The MoD has spent £40,000 on calls to the speaking clock...

  Forum Editor 01:52 24 Aug 13
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over a period of less than three years despite a reported ban on using the service.

An MoD spokesman has had the effrontery to put the blame on "a technical error with some IT servers"

It has nothing to do with IT servers, servers don't dial the Speaking clock to check the time unless a person tells them to do it. The blame lies with civil servants who seem incapable of understanding that the public money they waste so freely has first to be earned by others.

£40,000 is a tiny drop in the ocean of money that the MoD spends each year, but that's hardly the point. The point is that government Ministers - the very people who constantly lecture us on the necessity for being frugal, and keep thinking up new ways to tighten the screws on us taxpayers - don't bother to make sure that their civil servants get the message.

Or perhaps I'm overreacting?

  Chronos the 2nd 04:48 24 Aug 13

£40,000 is a tiny drop in the ocean of money that the MoD spends each year

It is a drop in the ocean in the amount of public money that government departments and in particular the MoD waste each year. If I can find the figures I will link to them, but essentially the MoD and other departments have been criticised for the amounts they pay for the the most basic of items such as light bulbs and toilet paper and will come up with illogical reasons as to why this happens.

I thought the days of blaming computers instead of or mistakes by humans was long behind us but as you rightly point out "servers do not dial the speaking clock unless told to do do."

But as I have said on more than one occasion until governments give real power to those whose job it is to oversee spending of public money then these types of stories will continue to surface.

  Nontek 07:46 24 Aug 13

Surely 99.9% of so-called Civil Servants are in possession of Wrist Watches, Mobile Phones and/or Laptops/Tablets - probably all paid for by the Plebs - so why do they need the Speaking Clock at all?

  morddwyd 07:50 24 Aug 13

I presume it's not just civil servants but uniformed personnel as well.

I can, just about, conceive a situation where the speaking clock might be needed in an MoD context, but £40K worth?

  Chronos the 2nd 08:02 24 Aug 13

I can, just about, conceive a situation where the speaking clock might be needed in an MoD context

That'll be for the four minute warning perhaps.LOL.

(For our younger contributors 4 minutes was the amount of warning you would get before you could kiss your derrière goodbye in the event of a nuclear war, if memory serves.)

  Pine Man 08:28 24 Aug 13

According to The Mail a source suggested that soldiers in the field occasionally needed to know the time???

If they did what did they use to phone the speaking clock - presumably a mobile phone with a clock in it!!!!

  john bunyan 08:34 24 Aug 13

The abuse of credit cards is an even worse example. In a multinational I worked for, such behaviour would not be tolerated.

Civil Servants credit cards

  wiz-king 08:42 24 Aug 13

Ti might be in the SOP (standard operating procedure), it is in some of mine where the counter/timers have to be checked for accuracy every six months and they are checked against TIM as a reference.

All right - it was a long time ago when I wrote the SOP's. Long before radio controlled clocks - do mobile phone keep good time?

  Forum Editor 09:03 24 Aug 13

"do mobile phone keep good time?"

Yes, and in any case many of them automatically update their clocks via the network.

  john bunyan 09:07 24 Aug 13

wiz-king

Many items have built in time synch. My radio alarm, DVD recorders do. Also there are many free time checkers on line (eg the iPad world clock) so there is no need to use TIM (I think that was the dialling code). On operations within the military years ago we never used the speaking clock but at the "Orders" phase always "synchronised watches" with our team and those of our supporters (Submarine or helicopter etc)

Some watches have a self correcting facility:

Atomic watch

  Forum Editor 09:07 24 Aug 13

Pine Man

"According to The Mail a source suggested that soldiers in the field occasionally needed to know the time???"

I doubt that anyone in Camp Bastion dials The speaking clock. There are better ways to provide an army with an accurate time check.

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