The latest issue of Private Eye bids a fond farewell to the Metrix consortium:
So. Farewell then to the Metrix consortium and the crazily expensive plan to privatise defence training at a new academy in South Wales under a PFI contract which rose from £11bn to £14bn and was plagued by delays.
Defence secretary Liam Fox has admitted: “It is now clear that Metrix cannot deliver an affordable, commercially robust proposal within the prescribed period and it has therefore been necessary to terminate the [defence training] procurement and Metrix’s appointment as preferred bidder.”
If only Fox’s predecessors had paid more attention and heeded what the Eye has been saying for many years. In 2006 Eye 1164 pointed out that “another crucial service is being privatised to take advantage of accounting tricks”. And in June 2008 we exposed MoD documents already showing an “affordability gap” and a host of internally acknowledged reasons why the deal was a thoroughly bad idea. But still the MoD ploughed on – simply to get the cost of the wretched academy off the government’s books under PFI’s accounting “magic”.
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