UK to Launch MoD Spending Review Over Concerns About Wasted Billions

Dominic Cummings Seeks to Launch MoD Spending Review (excerpt)

(Source: The Guardian; published Dec. 17, 2019)

By Dan Sabbagh

Dominic Cummings is seeking to launch a review of Ministry of Defence spending and strategy next year, after concerns that the department has been wasting billions on misjudged procurement.

The anticipated review from Boris Johnson’s most influential aide comes amid expectations of a wider revamp of Whitehall operations and after he singled out the £6.2bn decision to build two new aircraft carriers as continuing to “squander billions of pounds”.

Although details remained sketchy, the prime minister’s spokesman confirmed the plans to hold the review: “As the PM announced during the election campaign, the government will undertake a new integrated foreign policy, security and defence review which will extend from the armed forces to the intelligence services, counter-terrorism, serious organised crime, diplomacy and development.

“This will ensure we are making the best use of spending to ensure all our security forces are ahead of hostile powers, terrorists and organised crime.”

Whitehall insiders said that the Cummings view has long been held by Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary, reflecting a belief that the capability of Britain’s armed services does not reflect the £39bn a year that is spent on them. “Russia gets better value for money than we do,” one said. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on The Guardian website.


Senior Tories Back Ambition to Overhaul Defence Spending (excerpt)

(Source: The Times; published Dec. 17, 2019)

By Lucy Fisher

Senior Conservative MPs have thrown their support behind a Downing Street plan to overhaul defence spending policies, declaring that the system is in need of a profound shake-up.

Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s senior adviser, has told allies that he will make the complete reform of Ministry of Defence procurement a priority next year, The Times reported yesterday.

He has described the ministry’s equipment acquisition processes as disastrous and criticised “mediocre” officials and alleged corruption. He has focused his criticism on the development of two aircraft carriers, deriding the £6.2 billion programme as a farce.

Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chairman of the foreign affairs committee during the previous parliament and a former army officer, said that Mr Cummings “has certainly got a point”. “There’s a real issue with defence — we know that an organisation that spends £42 billion and has got issues with availability of ships, aircraft and equipment really does need a shake-up,” he told Today on Radio 4.

A quarter of the Royal Navy’s 76 ships are inoperable and the lack of availability has been acknowledged to be a curb on Britain’s maritime aspirations. The RAF is dealing with a training bottleneck that critics fear will lead to a shortage of pilots able to operate its aircraft. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on The Times website.


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UK to Launch MoD Spending Review Over Concerns About Wasted Billions UK to Launch MoD Spending Review Over Concerns About Wasted Billions Reviewed by Unknown on 03:32:00 Rating: 5

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