ANOTHER CAPITAL PROJECT DISASTER
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
28 Mar 08. As another U.K. prize capital project, Terminal 5, fails at the first hurdle adding to the list of previous Labour disasters such as the Dome and Wembley, Nimrod (Northern Rock!!) , questions must be asked whether the Government is equipped to deal with future capital projects such as the Olympics, CVF and our old friend FRES. Lawyers have no project management expertise at all and as our Government is composed of lawyers and/or Civil Servants, very few have any commercial expertise at all! One ex-M.P. told the Editor that the U.K. is in danger of becoming an offshore island in Europe with little or no influence over European politics.
Although the Government was not directly to blame for Terminal 5, it shows a general lack of expertise in this area. Sources suggest that the Olympics require 1.1 million cubic feet of earth to be moved by next year. Only 20% has been moved due to failings in planning and other hold ups. Expect a steep budget rise with lots of overtime for builders involved in the project!
Our Lords Hansard PQs published today pose many questions about the CVF Project, which the Government is sticking to its guns for delivery and price, even though few believe that £3.8bn could build one CVF let alone pay for the extensive dredging of Portsmouth harbour and quayside extensions expected to costs over £500,000, crew training, which the PQ mentions, JSF, more Type 45s to support CVF and of course the provision of felt support vessels! The delay has already threatened the Shipco deal between BAE and VT but any long delays may well require a further refit for Illustrious to keep it limping in service while CVF is built. A long overrun will only increase costs and cause another Defence Budget cut – FRES?