It is irritating that it’s never Treasury (and Government Accounting rules) inflexibility or sheer bloody mindedness held to blame for these inevitable “re-profiling” exercises. Some parts of the MoD could have told the NAO that amazing revelation over 15 years ago. I remember, about then, being ticked off by the chairman of a meeting for being flippant. I had merely pointed out that we had proposed yet another “save to spend” measure.
I agree. It is extremely frustrating for project managers to be accused, after the event, of delivering late, when in fact there has been a Treasury or MoD imposed freeze earlier in the project (which the butterflies with their 2 year postings don't recall or have never experienced). Not the only reason for delays, but is significant.
The last time I was told to freeze a project, we had just completed final field trials, the kit was delivered and the User two days from deployment to sandy places. I told boss to **** off. He then told me to cancel it altogether. (>> stronger language). Perhaps the same "chairman" GBZ!?
Note - the author of this report was previously the MoD's Commercial Director responsible for commercial / contracting policy, so it is entirely possible the situation is worse than painted!