Civilianising RN Roles

Karma

War Hero
Think there are a couple of issues here, but lets face it, Civil Service pay is pretty bad, and MOD is one of the better payers in government.

OTOH part of the backstory to this is an objection by both Prospect and the PCS to outsourcing of support services. Personally I don't have a problem with the concept, although we do need to be cautious of what we outsource, I think in a couple of areas we've not been sensible about the service we're contracting for.

My experience of outsourcing has been generally pretty good, with the external supplier providing a noticable improvement in service over CS or uniformed people. The one that wasn't good was the new Staff College, I was there just after it opened; catering was grim and build quality was pretty bad although the teaching facilities were excellent. I understand that a review of the contract has led to improved catering now though. Long experience of service messes says these improvements aren't that easy when you don't have a contract option, and I've lived in a couple of really bad, military managed, messes.
 

Heart-of-Oak

Badgeman
Some outsourcing is working well. I don't wish to name names but a certain ex-RN establishment near Harrogate is a shining example of how well a service is being run by civilians although to a man the watchkeepers there are all ex-RN.

Outsourcing doess't work so well in other areas, for example catering where those providing the food don't work with or have any affinity with those they are serving. Whilst we still don't have PAYD in many establishments, there is little incentive to produce excellent output.

The key issue with outsourcing is the long term cost. We all join the navy expecting to go to sea but they comes to be times in out lives when we need shore jobs for a rest/break/change especially when we have families. Some of the shore jobs had excellent perks too. Now, with so many roles having being out sourced those shore drafts are diminished so more and more time must be spent at sea. Not only that but the shrinking of the navy means that that time at sea is likely to be high tempo and on directed tasking. Personally I fail to see how we can maintain a rating corps for all but the most dedicated sailors!

As we will no doubt discover today civis strike too and the potential impact on the front line is clear.
 

bucket

Badgeman
Now this is taking things to the extreme - went with other half to register our notice of marriage today and was "advised" to put my employment as Civil Servant not RN - they said don't worry we'll put the real thing on the wedding certificate but it's not worth risking anyone knowing you are in the services (understand that bit for security!) but she could have come up with something better than CS. Why didn't I remember the old "Trainer of Dolphin Trainers" line??
 
bucket said:
Now this is taking things to the extreme - went with other half to register our notice of marriage today and was "advised" to put my employment as Civil Servant not RN - they said don't worry we'll put the real thing on the wedding certificate but it's not worth risking anyone knowing you are in the services (understand that bit for security!) but she could have come up with something better than CS. Why didn't I remember the old "Trainer of Dolphin Trainers" line??
The old passport answer was government service.
 

bucket

Badgeman
Maxi_77 said:
bucket said:
Now this is taking things to the extreme - went with other half to register our notice of marriage today and was "advised" to put my employment as Civil Servant not RN - they said don't worry we'll put the real thing on the wedding certificate but it's not worth risking anyone knowing you are in the services (understand that bit for security!) but she could have come up with something better than CS. Why didn't I remember the old "Trainer of Dolphin Trainers" line??
The old passport answer was government service.
Tried that one - wasn't "allowed " that or public servant. maybe i should have tried pencil pusher!
 
The real problem with contractorisation, outsourcing or what ever you want to call it is in specifying what you want. Some organisations which do it a lot can make it work well but others make a real bals of it.

The big thing that most government organisations fail to see is that when it goes wrong they must at least bear some of the blaim for asking the wrong question, but they usually try to offload onto the poor contractor who is often trying to keep his customer happy and doing more than contracted whilst trying to stay in the black.

It was the same when they changed from cost plus to competitive, they forgot that contracts work two ways and this caused a lot of problems.

There odf course is the additional problem with the forces and the navy in particular is if you hand over the shore jobs to contractors when doe Jack/Jill get their 'harmony' time, unless of course you can get the contractors to sea. That did happen in a company I worked for, we took over the long term maintenance of the kit we supplied this navy and our service staff became reservists, every one was happy.
 

ANGWISH

Lantern Swinger
Scuse my ignorance on this subject, is farming out all these jobs that have, in the past been shore drafts for jack, actually cheaper??
 
Partly they believe it will be cheaper in the future and partly they like the certainty of it. If they have 10 year contract where the bill to he MoD goes up at an agreed percentage every year that can plan more easily, and if the costs spiral out of control then it is the private sector employers doing the sacking (so no nasty political questions in the Commons).

As has been mentioned before in the past, some of the easier shore based billets were there in part to reduce the buggeration factor for the average matelot, but with the demise of these to cheaper civvie alternatives you have greater turn over in RN staff. So while on paper it all looks rosie, and some Rear-Admiral can get a gong for all those savings. It will in fact, IMHO, cost us big time in lost experience and money.
 

ANGWISH

Lantern Swinger
MOD would need a no strike clause in any contracts. Can't cancell the war because the ships can't leave harbour!!
 

Handler

War Hero
At various times on runs ashore---oppos and I had been travellers in government steel. Best chat-up line was being Directors in a big shipping line.
 

Karma

War Hero
ANGWISH said:
Scuse my ignorance on this subject, is farming out all these jobs that have, in the past been shore drafts for jack, actually cheaper??
Sometimes

It depends what's being outsourced, and as Peter points out it depends on being able to specify the requirements effectively and write a contract which is both meaningful and robust. Neither of those is a strong point in MOD, and certainly not in the RN with its I want it all, I want it now and I want the shiniest gold plating available, and I want it cheap! attitude.
 
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