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Things that go bump in the night,
While waiting for Hansard. Notes.

As it happened – as it was predicted; the Whostoblame ‘interview’ by the committee was pretty much a non event. Only listened to the first 30 minutes – just for fun – but the first 15 minutes wrapped it up. A nervous Sir Angus took time to deliver a 10 minute bus ticket read out. He went to some lengths to point out that the ‘Board’ had nothing to do, whatsoever, with the carrying’s on of the lesser mortals. It was all very smooth; unless you count the nervy ‘look-ups’ at the committee at the less than robust (thin) points raised. He does it every time; love to play poker with this bloke. Every thin line read is followed by an ‘up and under’ glance at the committee; to see if they are swallowing it whole or just chewing. To sum up my short listen/watch session: the board is off the hook. Repeat that 50 times until tedium sends you to sleep. Message delivered.

Time beat me; should have watched/listened to the whole thing. No matter, the ever reliable secretariat will provide the whole ‘vision splendid’ and we can all nod off. Just keep an eye out for the bus; you never know.
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Sir A & the Bored off the hook (again) - (YAWN!)  Sleepy

(08-09-2017, 08:05 PM)kharon Wrote: While waiting for Hansard. Notes.

As it happened – as it was predicted; the Whostoblame ‘interview’ by the committee was pretty much a non event. Only listened to the first 30 minutes – just for fun – but the first 15 minutes wrapped it up. A nervous Sir Angus took time to deliver a 10 minute bus ticket read out. He went to some lengths to point out that the ‘Board’ had nothing to do, whatsoever, with the carrying’s on of the lesser mortals. It was all very smooth; unless you count the nervy ‘look-ups’ at the committee at the less than robust (thin) points raised. He does it every time; love to play poker with this bloke. Every thin line read is followed by an ‘up and under’ glance at the committee; to see if they are swallowing it whole or just chewing. To sum up my short listen/watch session: the board is off the hook. Repeat that 50 times until tedium sends you to sleep. Message delivered.

Time beat me; should have watched/listened to the whole thing. No matter, the ever reliable secretariat will provide the whole ‘vision splendid’ and we can all nod off. Just keep an eye out for the bus; you never know.

Sir A: "Do you think they swallowed it??" Dodgy






Keeping in mind that ASA is major sponsor of Oz Aviation, yesterday Gerard Frawley gave us another another version of the - "nothing to see here move along"  - plus a free promotion for the achievements of the Bored to nearly being ready (after 6 years of feasting from the OneSKY trough) to sign off on a Thales open cheque contract - UDB!

Quote:Ninety-nine per cent there on OneSky contract – Airservices chair

August 9, 2017 by Gerard Frawley 
[Image: IMG_0964.jpg]OneSky will replace both Airservices’ The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAAATS) to manage civil airspace and the ADF’s Australian Defence Air Traffic System (ADATS).

Airservices Australia board chair Sir Angus Houston has told a Senate committee that the air navigation service provider is “99 per cent ready to go” to sign contracts for the new OneSky air traffic management system.

Since February 2015 Airservices has been negotiating with Thales as its preferred supplier for the OneSky project for a new civil and military air traffic management system (or CMATS), but the main acquisition and support contracts for the new system, which will be funded by both Airservices and the Department of Defence, have yet to be signed.

“We’re getting close, 99 per cent of the paperwork is contract ready, that means we’re getting very close,” Sir Angus told members of the Senate Rural & Regional Affairs Transport Legislation Committee on Wednesday.

Some risk mitigation work for OneSky has already been undertaken under advance supply contracts, but finalising the main acquisition contract has been delayed while Airservices and Thales agree to terms, especially in the light of a recent Australian National Audit Office audit which raised concerns about the tender evaluation process’s ability to deliver value for money on the near billion dollar project.

But Sir Angus told the committee that Defence is close to seeking government approval for its share of the program from the National Security Committee (NSC) of Cabinet.

“Right now we are about 99 per cent ready to go into contract on our side, we just need to finalise the arrangements with Defence after they’ve been through [the NSC approval process].”

However, the Airservices chair did indicate that Defence’s share of the OneSky project is likely to be greater than a previously agreed “not to exceed” price of $244 million.

“We’re at a stage where Defence are going back to the National Security Committee of Cabinet for a final approval on the project with some form of cost increase,” he said.

Airservices has not publicly put an exact number on the value of its own share of the OneSky program, however the organisation’s new five-year corporate plan, released on Tuesday, records that “OneSKY and its enabling projects account for $652 million” in capital expenditure over the next five financial years, through to the end of 2021-22.

“Much of the delay in finalising this contract is because the board will not sign a contract until such time that it is satisfied that we can protect Airservices commercially under these arrangements,” Tim Rothwell, Airservices board member and chair of the board’s audit and risk committee, told the Senate.

Another of the ANAO report’s criticisms was that the Airservices business case for OneSky had not been reviewed or updated since January 2011.

“The latest cost estimates have been included in Airservices’ corporate plans, including the one tabled yesterday, so it’s not as if the cost estimates were unknown, but the final business case will be provided to the board as part of the approval process, hopefully towards the end of this year when we do hopefully contract to get this project underway,” Rothwell said.

Fellow Airservices board member David Marchant, chair of the board’s technology committee, told the Senate committee Airservices had moved to an open book process as part of contract negotiations to ensure value for money.

“We’ve stopped going to contract until we’ve got the definition and the design absolutely right and it’s absolutely in agreement with Defence and ourselves,” he said.

“Secondly, we’ve moved to a full ‘open book’ process for every cost, for every activity and are going through and assessing those against that design criteria, so we don’t have to go retrospectively back [to make changes once contracts have been signed].

“And the reason for the comment about the business case and the rest is that until that’s concluded and the risks and contingencies all through those things are put out in the open and mitigated down, that’s when we’ll get to a final cost and a final risk and a final mitigation.”

Open book contract management is a contracting arrangement favoured in government procurements in the United Kingdom. It allows “the scrutiny of a supplier’s costs and margins through the reporting of, or accessing, accounting data,” according to the UK’s Crown Commercial Service.

“This transparency allows both parties to be clear on the supplier’s charges, costs, and planned return. It also provides a basis to be able to review performance, agree the impact of change and to bring forward ideas for efficiency improvements.”
   
This was followed today, by another Oz Aviation Airservices promo, where Sir A & Harfwit in an attempt to further justify their positions, are obviously trying to placate the big end of town Airlines with a 10% reduction to airservices charges... Dodgy

Quote:Airservices promises real cost reductions of 10 per cent
August 10, 2017 by Gerard Frawley[Image: ADL_TWR_1.jpg]Airservices Australia says the benefits of its ‘Accelerate’ restructuring program will allow it to deliver real cost reductions to its aviation industry customers across the next five years.

The government-owned air navigation service provider and aviation firefighting operator released its latest five-year corporate plan on Tuesday, detailing its forecasted financial performance through to the end of the 2021-22 financial year. The plan projects that despite only modest increases in Airservices’ revenues over the five-year period that earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) will rebound strongly, to over $100 million from 2017-18 onwards.

“The plan embeds the cost savings delivered through our new operating model, enables real price reductions of around 10 per cent to be delivered to industry over the next five years, and funds key investment programs to deliver important safety and service improvements,” reads the corporate plan.

“Today our prices are the same as they were in July 2015. Reflecting the delivery of a more efficient operating cost base through our new operating model, this plan maintains weighted average prices at existing rates, delivering our customers real price decreases and improved service value through to 2021-22.”

Airservices’ customer charges are set under five-year Long Term Pricing Agreements (LTPAs). The current pricing agreement came into effect in October 2011 while a new LTPA, which sought to raise charges for air navigation services by an average of 3.3 per cent a year over the five years from 2016, was deferred.

The federal government also stands to benefit from the turnaround in Airservices’ financial performance, receiving a dividend of almost $9 million in 2017-18 rising to around $20 million in subsequent years.

“With capital expenditure funding requirements remaining high, this plan maintains current dividend payout ratios at 30 per cent of net profit after tax. This is projected to return an average of $17 million in dividends each year,” the plan reads.

Much of Airservices’ capital expenditure over the five-year period is for the OneSky air traffic management system.

“Over the five-year planning period, OneSky and its enabling projects account for $652 million, or 61 per cent, of the total spend.”

The balance of $421 million will be “to improve services and sustain current infrastructure as well as to support new runway operations at Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth”.

The plan shows for the just completed 2016-17 financial year that Airservices was forecast to post an EBIT of $59.8 million, following a net loss after tax of $127.3 million in 2015-16, the organisation’s first loss in its 20-year history and one largely due to one-off restructuring costs, including staff redundancies.

The corporate plan shows staff costs for 2016-17 to be a forecast $678.8 million, falling to $640.8 million in 2017-18 and rising modestly thereafter.

“Over 2016-17 we successfully transitioned to a new, simpler operating model based on customer needs, with less bureaucracy and more accountability. Our focus is now on sustaining and improving our organisational performance,” the corporate plan notes.
Under Accelerate Airservices’ workforce was to be cut from 4,500 to 3,600.



MTF...P2  Cool

#privatiseAirservicesNOW
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Finally ASA Hansard? - & Jenkins ROR... Rolleyes

Finally the Hansard for last week's ASA Performance Inquiry public hearing has been released:

Quote:Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee
(Senate-Wednesday, 9 August 2017)
 
Not sure what the delay was but maybe it had something with this just tabled Senate Estimates document which was received (not tabled) 23 June 2017:

Quote:4) Correspondence received 23 June 2017 from Mr Chris Jenkins, CEO, Thales Australia & NZ, providing a right of reply to evidence given on 23 May 2017. - PDF 2972KB

[Image: Jenkins-1.jpg]
[Image: Jenkins-2.jpg]


MTF...P2 Cool

#privatiseAirservicesNOW
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OneSKY update - "Houston we may have a problem??!!"

Via the Oz:

Quote:Defence air traffic control plan worth $409 million ‘out of date’
[Image: 145e84753afe8fc649b7d8508b2d73c0?width=650]
A Defence upgrade of air traffic control facilities is two years late.
  • RORY CALLINAN
  • The Australian
  • 3:20PM August 18, 2017

An upgrade to Defence’s antiquated air traffic control facilities costing $409 million is two years late and has been placed on the “projects of concern” list.

The deployable air traffic control and civil military air traffic management systems were put on the list after experiencing scheduling delays, Defence Minister Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne announced today.

“This is a highly complex, interdepartmental project of national significance that has experienced some substantial challenges getting into contract,’’ the Ministers said in a joint release.

“The challenges revolve around issues with ensuring value for the taxpayers.”

The project’s official titles are the Air 5431 Phase 1 Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and the Control System and the Project Air 5431 Phase 3 Civil Military Air Traffic Management System.

Project Air 5431 phase 1 involves introducing a new deployable defence air traffic management and control system to replace a tactical air surveillance radar, according to the tender document released in 2008.

At the time of the tender the project was described as need to “comprise a mix of mobile and transportable air traffic management systems each with its own primary and secondary radar sensors, command and control and communication subsystems and organic maintenance support”.

The project which was approved in 2014 was supposed to be rapidly deployable within Australia or overseas.

Air 5431 Phase 3 program involved harmonising a civilian and military air traffic management system under the “OneSky Banner” being led by Airservices Australia.

The project was supposed to provide operational benefits and efficiencies for military and civilian airspace users and reduced acquisition and support costs for Airservices and Defence.

It involved 12 Air Traffic Management automation systems, communications infrastructure, training systems and defence’s share of a Joint Software Support Facility.



& via Oz Aviation:

OneSky added to Defence’s Projects of Concern list

August 18, 2017 by australianaviation.com.au

[Image: IMG_0964.jpg]OneSky will replace the existing TAAATS system. (Airservices)

Defence’s participation in the Airservices Australia-led OneSky program to acquire a joint civil and military air traffic management system has been placed onto the government’s Projects of Concern list.

As a consequence, the project, which aims to replace the currently separate civil and Defence air traffic management systems under a single program, and is known to Defence as Project AIR 5431 Phase 3 Civil Military Air Traffic Management System, now faces increased ministerial involvement and oversight.

“This is a highly complex, inter-departmental project of national significance that has experienced some substantial challenges getting into contract,” Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne said in a joint statement on Friday.

“The challenges revolve around issues with ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.”

The move is thought to be unprecedented for a project to be added to the Projects of Concern list before it has gone to contract.

The federal government named Thales as the successful supplier for OneSky at the 2015 Avalon Airshow.

Since then, Airservices has been negotiating with the the company ahead of signing formal contracts, with some preliminary work undertaken via a series of “advanced work orders”.

Last week Airservices chair Sir Angus Houston told a Senate committee the contracts are close to being ready.

“We’re getting close, 99 per cent of the paperwork is contract ready, that means we’re getting very close,” Sir Angus told members of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Transport Legislation Committee on August 9.

Sir Angus also told the Senate Committee Defence would be shortly seeking government approval for its share of the program from the National Security Committee (NSC) of Cabinet.

With Parliament sitting in Canberra this past week, NSC may have met to discuss OneSky, among other matters, possibly prompting the joint ministerial announcement on Friday.
Defence and Airservices are jointly funding the OneSky project, with the total cost estimated to be near $1 billion.

An Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report published in April questioned OneSky’s value for money, suggesting Australia could end up paying too much for the combined civil and military air traffic management system .

Specifically, the ANAO was critical of how the tenders were evaluated.

“It is not clearly evident that the successful tender offered the best value for money,” the ANAO report said.

Further, the ANAO said it was “not clearly evident that the successful tender is affordable in the context of the funding available to Airservices and Defence”.

Airservices’ most recent five-year corporate plan noted “OneSky and its enabling projects account for $652 million” in capital expenditure over the next five financial years, through to the end of 2021-22.

While Defence had previously capped its financial commitment at a “not to exceed” price of $244 million, Sir Angus told the Senate Committee Defence would seek from the NSC final approval for some form of cost increase.

Parts of the new OneSky system were expected to be operating by 2018, with the full operating capability expected in 2023, two years later than the original 2021 completion date.

Meanwhile, the AIR 5431 Phase 1 Deployable Defence Air Traffic Management and Control System project has also been added to the Projects of Concern list.

Indra was awarded this project in 2014 to deliver a mix of mobile and transportable air traffic control radars and supporting equipment to allow Defence to control and monitor air traffic while deployed on operations.

“The project has experienced schedule delays since approval, and initial delivery is expected almost two years later than originally planned,” the Ministers said.

The addition of the two projects to the Projects of Concern list is unrelated, although they are part of the same program.

Further proof that the OneSKY GWE trough fund is under severe drought conditions - Blush

Reference: Once upon a night time dreary.
Quote:[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQbIyam_Q4Aqxws176KQlm...8wyjdv4Whg]
The OneSky Great White Elephant - Gift to a nation [Image: rolleyes.gif]

..All very neat and corporate, no doubt all legal; but what’s the point of having a board if they simply ‘sign off’ on the project without examining the whole, very carefully indeed. This is not a Chook shed they are approving – it is a project of great national interest, public safety, industry efficiency and a great big pile of public money. It begs the question; how can a government monopoly loose a fortune and presents the industry with a less than perfect system continue, as it stands? But what I’d like to know is how can a board sit on it’s collective thumbs and allow the situation we find ourselves in happen – on their watch. It is wrong: plain, pure and simple. Time to rebuild, from the ground up. Privatisation is the only real solution – take a long, hard, look at Canada, the Americans are...
 
#privatiseAirservicesNOW

MTF...P2 Tongue
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Is Sir Gallacher the OneSKY nutcracker?

Not that I'm much on the boring - Sleepy - intricacies of government infrastructure tenders but having reviewed the Hansard I believe the following segment from the ASA MKII performance inquiry hearing was critical to the above MSM reports... Confused





Quote:Senator GALLACHER: Chair, can I just put two questions on those?

CHAIR: Sure.

Senator GALLACHER: So you've accepted recommendations 1 to 6. One of those recommendations is that you improve your value for money.

Mr Rothwell : Yes.

Senator GALLACHER: How do you do that retrospectively? You've gone through a process, you've ended up with a tenderer and you've ended up with a figure. You've accepted these recommendations, and I accept that in the future you may do things very much better. How do you apply value for money retrospectively? I'm happy for you to take that on notice.

Mr Rothwell : I'm happy to try and deal with that question. I think the very reason we haven't signed the contract is that we are striving to ensure that we do achieve value for money and—

Senator GALLACHER: Okay, but, see, this is a two-part question. How do you achieve value for money retrospectively? And what about your major silent partner in this exercise? Is anybody on the board prepared to put on the record what Defence's position is in respect of value for money?

Mr Marchant : There is no retrospective approach to value for money, as you have suggested. What we have moved to is an open-book reassessment of all the cost bases and all the return framework: an open book. We have learned the issues from the US and elsewhere and have gone back and said that we want to make sure that the specifications, design and criteria that are in the process actually line up with Defence's and our absolute expectations. That was one of the failings in the US; it blew out by billions of dollars because what was promised and what they got weren't in alignment. So we've stopped going to contract until we get the definition and design absolutely right, and it is absolutely in agreement with Defence and ourselves.

Secondly, we've moved to a full open-book process for every cost and for every activity. We are going through and assessing those against that design and criteria so we don't have to go back retrospectively. The reason for the comment about business case and the rest is that until that's concluded and the risks and contingencies all through those things are put out in the open and actually mitigated down, that's when we'll get to a final cost, a final risk and a final mitigation. The reason we are doing that now is not to get into the problems that our overseas colleagues have had by finding these things blow out later and that we have to come back and explain billions of dollars of blowout. So we are not retrospectively refitting.

CHAIR: You are in a last-man-standing environment here, aren't you?

Mr Marchant : No, we're far from it. We are far from that, Senator.

CHAIR: Well, you might help me and tell me who the other final competitors are to win this? Because evidence given to this committee before is that there was a shortlist of three.

Mr Marchant : Yes—

CHAIR: Two are now out and you've got one man left standing. Right?

Mr Marchant : In this process—

CHAIR: You are in a process, which you have just described—an open-book process, and I understand that.

Mr Marchant : Yes.

CHAIR: But there is only one person going to deliver this project—only one company.
Mr Marchant : Senator, there are three premises to that. We've all been in that situation, because once you get down to a winning provider, you—

CHAIR: Not when you get a bit of neck and neck about it, you don't get to that situation but—

Mr Marchant : Neck and neck requires like for like—

CHAIR: Yes, noted.

Mr Marchant : and the reality is that the evaluation is very clear on the technical and sound framework. But let me deal with your issue, because that is a critical issue of negotiating this framework.

There are a number of elements to actually finishing this. The open-book process provides for transparent and asymmetrical information in the actual management of the risks and the dimensions of it, including some changes that Defence want et cetera. It is better to do that through this process than to get raped and pillaged later. There are only a few suppliers worldwide for the air navigation market. The Australian market is one of the first to go to the next block of what are KO standards. We are seeking the next block of what the world market is requiring.

Whoever wins this actually gets into a situation where they are seen worldwide as being able to provide that next block, which Europe and the rest will have to move to on their next upgrades. So there is a lot of pressure on this supplier not only to win this but to deliver it on quality, price and risk outcomes, because nearly every ANSP in the world is watching.

Senator STERLE: So we are down to one last one standing, and there's one coming, but we're going to get, hopefully, open, accountable costings—the whole lot, with value for dollars.

Mr Marchant : Correct.

Senator STERLE: If it does not line up, they can walk away, sharpen the pencil, come back again and have another crack?

Mr Marchant : Yes. There are three elements to it. This is a world market where, because of our history, we happen to be in the lead for that framework, so there's a lot of pressure to provide the right outcome, because it opens up a market for them.
Secondly, the Australian market has a few suppliers and they're bidding for other Australian frameworks. Whatever they do here will be observed by other Australian agencies.

Lastly, through the open-book contender process, if in the end they aren't able to come to an outcome collectively with us, on value and quality, we don't have to sign a contract. We've not signed a contract yet. We're holding back to get all these things lined up and against the risks and against the detailed design so we do not fall into the US and other environment problems. So, even with one player, we are methodically going through it to keep the right pressure points there and we still have the option of not proceeding with a private provider.

Senator GALLACHER: Is there any prospective income arising out of this OneSKY? You're saying that whoever the successful person is, in integrating military and civilian airspace with a 'best of the best' system, can market it overseas. Is there anything that Airservices gets out of that? Do you get any prospective income from the creation of this world first?

Mr Marchant : We're working through those issues. I won't go into the commercial issues.

Senator GALLACHER: You don't know?

Mr Marchant : No, I'm not going to go through the negotiating rules here.

Senator GALLACHER: We're trying to find value for money in the public interest: what's the residual effect on the balance sheet?

Mr Marchant : Yes, of course.

Senator GALLACHER: At the moment, it looks like a dog's breakfast. We need it. Everybody knows we need it. We need the best in the world. It is a simple question: is there going to be any prospective income out of this extraordinary spend of money on world's best practice aviation management?

Mr Rothwell : Again, this is part of finalising the contract with Thales. That negotiation is part of finalising it.

Senator GALLACHER: So do they get the income? That's what I heard over the airwaves.

Mr Rothwell : We're still negotiating in that respect. Could I just also put in the fact that, from a value-for-money perspective, it is not just about the capital project—albeit that is very, very important, clearly. It is also about the total cost of operating Airservices. The airlines' charges are very much driven by these capital projects, including this one, but also the cost of operation of the organisation.

Senator GALLACHER: You may not have heard me before. I don't give a rat's about the airlines, because they pass it back to the passengers. Luv it!  Big Grin

Mr Rothwell : Sure.

Senator GALLACHER: So it's the travelling public who eventually pay.
Mr Rothwell : Correct.

Senator GALLACHER: So it's people who get on and off planes who eventually pay for this.

Mr Rothwell : Absolutely, and that is why we went through the very extensive process to look at the whole organisation. We have reduced the costs of the organisation by some $170 million

Air Chief Marshal Houston : By $177.5 million a year.

Mr Rothwell : That will come directly off the charges that airlines pay for these services. So a very critical part of value for money is that process as well. It is important perhaps to realise—and I'm sure you do—that the whole Airservices operation and this project will be run with no government funding whatsoever. It will be charges to airlines. Indeed, Airservices is forecasting under its corporate plan, tabled yesterday, that it will be paying to the federal government in excess of $50 million a year in taxes and dividends from 2018. If we can try to get over the value-for-money point, we are striving to get the best value for money for both the taxpayer and the travelling public.

Senator GALLACHER: You just need a few good audit reports to get the direction of this committee looking elsewhere. You haven't had them.


Senator GALLACHER: Can I just finish on your other partner, who I will examine in estimates later on in the year. There is a statement:

The overall acquisition cost estimate is not affordable against the draft 2014 Defence Capability Plan provision, and not affordable over the whole of life.

… Finance has not been provided with the basis against which to assess that Airservices can deliver the whole project. Nor has Finance been provided with the basis to assess whether the Defence capability can be delivered for the Airservices-agreed Not-to-Exceed price of $255.0 million for the Defence share of the Civil-Military Air Traffic Management System.

I accept that that is an historical figure, but, either now or on notice, can someone explain where you are sitting with your partner?

Air Chief Marshal Houston : We would be delighted to do that.

Senator GALLACHER: I have to tell you I have had a briefing from Defence. I want to see two sides of the story.

Air Chief Marshal Houston : We are at a stage where Defence are going back to the National Security Committee of Cabinet for a final approval on the project and for, I think, some form of cost increase. That is for them to inform you about.

Senator GALLACHER: So that's a correct statement—there is a process in place.

Air Chief Marshal Houston : There is a process and we are working very closely with Defence. Before you get to the National Security Committee of cabinet, there are a number of steps. We are joined up and we will be working closely together to ensure that we're in the best possible posture going into that National Security Committee of cabinet.

Just to make it very clear, in relation to the civil side of the project the board holds the delegation for the funding approvals, as you know. With Defence, they have to go to the National Security Committee of cabinet to get their funding authorisation.

Senator GALLACHER: So would it be unfair to characterise that revision in costs as a bit of competitive tension on Airservices? No-one likes to go back and ask for extra money. Are they putting their full scrutiny into this process to ensure we do end up with value for money?

Air Chief Marshal Houston : They are. I've spoken to the vice chief in the last few case days. The CEO has spoken to the Chief of Air Force in last few days. We are in lock step as to how we need to get to get to get to the National Security Committee of cabinet with the right story. Right now we're about 99 per cent ready to go into contract on our side. We just need to finalise the arrangements with Defence after they've been through that—

CHAIR: If the final quantum is not known, given you're still working through the due process with a potential contractor—

Air Chief Marshal Houston : We're obviously in negotiation with Thales at the moment.

CHAIR: So you're working on an ambit figure here?

Air Chief Marshal Houston : No. It's a very good process, an open-book process. We're looking at different assessments of risk and how much—

CHAIR: The total cost, which you will apportion between domestic or national services and Defence, that total figure is not known. It's an evolutionary figure that's moving along as you complete your processes in this case.

Air Chief Marshal Houston : To put it this way, we have much more definition of costs—

CHAIR: So you're in the ballpark with a tolerance of four or five per cent or something.

Air Chief Marshal Houston : We're getting close. Ninety-nine per cent of the paperwork is contract ready. That means we're getting very close. The risk-reduction work orders are continuing. All the way through, what we're getting is reduction in risk, and we're getting into a better place in terms of ensuring value for money.

Mr Rothwell : To put your minds at ease, this board cannot sign an agreement with Thales without a back-to-back agreement with Defence. Defence's agreement is—

Senator GALLACHER: I think Defence told me there was a preferred supplier on the books, but it wasn't value for money.


MTF...P2 Tongue

Ps Bye the bye, I note that in the US that some of the more powerful GA Alphabets are taking issue with the Trump idea of privatising ATC... Rolleyes  

Via News13.com:
Quote:Aviation groups: Privatizing air traffic control hurts Florida flight training

[Image: 1503369937795.jpg]
President Trump and House Republicans are pushing a plan to shift the air traffic control system to a private system with a non-profit board of directors.

By Troy Kinsey, Capitol Bureau Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017

TALLAHASSEE -- 

As the Trump administration presses a plan to privatize the nation's air traffic control system, general aviation advocates are warning the proposal could all but decimate Florida's flight training industry and, in turn, exacerbate a growing airline pilot shortage.
  • Trump administration, House GOP wants to privatize air traffic control
  • Non-profit board of directors dominated by airline executives
  • Aviation leaders call for modernizing, not privatizing
The White House proposal is included in legislation recently filed by House Republicans and would shift the management of air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration to a non-profit board of directors. The board would be empowered to overhaul air traffic control processes, with an eye toward addressing the systemic delays plaguing the airline industry.

"Our plan will get you where you need to go more quickly, more reliably, more affordably and, yes, for the first time in a long time, on time," President Trump said in introducing the plan in June.

Because the board would be dominated by airline executives, however, it could be predisposed to implement airline-friendly policies, such as charging general aviation pilots air traffic control user fees. That, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Mark Baker warns, would have the effect of discouraging the commerce and flight training operations that are critical parts of local economies.

"The ecosystem that we have in transportation, which includes airspace, air traffic, 5,000 public use airports, which keep jobs happening in rural America, bringing products to market, wouldn't happen -- 'cause it doesn't happen anywhere else in the world -- with a privatized system," Baker said.

Baker joined the leaders of three other aviation organizations -- the National Business Aviation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association -- for an anti-privatization rally at EAA's AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, WI, last month.

The rally's tagline -- 'modernize, not privatize' -- underscored the groups' demands for Congress to pass multi-year FAA budgets that would allow the agency to take a long-term approach to improving the air traffic control system.

Sun 'n Fun President John 'Lites' Leenhouts came to Oshkosh, too, both to promote the Polk County flight training scholarship organization's annual airshow and to stand in solidarity against privatization. If user fees were to be implemented, he predicted Florida's mammoth flight training industry - second only to California's - could be hit especially hard, with prospective students deciding a career in aviation isn't worth the cost of training.

"If you charge those rates to operate out of an airfield and in the sky to learn to fly, the cost to learn, which is already expensive, goes up exponentially," Leenhouts said. "That then precludes the potential new aviator from going into the business."

Critics of the privatization proposal also argue that airline delays rarely owe to inefficiencies in the air traffic control system. Instead, most delays are caused by overcrowded hubs, maintenance issues and weather.

If anything, Leenhouts said, privatization could increase delays if it causes the pilot shortage - which Boeing estimates has grown to 637,000 over the next two decades - to get even worse. By discouraging flight training, user fees could leave airlines with lots of airplanes but not enough pilots to fly them.

"Guess who's going to pay for it?" Leenhouts asked. "You and I that get into our general aviation aircraft and call a controller and take off out of an airfield and land somewhere else. We're paying the price for them to talk to us, and right now if we do that it'll kill what is already a really challenging career field."

Privatization proponents point out that user fees aren't part of the current proposal, which maintains the use of the aviation fuel tax as the principal means of funding air traffic control.

Simply shifting to a privatized system, though, could come at a steep cost to taxpayers.

Last week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the current legislation would increase the federal budget deficit by $98.5 billion over ten years, up from an initial projection of $20.7 billion. 

Again lessons to be learnt from the Canuck system I'd say - Wink
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Gallacher steps up.

There are some among us - ‘brung up proper’ – who understand the skills and tactics of the traditional “Aunt-Sally” game. ‘Tis an ancient, honourable ‘team’ pass time which requires tactics and some skill. Guile, cunning and accuracy are essential elements; if the very small, distant target ‘pin’ is to be knocked out of it’s retaining bracket; which is essential. Now, the Senate team are premier league.    





Senator GALLACHER: "Okay, but, see, this is a two-part question. How do you achieve value for money retrospectively? And what about your major silent partner in this exercise? Is anybody on the board prepared to put on the record what Defence's position is in respect of value for money?"

Hansard – words only –does not do justice to a pitch made by Gallacher during the Senate v ASA Top Cover team match. You need to study the ‘vision’ to appreciate the Gallacher skill. Watch the tape through to about 00:57 then watch as the bomb drops. Gallacher is directing the question to the tow headed Rothwell (Yorkshire? Man) who’s head comes up in panic desperate for help as all the warning lights flash on. The noises made by he fellah on the other side of Who’stoblame (Marchant) @ 01:00 to about 01:02 are a classic. Inarticulate, breathless, basic  (Oh’ Duck) noises made to fill in a very pregnant pause.

Now then, Marchant is good, make no mistake; top drawer and once he realised that the Gallacher throw had unseated the pin he was almost quick enough to prevent the points being scored – almost.

It took about two seconds for him to come up with a ‘pat’ answer to gain the time needed: Alas.  FWIW, below is a text book non response to a question which, sooner or later, is going to require a proper answer.

Mr Marchant : “There is no retrospective approach to value for money, as you have suggested. What we have moved to is an open-book reassessment of all the cost bases and all the return framework: an open book. We have learned the issues from the US and elsewhere and have gone back and said that we want to make sure that the specifications, design and criteria that are in the process actually line up with Defence's and our absolute expectations. That was one of the failings in the US; it blew out by billions of dollars because what was promised and what they got weren't in alignment. So we've stopped going to contract until we get the definition and design absolutely right, and it is absolutely in agreement with Defence and ourselves.”

Choc Frog throw Senator; in slow motion, the looks of consternation, shock and horror as the Aunt Sally pin goes flying are priceless. Nicely played Sir, indeed.

Toot toot.
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