Before it was released, questions had been raised about the objectivity of this report. Its lead author, Brice Pacey, was formerly a strategic analyst for the Australian Submarine Corporation, the company most likely to benefit financially from a decision to build the future submarine in Australia. But this detail is missing from the report's author biography.
The report was sponsored by a coalition of ten defence industry entities, all of which have an interest in a future submarine being built in Australia. But nowhere is it mentioned that their sponsorship on this occasion was linked to this particular report, rather than to the Kokoda Foundation generally.
One of those ten entities is Defence SA, and it may be entirely coincidental that this report finds that the federal government should fund home-grown future submarines and a land-based propulsion test facility in South Australia. It may also be coincidental that the report was launched on the very same day the South Australian Treasurer is in Canberra to lobby Defence on those exact same issues.
It may be yet another coincidence that this 90-page report can spare only one paragraph for a cost analysis of nuclear propulsion, yet devotes 20 pages to advocating a greater role for private sector program management and recommends Defence 'engage private sector engineering and project management specialists', a service offered by one of the sponsors.
Friday, January 20, 2012
New sub report ignores conflict of interest
James Brown makes some great points about conflict of interest and a new sub report.