11 Sep 07. Major Projects: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report. The PAC published (11 Sep 07) Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2006, the Committee’s review of the 2006 Major Projects Report released on 24 Nov 06. The Report is critical of the MoD’s claim to have reduced the cost of the 20 largest programmes by £781m, pointing out that £448m of the money was “re-classified”.
Comment: The PAC’s Report was published as HC 295 and needs to be read in conjunction with the 2006 Major Projects Report, published as HC 23-I and HC 23-II. PAC reports can be accessed through the parliamentary website (www.parliament.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0736, 17 Sep 07)
14 Sep 07. Defence Estates: Defence Committee Report. The Defence Committee published (HC 535 on 14 Sep 07) a Report on The Work of Defence Estates. The Report notes that the MoD is one of the largest landowners in the UK, with a built estate of 160,000 hectares. Including the various overseas estates, the total Defence estate is valued at £18,000m.
Two allied announcements were made a day earlier (13 Sep 07). The MoD drew attention to new single living accommodation at Marne Barracks in Catterick, as part of £700m being spent on housing in the current financial year. Babcock, with Bovis Land Lease, was awarded an MoD contract to provide “management services” in the Bristol/Bath area.
Comment: Considerable publicity has surrounded the Defence Committee’s Report, which includes phrases such as “….the condition of some SLA [single living accommodation] remains appalling”. Having visited Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow and Elizabeth Barracks in Pirbright, the Committee was told that “….soldiers from 1 R ANGLIAN on deployment in Afghanistan had more comfortable accommodation than their comrades left behind in Pirbright”. In view of the adverse comment generated by the Report, it is worth pointing out that not all of the blame should be levelled at present Ministers. Accommodation, particularly for Junior Ranks, has suffered from a lack of funding for at least 50 years (if not longer). Defence Committee reports can be accessed through the parliamentary website (www.parliament.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0736, 17 Sep 07)
12 Sep 07. Strategic Survey 2007: Publication. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) published (12 Sep 07) its annual review of world affairs: Strategic Survey 2007. Publication details can be found on the IISS website (www.iiss.org). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0736, 17 Sep 07)