Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Keep the military involved in SAR-H

U.S Coast Guard in Action

Before Albert Owen MP tries to claim the credit for the suspension of the proposed PFI SAR-H contract, here are some interesting facts:

The current debate about SAR-H capabilities began as far back as 2000.

Understandably the priority for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is to provide more than enough military helicopters to support our troops.

It was the previous Labour Government that began to privatise the SAR-H with; in the long-term, the expensive PFI model.

Concerns where raised back in 2008 about likely conflict of interests in the bidding process and that of commercial confidentiality. One consortium withdrew from the process because of the concerns raised.

On coming into power the Coalition Government initially delayed the process to carry out a review, as there were concerns about the final cost of the PFI scheme. However they were minded to award the contract as the cost of cancelling would have been prohibitively expensive.

In essence it shows once again that there is a serious problem with procurement at the MOD

The important thing for me is that the RAF and Navy are still involved in SAR, and my simple question is why the need to privatise it all - if we cant afford to buy the helicopters outright why not just lease the helicopters we want?


Photon said...

Good post, very balanced.

It's important to highlight one thing: the PFI deals are a political tool used to give the people what they want today (and therefore look good in the process), whilst paying for it five times over into the future.

It's a model that should be thought of as unacceptable waste of public money.

Prometheuswrites said...

I agree with Photon.

Publicly funded services - Good; PFI - Bad.

I'm highly dubious of skimming profits out of Public Services, (while wealthy investors sit on their lazy backsides, getting rich for doing nothing productive, on the back of emergency services and public needs).

It was good to read that the mountain rescue services have been allowed to claim back the VAT on their equipment outlays.

the outsider said...

and in the case of Gordon Brown, PFI enabled him to get someone else to pay while he was in office, and then leave the bill for other peoples children and other politicians to sort out.