Feeds

Fox promises all change at MoD

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?