Financial waste in MoD
It is important to understand the direct link between deliberate waste (fraud) and airworthiness failures. The latter were, primarily, brought about by the perceived need to generate funding to compensate for the waste. This is explained in the submissions to Lord Philip and Mr Haddon-Cave; available on the 'Their Greatest Disgrace' page.
The Director Internal Audit report ‘Requirement Scrutiny’ (June 1996), and why it was necessary, is key. (See bottom of page). It was commissioned in January 1993, after Air Member Supply and Organisation’s Director General Support Management (Air Vice Marshal Chris Baker) threatened his former MoD(PE) specialist airworthiness staff with dismissal for their continued refusal to commit fraud.
This report, and the background, is the primary evidence that systemic failures were notified to senior RAF officers and MoD staff long before the 1998 baseline claimed by Mr Haddon-Cave. It wholly vindicates these civilian staff. Had the recommendations been implemented, the airworthiness failings would have been immediately exposed.
In 2007, in response to a Freedom of Information request, MoD confirmed no action had been taken, and the report had been destroyed. The attached copy was provided to to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Mrs Margaret Hodge MP. She declined to take action, despite it explaining and offering solutions to her Committee's criticism of MoD waste. Similarly, the Civil Service Commissioners have refused to act, content with serial fraud because Ministers condone it.
MoD, Ministers and the Heads of the Civil Service have confirmed that the issuing of orders to commit fraud does not constitute ‘wrongdoing'. In a letter of 13 February 2013, and having made it clear that this ruling remains extant policy, Defence Equipment & Support’s Mr Mark Bailey stated on behalf of his Minister ‘we will not respond to any further related correspondence’. In his briefing to Sir Robert Kerslake, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, he vilified the originator of the questions as ‘vexatious’. This is how MoD views and deals with those who complain about fraud and seek to prevent aircrew fatalities.
It is possible Sir Robert and Ministers were not briefed on what was said in their names. To illustrate this point, at a meeting on 8 February 2013 former Minister and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sir Gerald Howarth MP firmly stated he would expect any member of MoD to refuse to obey such an order. But his view is a rarity.
The overlap between those who suborned the airworthiness regulations and those who issued instructions to commit fraud is no coincidence. The same names crop up regularly. This explains why no action has been taken. To admit the root cause and identify perpetrators is to expose those responsible for numerous deaths; and vice versa.