Training, PFI and Metrix - it's not going well, is it?


War Hero
Reported in Private Eye recently is the total balls-up that has become the much vaunted PFI graveyard involving moving everything engineering up to St Athan. Aside from the off-balance sheet corruption that usually comes with PFI fun and games, we now (shock-horror) have an 'affordability issue' involving Metrix, the cabal of smashing companies (like Serco, EDS, Qinetiq and Nord Anglia, each of them with a past history of delivering failure upon failure to the public sector - EDS especially) who won the bidding war a bit back over MC3, another collection of motley never-will-happens. This 'affordability issue' (trans - 'what we said we'd do when we were bidding and schmoozing is different now the ink has dried') comes about from doubts about what they can deliver, if they can deliver it, what we asked for, what they said they do and most importantly, the basic fecking edict that we ... the people in uniform ... should be Number One Customer when the place is finally thrown together. In our world, I'd envisage the (let's not beat about the bush) expensive, but effective training nucleus that is HMS Sultan shoehorned into a series of prefab hangars, the whole military ethic gone for good and us learning about the national grid, locomotives and other such tosh when we should be being taught how to run warships. Couple that with spit and paper accommodation, battling to get across the Severn every Friday afternoon and bought in instructors (because over 70% of the current stock won't relocate - GYAC Des, most of them are retired, settled ex-clankies and greenies who live locally) and you'll envisage a future of much less than feck-all.

Friend of mine told me that his colleagues spent two and a half years with the Crabs and REME trying to splice RAF ground engineering, REME and RN engineering into one fat, happy solution. They came back with less than 20% commonality. Then they were asked to do it again. They just managed 20%, then with 'creative adjustments'. He said they were as cynical of MC3 and Metrix back before the thing was signed as they are now. Of course, lawyers who become Defence Ministers don't like listening to people assigned to do the work, if they are told it won't work. All Browne wan't is the whole thing off his ledger and in the hands of nefarious (sometimes American-led) conglomorates, regardless of the consequences. If he even imagines in his wildest fantasies that Metrix, MC3 or whoever would provide anything of the level, quality and delivery of training that we currently do ... and furthermore if he thinks it won't cost an arm and both legs for the taxpayer when it goes tits up or gets scrapped, then he deserves jailing for his incompetence, along with anyone who has written a favourable report on the whole sad, sorry shambles. Mark my words ... this one will roll, and it will run like an open sore for many years to come. If it does end up costing the Exchequer, have a guess how they will probably balance the defecit?



War Hero
More stuff in Private eye this week about the budget still overheating. Beans have been spilt about the whole shoddy affair now costing £12bn rather than £11bn, all to save £400m per year. According to Private Eye the local MP to St Athan (Labour, of course) has been trumpeting that the £1bn extra will be shovelled into their local economy, completely missing the whole ethos of PFI ventures and their dangerous long-term returns to investors which we the taxpayer will have to pay for in years to come.

I'm kinda flummoxed that after all this HDMI-clear warning signs that this centralisation of training in this super-academy (where non-doubt we will be competing with industry for classroom time) will benefit us (and Perce and Rupert) not one iota. The press are particularly slow on the uptake.

ps. oh, and a bit back it was revealled that one of the Metrix conglomorate (Nord Anglia, I think it is) isn't really that intertested in training delivery at all, and is more geared toward asset acquisition.




Lantern Swinger
Whoever dreamed up this idea was being over-ambitious to say the least.

The man in charge of DTR Pckg 1 IPT says there are serious "cost growth" issues that need to be addressed along with the Credit Crisis and the affect on this project!

Not looking good.


War Hero
More in Private Eye revealling the cost overruns and clever off-balance-sheet manoevring by Herr Brun and hsi shower of twerps. They're not worried, though. They'll all be out of office and into consultancy roles in business by the time St Athan opens as some funky new windswept college.

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