back to article NAO tells MoD to keep tabs on its kit

The National Audit Office has called on the Ministry of Defence to implement a new management system after it failed to account for equipment worth £6.6bn. The official auditor says the MoD needs a "good quality inventory management system" to provide logistical support for operations and to prevent theft and fraud of its £14. …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
FAIL

Here's an idea....

...barcodes.

scan in, scan out. FFS not hard. We handle about £2billion pounds of kit each year over 10 countries and 150 sites (and several thousand customers and pretty much every bit of that is accounted for.

Not hard really.

0
0
Coat

Missing bowman kit?

Tried ebay?

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_nkw=bowman+radio&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=

Mines the one with the store keys and the paypal account.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Obvious, really.

They need to visit Blackbushe Market, where they will be able to buy the whole lot back for a few hundred quid.

0
0
Gold badge
Grenade

Perspective.

"..........equipment worth £155m could not be fully accounted for."

Or peanuts compared to the vast sums that'll be hosed over a large IT vendor as a result of this to build a new integrated, all-encompassing asset management and tracking system, which will be available some time after hell freezes over and won't work.

This 'ere crystal ball says that it'll revolve around RFID tagging everything they've got and checking 'em with little scanners linked to a central database for tracking purposes. For an idea of the actual cost, work out how many things the MOD has, compare this to the size of the population of the UK and then add or subtract as appropriate from the known figures for a certain other system that revolves around RFID tagging everything and that's supposed to have little scanners linked to a central database for tracking^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hauthentication purposes.

0
0
Coat

Pats pockets..

so where did we put that aircraft carrier ?...

0
0
FAIL

a "good quality inventory management system"?

It's not going to happen if you just eat whatever shit EDS sell you.

0
0
Thumb Up

As someone on the inside ...

... I can say that it's quite a complex problem. It is improving a great deal.

Gulf War 1 (1991) was a complete disaster, supply-wise; kit would be ordered, delayed, re-ordered twice, and then four sets would turn up, unlabelled, and dumped in a big pile. Vast amounts were written off.

The use of bar codes and RFIDs (and super-RFIDs; I don't know the details, just seen the briefing vid) has been copied from commercial logistics companies; as another poster pointed out, why is a commercial organisation able to get kit around flawlessly and quickly, with excellent tracking? Partial excuse: (1) it's the MoD, (2) military kit is usually bigger or security restricted, (3) it's sometimes going into zones of low infrastructure and/or security.

So the various computerised systems in use (12 last time I read it up) are being merged and streamlined, and inventory tracking/management systems that should have been in place years ago are slowly being set up. The MoD is resistant to change, and getting stuff implemented takes a long time.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's an idea

Barcodes? already used fella.

So you handle £2B of kit in 10 countries in a benign environment yet you still admit to losing some.

Try looking after around 10 times that amount of equipment, much of which is small, permanently in transit, needs to be sent for regular maintenance and repair and achieve all this whilst people are shooting at you. You might find it a bit more demanding.

0
0
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Use the time honoured methods of the MOD to sort it..

..allegedly.

The Atlantic Conveyor apparently sunk with so much kit that it never should have been able to float out from the docks.

0
0
Grenade

I still wonder

about the 200,000 sets of ceramic body armour that disappeared in 2003 and apparently are still AWOL

The MoD are a shower - not only do they loose stuff - they buy stuff deliberately from the most expensive supplier - now what's going on there then?

see:

http://defenceoftherealm.blogspot.com/2009/08/smell-of-corruption.html

Really, some unpleasant medieval forms of punishment should be reinstated to deal with MoD PE

When will we see some accountability - it seems only a matter of time before one of our long suffering squaddies "goes postal"

0
0
Paris Hilton

Inventory administrator?

I reckon much of kit issuing is done through paper dockets, piled on desktop spikes waiting to be processed once a month by a part time lady who should have retired 15 years ago.

She keeps leaving her reading glasses in the house and reckons it won't matter much if she drops any dockets she can't read in the bin. Any dockets not dealt with at the end of the day get thrown away.

Of course, the bloke handing out the kit from stores reckons he'll remember to fill the dockets at the end of each day. After all, who needs signatures when you know the same group of people asking for the same stuff every time? Those secure radios must be ever so unreliable if replacements are needed twice a week... When stock runs low, he orders more, thankfully without the need to account for any given out.

Oh, let's not forget the senior manager. He asks for meaningless reports full of data devoid of context. As long as there are bar or pie charts somewhere, he's happy. (He must be a man because a woman might start asking questions.)

Christ, I can't keep this up.

Anyone out there able to corroborate my assumptions?

Paris because after typing this I want to have sex with her.

(F**k me. Although typing this while pissed, all my spell/grammar checher can moan about is that I fragmented two sentences. Must drink more, and more often.)

0
0
Gold badge
Happy

AC@10:23

My memories of the last MOD written logistics management system cockup were that EDS issued offers of unlimited overtime (at contractor rates) to its staff to meet some deadline and a lot seemed to be being done in COBOL (caution as this is based on reports in el reg).

Naturally this is because the UK MoD does a totally *unique* job which (of course) do not exist in the civillan world).

So of course they simply *must* have a totally unique bespoke system tailored to their *unique* needs.

Just for a laugh we might study how the French do it. They also are a G7 nuclear power (so will have all the security issues up to nuclear weapons level) and (IIRC) a larger land army and air force, not to mention their nuclear aircraft carriers.

As for low infrastructure and security well have you been to a building site? Limited security and no armed guards. I have wandered around a giant site in the middle of Birmingham at 3am in the morning without being challenged or stopped before I wandered out (yes a lot of alcohol was involved).

Logistics is a dull subject to outsiders untill they reallise the huge amount of cash going walkies. Strangley the MOD never seems too keen on emphasising that to Parliement.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums