sort out a better way of funding these big-budget projects.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Morning all Not being funny but if we cut anything else we’ll be left with practically nothing. How long can our equipment survive without being replaced? We won’t need to build carriers for another 40 to 50 years, but what about Dreadnought, T26 and T31? What are their shelf lives? If our inventory is in service for too long without replacement, we’ll end up like the US by having no local knowledge of ship design and therefore need to look outside for new frigates!! But too little and we need to keep buying new kit every few decades. Needs a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“But that black hole is massive!!”

It is not known how big it is. It may be the smaller estimate, or somewhere in the middle.

“How on earth did we end up there?”

Because HMG have placed pensions and other stuff in core since 2010 that should not be there. Also over 31 billion of the 10 year equipment plan is allocated to submarines. That is the SSN, the SSBN, and the associated infrastructure like AWE. This costs money.

The economy will improve again. This is not 2008.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

What if Boris hands over defence procurement to an outside company who would run the business as a profit-based company? Any delays would be penalised by the Government, just as with most civil projects. Okay, there is a risk of cost overruns just like any industry, but I’m sure they would be a fraction of those incurred by current MOD practices? By all means, allow replenishment budgets to stay in -house, but all principle projects could be placed outside? One key factor, the outsourced project would not be subject to constant government scrutiny or variable cost targets.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

The privatisation of DES has been mooted before, by Geoff Hoon.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Being a simple soul, its always struck me that the way we do things with everyone being precious over their own budget and trying to push everything into others budgets is a big part of the problem, there isn’t a holistic approach to things. I can’t say I have an answer to it but what we have now is seriously flawed, all the way down to department stationary budgets.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Privatising it will only add to costs & reduce delivered substance as their priority will be profits first, just like it has in every other privatised essential services. In every instance I’m aware of the UK taxpayer gets ripped off. But I expect the architechts of privatisation always knew that’s the reality but sold it as a sure-fire way to get efficiency. The only efficiency I see is squeezing the maximum profit for the minimum effort.

maurice10
Guest
maurice10

Frank62, what you say is true but a bit negative as this method can also deliver in a fast and efficient fashion. The profit incentive is the prime mover in any outsourced venture, and I don’t believe that is a necessarily a bad thing. Look for instance at the Hawk trainer developed privately and presented as a complete package. There are more examples of such successes, and I would prefer an imperfect privately run programme, than an in-house effort that constantly overruns in cost and time, with little or no accountability.

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Maurice, does it have to be either/or ? While I can’t claim to know all the details, at first glance the process for the T31’s seems sensible, still early days but if the MOD can come up with a rough idea of what they want and the budget for it then get business to work to that rather than the other way round and the salesmen telling the MOD how much its all going to cost. If we can get the T31’s for about the agreed price then I’d say that’s a rare win for MOD procurement. Could be the… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

It is a complete con that we spend 2% of gdp on defence. We actually spend 1.4% on defence after you remove all the things Osborne stuffed into the defence budget which equates to an actual defence budget of 29 billion v the headline 38 billion. And the other problem is we constantly change the spec of projects adding to the costs or we slow the build to save money in the short term. BAe proposed to build 15 type 26 over 12 years at a cost of 11 billion but the mod choose 8 to be built over 15… Read more »

geoff
Guest
geoff

The main point is that 15 units allows a decent spread of the fixed costs- 15 for 11 billion = 733 million per unit as opposed to 1,062 billion per unit for 8!! The page one economy of scale rule. If they had ordered fifteen, even if the RN could not take them all they could have afforded to sell the surplus to other navies at a discount and STILL get their 8 units for less than they are paying now. They need a 1st year Economics student to run the show methinks..

RH
Guest

The nuclear deterrent should not be in the defence budget as it is political.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

On the flip side, it’s always been there so why remove it now- as it has to be paid for from the same overall stock of money?
And it is operated by military personnel and maintained and based on military facilities.
I have no problem with it being in the defence budget, but I would expect that the budget has a recognised increased amount for a replacement, to reflect the massive cost and political element of the deterrent.

Dern
Guest
Dern

It hasn’t always been there. The treasury used to maintain the nuclear deterrent itself. Only in the 2010 SDSR was trident moved into the slashed MoD budget.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

That’s not accurate I’m afraid, it has always been part of the MOD budget.
https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8166/

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Hi Joe.

Very interesting reading, and I’m totally confused now on the funding of CASD issue.

Andy
Guest
Andy

The running costs of the subs was in the defence budget but the build and r&d costs were paid out the treasury contingency fund and paid to the MoD . Basically the cost of running the Vanguard subs is spread across all 3 services but the cost of r&d and building them was paid for by the treasury . But the dreadnought program is being paid out of the MoD equipment budget and accounts for 13% of this years defence budget which is removing approx 5.3 billion from this years defence budget of 41 billion plus the 2.3 billion operating… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Thanks Andy very instructive.

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

That’s interesting about the move of the intelligence elements into defence too, although it sort of makes sense from an organisational standpoint. I heard that the security services got a boost in budget over the last few years though, so I assume that wound up with the MOD? I have to disagree with your nuclear numbers a bit there though; historically the nuclear deterrent has been paid for out of the MOD budget (with a bit of a boost from HMT when it comes to the capital build costs), but O&M has always been part of the defence budget. Which… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Sorry Joe but giving the MoD a extra cple billion to cover the expense of r&d for the CASD program is a sticking plaster . Even if you remove the Vanguard operating costs Osborne padded the defence budget by 13 billion to create the illusion of 2% . What happened prior to 2010 was the operating cost of the CASD was paid out the defence budget but the treasury contingency fund replaced the money, it was a smoke and mirrors transaction designed to remove the cost of the CASD from the defence budget for some obscure reason from the original… Read more »

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Sorry, I think we’re talking on slightly cross purposes: I fully agree with you that Osbourne messed with the defence budget by adding stuff in, without transferring over their budgetary line items. It was a shoddy tactic that doesn’t serve anyone well at all, and I hope that something is done about it. But I’ve not seen anywhere a reference to this top-up fund you mention; the government reports I’ve seen seem to say (including MOD) that HMT often tops up the capital costs to one extent, but otherwise it’s a defence budget line and always has been. I’ve no… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

You need to read all the defence committee reports on funding the CASD from polaris to dreadnought to fully understand how damaging the Boy George decision was to lump it in with normal defence spending. It has created the elephant in the room regarding equipment budgets for the next 10 years . And added 2.3 billion of operating costs to the defence budget. You say we have a huge defence budget of 41 billion but out of that we only spend 15 billion on equipment and another 1.8 billion on R&D . Out of that figure 5.3 billion has been… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Sorry Andy, I’m calling bullshit on this….
“If you asked any service person they all say get rid of it and invest the money in conventional forces .”

Maybe a tad biased as I was a submariner but I can’t recall any matelots having a strong view on this or even guys from the other services, it is what it is. You’re more likely to get guys saying “we should reduce the Army/Navy/Air Force* and spend more on the Army/Navy/Air Force*”.

*delete/add as appropriate

Andy
Guest
Andy

You are entitled to your opinion but I have spoken to serving officers from all 3 services and there is a consensus that the deterrent is a political statement and not a military one and we need to make a hard choice about weather it makes any sense in having the CASD at the expense of our conventional forces seeing as the defence budget is falling in real terms . We are spending 31 billion to 41 billion to put 8 missiles to sea with 40 warheads it makes zero sense if you look at from a outside point of… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Bit of a ‘smoke and mirror’ response, I’ve picked you up for your “any service person” stuff. Not your view on the merits or otherwise of a nuclear deterrent.

By all means, work yourself up over it all, go for it, howl at the moon to your hearts content but don’t claim to speak for the entire Armed Forces in your views.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I did not claim to speak for the entire armed forces but seeing as you have problems with understanding basic English I will let it go .

I have spoken to officers who are for the CASD but they are the minority the only place there is a majority is at senior level but that is about politics.

Thank you for your permission to allow me to air my views you condescending prat .

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

You started off with ‘”any service person”, now its some officers you’ve spoken to but also a majority “at senior level”. So which is it, every Jolly Jack/Tommy Atkins/Crabfat Princess (sorry crabs 😉 ) or just the ones that agree with your preheld view. Honestly dude, no need to be so precious, just saying its a bold call to toss in that “any service person” agrees with your stance when in reality you made that up based on a handful of conversations. That suit you. I’m not countering your arguments on whether the nuclear deterrent should come from this or… Read more »

Andy
Guest
Andy

Obviously you cannot read or understand big words.

I have zero time for narrow minded bigots like you

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

You may want to re-read our wee debate, I know its the internet and you’re allowed to fly in the face of reason and behave like you wouldn’t face to face but go on, just for shits and giggles re-read it. All I’ve called you out on is claiming to speak for the Armed Forces on the subject of our nuclear deterrent, surely you accept that its they all speak with one voice on this…..

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Goddamn the lack of edit on here. I guess I’ve made my point, even if it is bad England (on purpose).

David Flandry
Guest
David Flandry

The nuclear deterrent is not a naval asset in any way. it is political. George Osborne moved the entire cost into the MOD so he could balance his friggin’ books. An accountant should never be in charge of defense.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Was not a Deadnaught Delivery Agency setup? If so, why not fund Agency from the Treasury to deliver Deadnaught?

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

I’ve no idea, I hadn’t heard about it to be honest. In my opinion, the money all comes out of the same pot ultimately, as long as reasonable funds are made available for it I don’t really mind which sub-pot it comes out of. The vast majority of the costs go to military and military-industrial bodies for the design, construction and comissioning of these units, so I can see the sense in putting it in the defence budget. Unless the government wants to set up some kind of National strategic super projects department, which handles everything from HS2, Dreadnaught, 5G… Read more »

Ian
Guest
Ian

Andrew…….that’s very well explained and very informative…Osbourne and Cameron were con men…..

Andy
Guest
Andy

Thank you Ian

I spent 12 months as a researcher for a Labour MP who was a dense as granite until it was time to claim his expenses. He was a MP for a Scottish seat containing shipyards .

Biggest mistake ever was letting Vosper close in Portsmouth but that was down to the power of Scottish Labour Party

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

“Biggest mistake ever was letting Vosper close in Portsmouth but that was down to the power of Scottish Labour Party” This cuts both ways Andy, Rosyth lost the submarine refits to Plymouth to help the Tories in the South West, they knew they weren’t going to get any seats in Rosyth so moved a perfectly viable refit group to Guz where the Bombers can only get in and out on certain tides. No such issues in the Forth. If you something think one political party is more honest than the others then I’ve got some magic beans for sale, for… Read more »

Harold
Guest
Harold

When the UK falls apart, there will not really be any justification for the retention of nuclear weapons.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
Guest
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

Harry son, as amusing as your daft wee anti U.K. comments are the fictional fantasy you cling to just isn’t going to happen . So a wee sing along that’ll maybe cheer your “enemy of the state “drab routine up C’mon altogether now ‘Rule Britannia Britainnia rules the waves Britons never ever ever shall be slaves😂😂😂👍🏻🇬🇧 ‘ once again now….GOD SAVE OUR GRACIOUS QUEEN , LONG LIVE OUR NOBLE QUEEN……. and again now “ I’ve just come doon from the aisle oh Skye I’m no very big and am affy shy , all the girlies shout when I go by… Read more »

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn………sorry pardon, did you try to say something useful?….nope thought not!

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Keep Dreaming, H!!

Rob
Guest
Rob

The problem is the yearly defence budget. Programmes get stretched to remain within yearly financial restrictions and end up costing more and being late. A better way to operate would be to run a five yearly or even ten yearly budget. That way you can accelerate programmes meaning less overall cost and sooner in service dates.

I’d also take the strategic nuclear deterrent out of the defence budget and make it quite separate. After all it has very little military utility other than ending the world whereas it’s real role is strategically diplomatic.

Paul C
Guest

Yes, General Nick Carter highlighted the issues surrounding the annual budget to the HOC Defence Select Committee. Even within education which is my own field we plan and budget on a 3-year cycle. Working one year at a time which we used to do in the 1990s is ridiculous when dealing with multi-year projects. Obviously defence is far more complex and projects go on for much longer, so a minimum of a five year budget seems sensible.

4thwatch
Guest
4thwatch

Few understand the complexities especially in political circles, yet despite this the Defence Committee makes the best case it can. In truth though its a rather toothless watchdog.

Harold
Guest
Harold

It’s not about to happen, is it?

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

What? The possibility of you getting something correct? Nope……Hold on, your correct, you won’t get anything correct…ah bet your confused now H eh? Well that’s correct, your confused!

Harold
Guest
Harold

What you people face is 2% of a diminishing GDP. So prepare yourselves as you seem keen on sustaining the unsustainable. Dominic Cummings, unelected as he is (you know, let’s get rid of those unelected EU bureaucrats and end up with an unelected bureaucrat – you gullible few) is firmly in control. Some on here accuse me of being a Russian troll. Taken a look at Dominic’s CV have you? Or even Johnson’s funders? Dominic has made it clear he is on a mission and so he is. If he was in a weak position, the lockdown saga would have… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

peepee poo poo

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

People like Harold thrive on responses to their comments. Just ignore him and he’ll get the message and F O

Harold
Guest
Harold

No I won’t.

Harold
Guest
Harold

Are you losing your little mind? Problems with the family again? My life, already. Never mind. Have a chat with the Rabbi. It might help you a bit. Try reading the Bible. There are grown up words in there.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Are you speaking of yourself now, H!

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Ah I see a little bit of presumption and racial profiling going on there H, oh dear, not quite the lovely little lefty you would like to think you are….oh hang on, lefty….ah default setting is being an anti semite.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Gnash, froth drool, slurp, froth, whine, whinge and cry……..ah Harold (Iqbal) is back to his useful fool type self. Welcome back, we missed the entertainment.

Derek
Guest
Derek

YOUR assault ships ?… Gave yourself away there comrade.

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

“for example £4.7 billion of savings are assumed without plans for how they will be delivered.” I actual heard an example of this when I was in the procurement chain. The process was supposed to require a specific statement explaining how the efficiencies / savings would be delivered. But someone came up with a phrase (can’t remember the words they used now) that became a standard dodge, effectively allowing stakeholders to kick the can down the road. As I have said so many times, behaviours count for far more than process because who is going to argue with a senior… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Take all the money the MOD needs to plug the gap from foreign investment and aid budget. £14 billion a year. Problem solved. It is all about priorities and I’m sorry to say I would rather have the armed forces equipped and ready then see the money going to waste being splattered randomly around the world for little to no gain for uk plc

Daveyb
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Daveyb

What the MOD needs to address and quickly, is how DE&S is run. At present it is a mix of civil servants, contractors and military. The military look on everyone else with contempt as they believe the civil service are just interested in balancing the books. The civil service can’t stand the military as they are only in post 2 to 3 years and want to be seen to make a difference and then the cycle starts all over again. Then everyone hates the contractors as they are only in post for 18 months on triple the wage of everyone… Read more »

BV Buster
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BV Buster

Daveyb: “It might also be the time to give NCOs more project authority as generally the are the true subject matter experts” That’s the biggest problem I have had, civil servants and contractors will not speak to the SNCOs as they have no authority, the officers have authority but zero knowledge or experience. There is no such thing as an officer SME when it comes to equipment, they just don’t spend long enough using kit before they move on to a desk job and never see it again. Some of the officers making big decisions about procurement have been off… Read more »

James
Guest
James

Most important line in the entire article: ‘there appear to be no consequences for failure to deliver’ This is exactly what should be in place, if someone royally screws up they should be penalised. How that may happen without causing a ridiculous legal case I do not know but in any mainstream job if you sign off on a project and its a monumental screw up to the level this lot manage you dont have a job, end of. As the article says year in year out its the same story repeating, why is nothing done about it? Do the… Read more »

Frank62
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Frank62

I agree. We watch the same mistakes being made decade after decade & nobody is made to face their responsabilities. We need a clear out & to start again.

Steve
Guest
Steve

The problem is these committees are always blasting the MOD and therefore no longer really has any impact, people just shrug when they read the government has wasted money yet again.

The focus needs to change to what can be done better rather than just blasting endlessly the MOD, especially as there is no actual accountability. The civil servants are bullet proof and the defense sec will just blame his predecessor or the treasury and no one falls on the sword for the mistakes and so lessons don’t need to be learnt and clearly aren’t.

expat
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expat

I know people are going to hate this but why not run equipment procurement businesses do. We by a T23 with 20 year life span cost is written off over the 20 years, in the MoDs case should be allow to borrow from the government and pay back from it budget over the assets life cycle. This would allow it like business to plan it equipment purchases and spread the cost. once the asset is paid off it creates a surplus in the budget to buy its replacement. Set the 2% as the predicted average of GDP over a 10… Read more »

Meirion X
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Meirion X

Most

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Most MoD capital expenditure is spread out over a number of years on procurement projects anyway.
Only occasionally lump sum payments for single or multiple items over a year, mainly for spare parts etc.

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

With their track record & outstanding failures I’d sack most of them to restructure the whole system to what works & delivers, but also get the treasury to bail out the black holes. Defence, especially when we’re so critically weak in a very dangerous world & risking lacking many essentials, is critically important to our nation just as much as surviving Covid19.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Someone needs to explain something. When people think of the MoD they think of people in uniform not civil servants. So when people read that the MoD is wasting money etc they think Generals, Admirals etc are wasting tax payers money so it is the men and women in uniform that get the blame. Many dont understand that the MoD is a government controlled body of civillians supplying money equipment and orders to the men and women in uniform. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better if government would say to the senior officers this is what we want… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

I do get your point but we still have 175 Brigadiers and above for an army of 110,000 (with the Army Reserve mobilised). That equals one general for every 689 soldiers. Similar in the RAF & RN too. More Chiefs than Indians?

Andy P
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Andy P

We have a ridiculous amount of ‘brass’ across all three services. About 10 years or so ago I went through the Naval List (of officers) and for a Navy of about 35,000 at the time we had something like 36 Admirals and 60 odd Commodores. There were 204 4 ring Captains too….. I gave up on the Commanders. That’s a lot of guys to come up with ‘bright ideas’.

Its changed now but Admirals (and I think Commodores) used to ‘retire’ on full pay, there will still be a lot of these lads knocking about.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Good point about the RN. We have 2 x CV, 2 x LCA, 6 x DDG, 13 x FFG, 4, SSBN & 7 x SSN. That is 34 meaningful warships, how many Admirals do we need? I’d suggest 1 for the surface fleet, 1 for subs, 1 for HR / Training, 1 for doctrine / procurement & future systems & 1 to be Admiral of the Fleet, that’s 5 in total yet include the defence attaches etc we have 30+?!? Work that one out.

PS the RAF is worse with Wing Commanders commanding sqns etc…

David Flandry
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David Flandry

The CNS will be cutting 2-stars, and putting more work on commodores, word has it. The RAF needs to cut some AVM and air commodores also.