Saturday, 15 August 2009

MoD civil servants take their seats on the gravy train

While Corporal Reynolds has his sights on a Taliban leader called Mula, back home civil servants have their sights on a mula of a different kind.

Civil servants in the MoD are not simply content with picking up massive bonuses for sitting behind desks in Kabul, they aim for much higher stakes. They aim to cash-in on the skills they have picked up at the MoD by going for lucrative jobs in the private sector - particularly, it seems, the armaments industry.

A recent investigation by the Daily Mail has found that:

  • The MoD handed a £1.7billion contract for Lynx Wildcat helicopters to a company that later hired the department's top civil servant.
  • The MoD's former chief operating officer of defence equipment and support - which put him in charge of £billions worth of procurement contracts - took up a consultant post at Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems.
  • A former chief scientific adviser at the MoD joined Finmeccanica (supplier of the Lynx) as non-executive director.
  • A former British representative in Iraq was made vice president and managing director of EDS Defence - which two months previously had won a £4billion contract for the MoD's new information infrastructure, called the ATLAS project.
  • etc, etc.....

Considering that during these gentlemen's fiefdom major defence projects ran years over forecast and £millions over budget, it is surprising that commercial companies would even consider giving them jobs sweeping the floors.

Tory MP Douglas Carswell said the revelations raised 'disturbing questions' and has written to the House of Commons Defence Committee and the Public Accounts Committee, asking them to consider investigating the Future Lynx deal.

The Mail: Cashing in on the MoD gravy train: 130 civil servants defect to private sector in a year