David Blackburn

Leaked slides connected to Gray’s defence procurement report are very damning 

Leaked slides connected to Gray's defence procurement report are very damning 
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Further to the Gray report’s suppression, the BBC have been given what they are told are slides from a presentation made by Bernard Gray summarising his investigation into defence procurement. It is only a glimpse, but these slides, if they are genuine, illustrate quite how damning this report would have been, and could still be.

Gray concludes that the "Ministry of Defence does not really know the price of any kit, and project management does not exist in the Department”. Other slides assert that the "top 40 programmes annually expect an 80% overrun on time, and 40% on cost" because the Ministry of Defence can’t afford to pay for these projects on schedule. Generally, the MoD is “in denial” about its “funding profile”.

Obviously this is appalling news for the government and there has been a cacophony of denials all day. Defence procurement minister Quentin Davies, whose decision to delay the super-carriers added a further £1.1bn to overall costs, said that the government was “headed in the right direction” and blamed most procurement problems on the last Conservative government, “Particularly back-log from the Nimrod and Chinook Mk.3” fiascos. In spite of his conceit, which is astounding, Davies does have a point. These slides point to long-term structural problems within the MoD, which will take an enormous effort for a future Tory government to reverse.