Feeds

Fox promises all change at MoD

Leopard changes spots, cats sleep with dogs, pigs cleared for take-off

Security for virtualized datacentres

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has promised that the Ministry of Defence will end its free-spending ways, following a highly critical report from the Public Accounts Committee.

The MoD has written off £5bn this year by cancelling the Nimrod and Sentinel projects.

The committee of MPs noted that defence spending exceeds forecast budgets by £36bn over the next 10 years.

The basic ineptitude of MoD planners meant the committee found an eye-watering £8bn of public money had been lost or written off due to delays. This figure is an estimate from just four MoD projects that the committee looked into.

Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the PAC, said: "Unaffordable decisions taken in the short term lead to inevitable waste of billions of pounds over time. In the wake of the Defence Review, the MOD still has to spell out whether and how it has got its defence procurement budget under control."

Hodge said that short-term decisions by the MoD to delay or re-spec some projects had added £3bn to costs in just one year. Almost £5bn was lost due to late cancellation of projects. Spending on aircraft carriers was described by PAC as providing "a new benchmark in poor corporate decision making".

Fox told the BBC that the MoD had to balance resources with aspirations. He said he had asked the new Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray, to "ensure that no projects begin unless we're sure that there's a budget for development, procurement and deployment – because otherwise we end up with fantasy projects which are not much more than a wish list".

Fox said progress had been made but that the department still needed to fight "the culture of optimism or the 'conspiracy of optimism' as it's sometimes called".

The PAC recommended keeping project leaders in their posts until a project is delivered, instead of moving them around every two or three years.

It also suggested that the MoD refrains from signing contracts which it knows will exceed its budget. The MoD should also take less high risk decisions – for example cancelling tranche 3 of Typhoon spending, which ended up costing taxpayers even more.

Read the PAC report on MoD major projects here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.