Defence secretary leads charge against ‘culture of optimisim’
MoD given value for money assessment deadline
No objection from MoD officials on unaffordable defence projects
MoD faces claims of poor value for money purchasing
PAC condemns poor procurement at MoD
3 March 2011 | Paul Snell
cost of each Typhoon fighter jet is now 75 per cent more expensive than
though the government is buying 30 per cent fewer warplanes than it initially
wanted, development and production costs have still seen a 20 per cent increase.
Development costs, which are unaffected by order numbers, have doubled. And
although the £13.5 billion cost of production is actually within the original
estimate made in 1996, the Ministry ofDefence (MoD) is purchasing 72 fewer planes.
report, Management of the Typhoon Project,
published by the National Audit Office said production and
development costs had increased by £3.5 billion in total - £2.2 billion of
which was down to “inefficient collaborative commercial and managerial arrangements”
as a result of slow-decision making and differing objectives. Another £1
billion has been added to the bill because of delays to the project, and more
than £332 million because of changes to the specification.
has shown that key investment decisions were taken on an over-optimistic basis;
the project suffered from corporate decisions to try to balance the defence
budget; and the Department did not predict the substantial rate at which costs
would rise. None of this suggests good cost control, a key determinant of value
for money," said Amyas Morse, head of the NAO.
are also issues with the availability of spare parts for the aircraft, which is
limiting flying hours. A combined 30 per cent of spares for the planes were
either delivered late, or have not been delivered at all, but the contracts to
provide these contain no penalties for late delivery.
report did say the MoD now has a better grasp of the costs of the project and
has put the “building blocks” in place to get better value for money in future.
added developing and buying defence equipment with other nations – as has
happened with the Typhoon – is a good way of reducing costs, but needs to be
better managed, and this project should be reviewed to establish what worked
and what did not.