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MOD : The Defence Equipment Plan 2012

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MOD : The Defence Equipment Plan 2012

Old 28th Feb 2013, 03:08
  #21 (permalink)  
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"MOD wasting billions on equipment"

BBC News - Ministry of Defence wasting billions on unneeded equipment, MPs say

Again I'll ask, why can't we re-route a tiny portion of this massive equipment budget to our serviceman instead of consistently slashing pay, pensions and allowances?
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 06:31
  #22 (permalink)  
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Because procurement is a multi-billion pound boondoggle for which the armed forces are bit-part players.

It screams, at best, massive incompetence and at worst, corruption and / or treason.

Still, as a wee scaley-brat I remember the joy of a hanger full of c.1960s WAAF issue sanitary towels being found and the station commander arranged or their disposal with everyone (IIRC) getting a pack or two.

I recall my SMO father washing our car with one. Odd childhood memory that is.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 06:56
  #23 (permalink)  
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Quoted examples of said waste ...

Six propellers, total value £1.1million, for the remaining Type 42 destroyers. Only one is still in service.

A ten-year supply of fire-resistant overalls even though fewer than 200 a year are issued.

Enough spare parts for the Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft to last 54 years. The plane was scrapped in 2009.

Twenty-five air conditioning units valued at £135,000 have not been used since at least March 2007. Twelve of them are unfit for use.
I bet you'll still find a few of those wonderful brown waxed packages containing WWII Gauntlets Leather Air Gunner

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 28th Feb 2013 at 09:36.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 08:15
  #24 (permalink)  
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Somewhere in there one should find a whole warehouse full of aircrew watches that never made it to the frontline. Or were thay all on the Atlantic Conveyor?
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 09:38
  #25 (permalink)  
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The nimrod is a good example where people are looking at a headline without doing any in depth research. Parts are purchased on a ‘expected use’ rate – in the case of Nimrod, we’d bought sufficient parts to keep a fleet of IIRC some 15 aircraft flying.
So, we may have needed 4 widgets per year per aircraft to keep it flying (e.g. 60 widgets equals one years worth of stock). If you suddenly deleted the MR2 fleet, and drop to just 3 R1s, you still have 60 widgets in stock, but you suddenly have 20 years worth of stock on hand.
The problem is contracts are placed, and supplies bought based on expected useage rates, which then get thrown out the window when kit is deleted or force levels change, or readiness changes.
Once again I despair at the way that the military are somehow portrayed as poor innocent little lambs in all this, thanks to the incompetent evil civilians messing up. The sooner the Military can admit that they too play a very large part in this mess, the sooner we’ll see real progress. Too often it seems easier to play the ‘a nasty civilian did it’ card than man up and accept that uniformed personnel can screw up too.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 09:39
  #26 (permalink)  
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The old adage still appears to be true then ...

"Nothing comes out of stores apart from well dressed [email protected]@ards at 5 O'clock"
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 09:56
  #27 (permalink)  
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No it's much different Coffman. It's 3 O'clock on Mondays and Wednesdays, closed for stocktaking on Tuesday and Tailor's Parade on Thursday. And Friday after-whats?

As for the waste, many of the boys an girls I know who are still in complain of having too much duplicated kit now. Stores have to issue the lot to avoid embarrassing MPs even if you've still got 80% of your kit left from the last 11 visits to the desert. It's called intelligent procurement....dumbass delivery.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 09:58
  #28 (permalink)  
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In 1979 I was issued with a new pair of Long Johns that bore the War Office arrow and were made in 1953. God knows how many times they'd been counted and moved. It would have been cheaper to give me a voucher to buy a pair at M&S.

I still have them

Last edited by airborne_artist; 28th Feb 2013 at 09:59.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 10:01
  #29 (permalink)  
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Jimlad1 makes, overall, a good point. If one is able or bothered to look at the background detail, a lot of the so-called incompetence is normal and to be expected effort in the real world.

It should also be borne in mind mind that when Provisioners are trying to do their day job of provisioning to a moving target, with dwindling resources, while meeting shed loads of Management (Government) performance targets, background work for "contractorisation" with subterranean levels of morale, conducting a Surplus Stock Review is pretty near to the bottom of one's priority to-do list. It's also easy to forget that the cost to store is a lot less than cost to buy. Additionally, it's also easy to forget that the Inventory Value is based on what it cost to buy the Store Item. It's only worth that on disposal if somebody else wants it for a similar purpose; otherwise its only value is the scrap arisings.

Last edited by GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU; 28th Feb 2013 at 18:01. Reason: Mong typing
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 10:09
  #30 (permalink)  
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It's only worth that on disposal if somebody else wants it for a similar purpose; otherwise its only value is the scrap arrisings.
And some items have no market value and/or attract a disposal cost.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 10:25
  #31 (permalink)  
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I remember being told, on first joining up, that we train the man ('twas in the days when the WRAF and WRAC still existed) and the assumption was that the better-trained man would beat the less competent with the better kit.

Unfortunately, better-trained men (and women) are 'awkward'. Their abilities can't be readily articulated in a press release and don't they generate the good photo opportunities which ministers love. The Forces Covenant, meanwhile, is see-through when held up to the light.

More and more, defence policy is looking like a Bird and Fortune sketch on being seen to be doing, rather than actually doing. The parodies just aren't funny any more.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 19:44
  #32 (permalink)  
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I had to laugh at the last batch of posts on this thread following the PAC report.

Couple of points to set the record streight: It's not just civilians in the IPTs who determine how much to buy and what disposals to make.

Jimlad is spot on.

I undertook a huge disposals exercise over the past 10 years. absolute travisty that I was signing chits to justify disposal of spares I had adopted that we threw the main assemblies out years before I was in post. Totally incoherent.

Our Depots in UK were full. we were sending stuff to Germany to store as recently as last year. Oh what a suprise - no space to bring it back to UK

My most comical experience was trying to buy back some kit we had disposed of that was required to sustain the troops in Afghan. the guy (Ex RAF) wanted more than double the price of new items - lead time on new items was 6 months these second hand parts were off the shelf in a farm barn not far from Kemble. My RAF Gp Capt decided not to buy from this chap. he told him to stick them where the sun don't shine. In event no one suffered. consumption by the ops planners had been well over estimated.

Point here is that the Civilians in the IPTs don't determine the level of the requirement just restocking based on historic or estimated data of consumption, ecconomic order qty lead time etc.

The PAC are doing a great job exposing this type of thing. Why do Ministers feel the need to defend the indefencable? Nothing changes.

Remember last weeks posts about DIFiD topping up Defence budget? well I was ordered to dispose of kit on inventory for HUMAID because Claire Short (Lab MP for somewhere up t'norf) would not cover the RAB charges. I disobayed my orders, as such we were able to deploy some of that capability in the early days of HERRICK.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 21:48
  #33 (permalink)  
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It has not been MoD policy to quantify equipment buys for 20 years. Some still try, but if they fail or refuse to it is regarded as acceptable.

In 1995, for example, the RN formally notified MoD(PE) it would no longer comply, and all quantifying/stating of RN requirements was to be carried out by the PE project manager. This was an extension of the 1987 policy (Hallifax Savings) which cut the relevant RN HQ posts (all civilian). The regulations for doing this work were laid down in permanent LTC Instructions. When the term changed to "EP" no equivalent instructions were issued, which dates this policy better than anything else. Oddly, the LTC Instructions were not cancelled, and for a few years were used by PE to do the Services' job for them. Still got my copy.

This policy required the PM to have intimate knowledge of (a) what the Service already had and (b) what it needed. Until about 1989 that would have been fair enough, but the advent of direct entrants, who skipped the first 5 grades and joined at the lowest (PE) project manager grade meant, by definition, they hadn't a scoobie about what the Services had or needed.

A basic truism of project management. To cost accurately, one must first quantify. As it is not policy to quantify, it follows that it is not policy to cost accurately. (You see where this is going?)

The solution is to implement the mandated Requirement Scrutiny Regulations. As I've said elsewhere, to do so is an offence in MoD, confirmed rceently by both DE&S and the Head of the Civil Service. Margaret Hodge was advised of this while preparing this latest report. That she didn't "go there" is indicative of how hot a political potato it is, because by offering the solution she would be seen to contradict successive Ministerial rulings, from all 3 persuasions (Aintworth, Moonie, Ingram, Harvey, Rammell and, most recently, Robothan). That makes her, and her committee, a waste of space.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 11:13
  #34 (permalink)  
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Interesting. Is that MoD as a whole you're talking about, or "just" aviation?
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 16:21
  #35 (permalink)  
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Too clever for me tuc! I thought that the PAC did have a mandate. I think they do an important job for us tax payers and have exposed much wrong doing. Pitty they don't have any juristiction to impose sanctions on those found wanting - or even those who provide misleading evindence.

I read the whole report today. Good God: how is it that Bernard and Jon Tompson are so far removed from reality. They don't appear to have much of a handle about what goes on at the coal face. What I found most amazing is the evidence they gave about not being able to recruit suitably qualified staff to manage this inventory. what a load of rubbish when they have just signed the discharge papers for 1 in 3 civillians. some of whom had the skills to do the job.

They really do want their cake and eat it!

I feel another written submission of evidence comming on to set the record streight. I watched Ursula (now Dame Ursula) giving oral evidence to the PAC on TV. It made me cringe. you could smell the BS all the way past the Cenotaph. who breifs these people?
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 06:55
  #36 (permalink)  
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The 1995 announcement was from the RN's Aircraft Support Executive (infamous for not supporting aircraft or making executive decisions). Initially, it applied to avionics; then to all aviation when, later the same year, they withdrew all support for a major aircraft programme (which I believe you're familiar with). Same section - ELog (Engineering Logistics) - was meant to make materiel and financial provision and manage same (the subject we're talking about). They changed their TORs to not making M&F provision, and "monitoring" instead of managing.

The RAF had a more simplistic system (partly because they didn't have to cope with supporting aircraft at sea for 6 months) but the last time I saw them implement it was 1986. I've had less involvement with Army but they rarely quantified and, until very recently and to my personal knowledge, simply put "TBA" against quantity in, for example, many Land System URDs. The finance section would then (obviously) also say "TBA". Anyone who signed something like that and accepted it into DE&S was a fool.


The efficiency (and probity) of the PAC depends very much on leadership. Chairmanship is, by convention, handed to an Opposition MP. Most reports are blatantly politically motivated and omit unpalatable truths. A Labour MP (e.g. Hodge) is hardly going to be allowed to sign a report that notes Ainsworth, Ingram etc formally condoned and encouraged waste; but demonstrably they did. As does the current regime, which is what gives the report some credibility, at a basic, 5 year old level.

Otherwise, entirely agree. Who briefs them? Well, MoD actively prevents anyone who knows the truth having an input, and there are umpteen layers between the briefer and the brief hitting Minister's table. I once managed a programme that drew the attention of the PAC. I had to submit a progress report to MB every Friday morning. Eventually, CDP (4 Star) was called to a hearing to answer questions, which you are given in advance (this was after production had been completed, 30% under budget, 5 months early and to a better spec). His office filtered them down to the plebs. I was not even allowed to see them, never mind answer them. "No way are you being allowed to tell the truth". CDP then, perhaps inadvertently, misled the PAC. Instead of taking the opportunity to retaliate first by pointing to a successful programme, he meekly accepted criticism because his briefing, by an unrelated department in a remote location, said the programme was still in development. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Even then, the PAC did nothing.

Suitably qualified staff to manage materiel and financial provision? There is a simple formula laid down which determines Depot Stock. It varies slightly depending on use, for example the avionics one includes annual flying hours but the ground equipment one doesn't. Every single person in DE&S remotely connected with equipment support should be fully conversant with maintaining the integrity of every parameter in this formula and how to manage them to solve support problems, before being promoted into DE&S. In June 1996 the Director Internal Audit reported to PUS that this process wasn't being implemented properly, when confirming waste amounting to Billions. Not one of the 19 recommendations has ever been implemented.

Aircraft equipment formula......

NHP (1-R1) (1-R2) 100
S = ------------------------ x --- (+ 16%)

(sorry, it loses formatting, but you get the idea)

Last edited by tucumseh; 2nd Mar 2013 at 06:58.
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 07:16
  #37 (permalink)  
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Fraud and waste must be easier to sniff out with the smaller size of today's forces and computers keeping inventory....surely?

A tale I was once told was of the reason for no MQs on ASI. Apparently someone bemoaned this to a colleague, who was rather surprised as the cost estimate provided was only about £35K per unit. "Really?", replied another, "That's most interesting - the price we were quoted by PSA was £55K per unit....."

A nice little earner for someone? The cost estimate to improve the QRA accommodation at Wattisham was ridiculous - it was pointed out that it would be cheaper to ask Wimpey to build a couple of 4-bedroom houses there as they wouldn't even need to buy the land!!

I wonder whether all those Jaguar mainplanes and a complete Harrier T4 fuselage shell (in zinc chromate) are still in that hangar at Wroughton aerodrome?

I'll bet that there are masses of spares for aircraft no longer in service languishing in various stackers' empires - not to be released in case someone needs them...
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 08:33
  #38 (permalink)  
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Dispose of via ebay? Someone out there will buy it!
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 09:27
  #39 (permalink)  
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It is MoD policy to require any new equipment to be supportable for at least 15 years.

Take modern electronic spares for example. No (honest) supplier is going to claim they'll be available in 5 years, never mind 15. So his bid includes a proposal to a make an All Time Buy of such risky spares, and only a fool would disagree. And you are given funding in advance to commit to these buys, while the spares are available. The quantity is calculated from the formula I mentioned, which is based on the EP parameters of the day. Until only 2 years ago that would have included Nimrod, for the next 20 years or whatever. 25 years ago that included 50 Frigates/Destroyers. And 85 RN Lynx. And 108 RN Merlins (!!). Today, we have well under half of each.

Any subsequent fleet reduction or cancellation, means, by definition, there is going to be a huge surplus. But that is not deliberate waste, as long as the correct type of spare is bought. It can be an indication of good risk management, foresight and decision making, based on the mandated instructions passed down from Government.

The PAC report paints a picture of blanket incompetence, but it is not so. There is incompetence and fraud; the problem is the PAC barely scrapes the surface, and Government / MoD condone it. Both then pick an easy target which makes good media soundbites, but doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
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Old 2nd Mar 2013, 10:01
  #40 (permalink)  
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Thanks tuc.
I still feel the need to provide additional first hand evidence to the PAC. I do feel they operate quite cross party. Marge is the lab chair but Bacon and my mate Barclay, both Tory gave their tory colleage Luff a hard time when he was Minister for DP. My direct experience is that Ministers are not in charge. In this case Luff offered me a written personal apology stating that a retraction would be offered by the Media Comms Dept at the War Office. no such thing appeared. when quetioned the Comms Dept had determined not to. threby ignoring the Ministers request/instruction. I suspect Ursula had a hand in this but my correspondance to Robathan and subsequently Hammond remain unanswered. I was personally accountable for my decisions on airworthiness. why would these individuals not be accountable for their decisions. (I think I know the answers - they would be behind bars or put out to grass without their pensions).

Biggus/Beagle Check out Rays Tek on e-bay. I tried to buy a periscopic sextant (Ex Nimrod) similar to the one on WWII bombers. unfortunatly it went way over my budget. You will find all the Nimrod panels galore. and loads of other interesting stuff down to BA nuts, bolts and washers. Loads of flying kit.
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