This might well not be the full story

The shipyard that won the disastrous Calmac ferry contract ran out of money after starting work on the vessels before finishing their design, the quango in charge of the fiasco has told a Holyrood inquiry.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) said Ferguson Marine “deviated from normal shipbuilding practice” by failing to complete their design first, then devoted “insufficient manpower” to the £97 million contract.

What’s rather more likely is that the civil servants didn’t finalise the design before sending it out for bidding. And then never did finalise the design.

But then that’s because I’m a realist about government.

8 thoughts on “This might well not be the full story”

  1. I’m not sure. The other side of the government purchasing thing is companies that spin any bullshit into their tender to get the work. I still consider that a failure of government, though. Things like this:-

    “MSPs have previously heard that Fergusons did not even have the space to build two ships side-by-side but CMAL said the firm’s tender pledged to build the superstructures off site and shift them to the yard by barge.”

    That’s the sort of thing that would cause a normal company to throw the tender in the bin. For something as mainstream as a boat, you want a company that’s already set up. You want to eliminate risk. Or at least, you would want to see lots of documentation to back up that pledge. Most companies buying stuff go as close to off-the-shelf as they can.

    Like government will hire one of the large software consultancies to do a recruitment system, despite the fact there’s specialist agencies out there who build recruitment systems all the time. They get told by the consultancy that they’ve got the skills to do a thing, when they don’t. There’s a reason lots of those businesses don’t get hired by most businesses and it’s that everyone knows they’re expensive, filthy liars, and that you can hire real specialists to do the job.

  2. ‘the agency said the company was responsible for drawing up a detailed design after winning the contract but had failed to fully understand “the scale of the project.”‘

    The scale to be determined later.

    This seems to be “scope creep.” But I do wonder about Ferguson Marine.

    ‘”deviated from normal shipbuilding practice” by failing to complete their design first.’

    How about completing design before contracting a price ???

    OT – bottom of Telegraph article is link to this fine article:

    ‘Body shaming should be a protected characteristic like racism or sexism to protect children and vulnerable adults online, says Baroness Bull’

    Someone turn out the lights in Britain. Y’all have been consumed by decadence.

  3. Baroness Bull needs to participate in the Rugby Match a few threads up–that would give her an entirely new perspective of the relative severity of problems.

    As for the boat–how can I price be given if you don’t have a finished design? The Simple Shopper of the State strikes again.

  4. Their design might possibly have been lacking but their white slavery policy and diversity practices were beyond reproach.

    Rhoda, who never satisfied the list of PC requirements to bid for govt work except when we were the only supplier who could do it at all.

  5. You don’t need a finished design to tender- just detailed specs and your compliance statements against each requirement. Your company’s experience will inform the price.

  6. “‘Body shaming should be a protected characteristic like racism or sexism to protect children and vulnerable adults online, says Baroness Bull’”

    I’m with Steve on this. Getting “shamed” is a very good way of figuring out what society, in general, thinks of you. If someone calls you a fatso, you should at least as whether they’re right. Because that guy yelling fatso out at you from a car window probably isn’t alone. Most of the guys in the bar aren’t hitting on you because in their mind, they’re thinking “fatso”, although they’re too kind to say it.

    You don’t get better people by legislating against shame. The only beneficiaries of it are people in power, because they keep you down there, wallowing in your own shitness.

  7. Or perhaps, Rowdy, Ferguson thought their design was complete – enough, as you say – and the client decided it wasn’t complete. I.e., classic scope creep.

    For outsiders, it’s impossible to know who is at fault, the contractor or the client. In the end, I indict Ferguson for dealing with perfidious government.

  8. How many ex-Ferguson Marine employees, especially management, now work for SNP Scottish Executive?


    Barging in sub-assembles started with Liberty Ships in WWII



    ‘Fat shaming’ is the best solution

    Boris should tell Baroness Bullshit to shut up & FO

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