Feeds

Fox promises all change at MoD

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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.