MOD GoCo – pining for the fiords?

Another consortium has pulled out of the competition to run the UK Ministry of Defence’s procurement and logistics organisation, DE&S. CH2M Hill (with Serco and Atkins in the consortium) said the team had decided to pull out after finding its participation was not as commercially viable as it had required. That leaves just a Bechtel-led consortium in the frame.

So here's a bit of free consulting advice for Bechtel – although with PWC and PA Consulting in their team they should get that anyway. It’s doomed. Doomed, I say. Cut your losses now guys.

Given the news about the reunion, and with apologies to our younger, non-Monty Python aware readership, we thought this was appropriate....

Pet Shop Owner (B. Gray, esq.):                 Morning, how can I help?

Philip Hammond:                                             I wish to make a complaint.

BG:         We’re closed for equalities training. And Lent.

PH:         Never mind that my lad. I’m the Minister. I wish to complain about this Government Owned, Contractor Operated competition for Defence Equipment and Support what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

BG:         Ooh yes, he’s a lovely GoCo isn’t he. What’s wrong with it?

PH:         I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead, that's what's wrong with it! Another consortium has pulled out of the process, citing lack of commercial viability under the proposed draft contract.

BG:         No, no, it’s only resting. It’ll be fine in the morning.

PH:         Look, matey, I know a dead GoCo  when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now. Stone dead.

BG:         No, it’s not dead, look at those lovely private sector negotiating skills, all that great technology...look, there’s still a lovely Bechtel-led consortium in there... it’s only resting!

PH:         All right then, if it’s resting, I'll wake it up! (Shouts) Competition! Lots of dynamic consortia fighting for the chance of winning the work! Competitive Dialogue! Aggressive and innovative bids from multiple suppliers...

BH:         There you go! I heard something!

PH:         That was you muttering “Bechtel are great” under your breath!

BG:         Well, I don’t see anything wrong. It’s a very delicate corporate structure, the GoCo. They’re very solitary animals. Don’t like company.  It’s probably pining for Abbeywood...

PH:         Pining???  What d’ya mean pining? This is a dead GoCo! It’s deceased! If you hadn’t nailed it to a 200-page PQQ it would have been flat on its back before I got it home!

BG:         Maybe it’s a bit tired?

PH:         I can’t run a blooming competition with nothing to compete against can I? “Did you negotiate hard to get the best deal?” PAC are going to ask me. “No, ‘cos no-one else wanted the flaming thing”, I’ll have to say.

BG:         But you can have a perfectly good competitive process with just one bidder. Take the aircraft carrier contract... er...  and then there’s the

PH:         Look, this GoCo is dead. THIS IS AN EX-GOCO!

BG:         Well, I better replace it then.  Tell you what, I’ve got a DE&S+ here. Same thing really, only better.

PH:         Does it buy things?

BG:         Yeah, loads of things. Any blooming thing you want. Cheaper too. Full of vitamins. And civil servants.

PH:         OK.  And you promise it’s not dead?

BG:         Swear on my pet parrot, Minister.

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Voices (6)

  1. Bill Atthetill:

    Nuff said….it’s “bone-headed attitudes” wot did it…

  2. Phil B:

    Have a look at the Bechtel Wikipedia page, if they pull out that’s a large bullet we’ll have dodged; they make Serco and G4S look like amateurs on the “interesting” deals front.

  3. Midfield Captain:


    I’ll get my coat…

  4. Dave Orr:

    They say GoCo – I say LoCo……

  5. Dave Sheldon:

    Now I wish to register a complaint…..I’m sitting here too frequently at the moment with a silly smile on my face and my colleagues wondering what’s going on as I chortle, not always to myself, at another of your comic pieces.

    And some people think Procurement is a cynical profession.

  6. Bill Atthetill:

    Let’s face it Peter, it was dead from the outset. The bidders must have been insane to pull a team together, though if the MOD has been dangling the carrot of ‘we’ll make it happen, no matter what’, they should seek damages for their bid costs. A clear-cut example of a blank silver bullet was being fired from a catapult.

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