FOI questions and answers on costs


A. Your e-mailed Request For Information received on 22 November 2008.
Thank you for your enquiry at Reference A, in which you asked seven questions relating to the cost and savings of the Defence Training Review Programme (Package 1), and the staff delivering the training. I will answer each one in the order presented.

1. Can the Department clarify when it was assessed that the cost had risen to £12billion? What were the significant cost growth in the programme identified by Metrix in March 2008.
An initial Clarify and Confirm phase, (carried out between November 2007 and March 2008) sought from Metrix confirmation of their Package 1 solution. The outcome from this activity was a formal submission from Metrix on 7 March 2008. On receipt of this submission it was assessed that the potential cost of DTR Package 1 had risen by approximately £1bn to £12bn. The significant cost growth identified was predominantly due to delay in the Programme. This figure represents inflation pressures, changes in build assumptions and financing costs and has been the subject of significant further constructive work between the IPT and Metrix to drive out costs.

2. When was this information passed to the Minister for the Armed Forces and when was it passed to the Welsh Assembly Government?
I assume that you refer to the rise in Metrix costs above. If this is the case then Minister (Armed Forces) office was advised of this development on 14 April 2008. The information that cost growth had taken place was not formally passed to the Welsh Assembly Government, however, I believe, they were made aware of this on 3 July 2008.

3. Copies of any documentation, email etc in relation to the increase in cost by £1billion sent by the DTR IPT to Welsh Assembly or Minister.
The rise in costs submitted on 7 March was a matter for the Department and Metrix as it formed part of their confidential bid submission. Therefore, no correspondence has taken place between the DTR IPT and members of the Welsh Assembly in relation to this cost increase.

4. In a letter from Tim Burr, with reference to key staff delivering training programmes, he states "the Department monitors these gaps on a monthly basis". Can you provide copy of these monthly stats for the previous 12 months?
Vacancies across the civilian instructional officer grades are formally monitored on a quarterly basis (an additional return was also reported in July). Please see Annex A for details of the vacancies by college since January 2008.

5. How many military personnel are currently filling civilian posts in Package 1 sites?
Only the Royal School of Signals (RSS) at Blandford currently has military personnel filling civilian posts – they have 9 additional JNCO Systems Engineering Technicians to help deliver instruction. These military personnel would not be required if the RSS was fully manned with civilian instructors.

6. What are the current broad projection of the through life (30 years) savings of the DTR Package 1 project?
As you are already aware, the Department is currently engaged in a Final Clarification and Confirm exercise to update various aspects of the Metrix Package 1 proposals. Metrix’ revised proposals were received on 18 November and are now being evaluated. Until this evaluation is fully completed and reports submitted to the Programme governance Board, I am not in a position at this time to be able to give you the projections you seek.

7. What is the difference between the current rates of pay of Specialist Instructional Officers and "commercial rates of pay for professionally qualified training staff"? Do the Department when making such statements not recognise the current Specialist Instructional Officers as "professionally qualified training staff"?
The current rates of pay of Specialist Instructional Officers are aligned to those of the broader banded structure within MOD and these rates of pay are already in the public domain. The concept of “commercial rates of pay for professionally qualified training staff” is a proposal by Metrix rather than MOD. The Metrix proposal, with underlying rationale, is described in the TU Information Document at Appendix 7 paragraphs 2.4 and 2.5 (ITN to which we understand you have access.

If you are unhappy with this response or you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your request, then you should contact me in the first instance. If informal resolution is not possible and you are still dissatisfied then you may apply for an independent internal review by contacting the Director of Information Exploitation, 6th Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB (e-mail Info-XD@mod.uk). Please note that any request for an internal review must be made within two calendar months of the date on which the attempt to reach informal resolution has come to an end.
If you remain unhappy following an internal review, you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not investigate the case until the internal review process has been completed. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner’s website, http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely,
G A NIELD Brigadier DTR Integrated Project Team Leader

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