A Lack of Skills


Returning to a common theme, a recent story from ADS described how Frazer Nash had won an MoD contract;

Engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash has won two competitively tendered bids to provide comprehensive safety & environmental and information security technical support for DE&S TSSP (Training and Simulation Systems Programmes) – the MoD team who provide training and simulation systems for the army including virtual reality targetry training and low level urban skills training.

Safety, environmental and information security is now being outsourced.

Instead of civil service rates the MoD is paying consultant rates, not for highly specialised areas or those that only have a short shelf life, basic internal project governance and support activity.

The MoD makes bold claims about reducing its reliance on consultants, in fact, it is rather monotonous to see the claim repeated on a regular basis. What they don’t discuss though, is how consultants and contractors are insulated from the MoD by use of an intermediary company.

Same old reliance on external skills but with an additional profit margin to pay for.

Great result that one.

With the politically driven need to reduce civil service headcount and reliance on consultants the MoD is divesting itself of institutional skills and experience

Whether this increases or decreases actual costs is unknown but one thing is certain, the MoD is losing skills and experience by outsourcing, or forming strategic partnerships in the parlance of the day, at a time when most of the commercial world is realising that too much outsourcing is a bad idea and bringing activities back in house makes a lot of sense.

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