2nd anniverary concerns

On the 2nd “Anniversary” of the decision to let Metrix privatise military training under the auspices of the Defence Training Review (DTR) questions still remain on whether or not the project is affordable. An article in Defence Management Today highlights some of the ongoing concerns:

Two years after the Defence Training Review (DTR) was awarded to the Metrix consortium, the project is slowly making progress towards final approval. Yet major questions remain over the cost, affordability and staffing of this multi-billion pound programme that will revolutionise and transform training in the Armed Forces.

The DTR will centre most non-military technical training in one location- St Athan, Wales, for all three branches of the Armed Forces. When the contract was initially awarded to Metrix in January 2007 there were to be several packages in the programme. However following “affordability gaps” in the contract, the MoD scaled back the programme to one package.

Two years on the DTR is either facing oblivion or is about to dramatically transform the way the Armed Forces trains and operates, depending on who you talk too.

Defence management.com has learned through documents made available under the Freedom of Information Act that the MoD and other public bodies close to the deal knew of the £1bn rise in cost rise nearly a year ago despite the fact that it was not made public for almost six months.

Given the worsening economic conditions, there is no guarantee that costs will be able to be maintained at £12bn accordi ng to The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which has been an outspoken critic of the deal from the outset.

“The budget has risen by at least £1bn in the past 18 months. Given their [the MoD's] record for not keeping things on budget, there is every reason to think that costs will increase further,” said PCS’ Robert O’ Harney, the regional vice chair for the Midlands and spokesperson on the issue of the DTR.

The full article can be viewed here.

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