PAC to discuss Ministry of Defence major projects today

And, as we were talking of overpaid individuals in our last post below... back to MOD and their consulting contract with Alix Partners.

We'll be glued to the Parliament Channel tomorrow afternoon at 3.15 when the Public Accounts Committee are discussing the Ministry of Defence Major Projects Report 2011.  I don't know if they will feature live coverage of the PAC but it's worth trying here.  The PAC is chaired by Margaret Hodge, MP, who was one of the recipients of our recent letter about the Alix contract, which we've been banging on about for what feels like years.

Ursula Brennan, the MOD permanent secretary, and Bernard Grey, Chief of Defence Materiel, are the star "witnesses" and it should be interesting, whether or not Alix comes up in discussion.

One assumes the Aircraft Carrier fiasco will be a topic, as the PAC have published this week their report - as Ms Hodge says,

"Rather than two carriers, available from 2016 and 2018, at a cost of £3.65bn, we will now spend more than £6bn, get one operational carrier and have no aircraft carrier capability until 2020”

Wow. What a deal...

And "the full costs of scaling back Britain's aircraft carrier programme are still not fully understood..  more than a year after the changes were made in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR)".

We've mentioned before that one of our contacts, very much an insider, describes the carrier programme as "the biggest scandal in government waste in the last 30 years".

I'm not so sure it quite beats the NHS IT programme or ID Cards but it's right up there with the worst, and as usual, no-one has taken the rap for it. We suspect it is politicians who were the main culprits; helped by some civil servants who weren't as prepared to push back on their political masters as they should have been (during the last Government).

Anyway, we await the PAC with anticipation and interest...

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