Three of the biggest departments of state – the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department of Health, have CIOs at the top table – but not the MoD which, at the top, is still coming to grips with the importance of technology in the 21st Century.
Clearly the absence of a CIO has nothing to do with the fact that Chinook helicopters are grounded because of software issues, the joint payroll system for paying salaries and allowances is said to be unfit for purpose, the MoD has to guess how many Bowman radio systems it has, and electronic records at the data held by the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency cannot be relied on although its systems control two-thirds of the Mod’s inventory of supplies.
Not forgetting the £3bn-7bn Defence Information Infrastructure, the costs of which nobody is sure of.
Tory MP Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee said of the MoD: “In the current economic climate, it is simply not acceptable that its finances and inventory are in such a poor state,”
Never mind. There are lots of big personalities at the MoD’s defence board. That their benefits in kind alone exceeded the salaries of many soldiers is to be expected. No sign of any pay cuts there.
Time the MoD woke up to the fact that IT is important enough on the modern battlefield that it merits a CIO on the Defence Board. Sometime before the 22nd Century, perhaps.