The new article is called, “Overdue and over budget: $8bn destroyer plan in crisis”. I think it is a must-read. It is written in the style of high drama. We (as the public) have seen so many Defence project goof-ups before it has to really impress to get the attention; or so it seems.
I don’t know the author of the story in The Australian but it is by Cameron Stuart and it has the word “Exclusive” by his name. The story also states that Defence only made this recent news about warship building public because his paper had the scoop.
Mr. Gumley, the head of the DMO is mentioned in Mr. Stuart’s article by name. With rank comes responsibility. Maybe someday we can actually expect this to happen.
“The Australian understands BAE has accused DMO chief Stephen Gumley of making exaggerated claims about BAE's culpability, and that relations between several key partners in the project have become badly strained.”
Surprisingly—or not—the root problem points back to planning in the Defence Material Organisation (DMO). I pointed to some claims of bad DMO relations with industry the other day.
One charge being pushed is that the Air Warfare Destroyer project was kept off the recent update to the project of concern list even though known delays should have put it there. If true, this is serious.
Still, I haven’t seen anyone put in jail for misleading our elected officials, which does happen often; year after year. Capability, sustainment, budget, expectations; mostly it is a kind of fraud by the Defence bureaucracy to keep their phony baloney jobs. In Australia you can spin stories about Defence to elected officials in hearings and get away with it.
I propose we rename the Defence Material Organisation. I suggest a good name for it would be, “Project of Concern”.