Damning defence report
We've just been given a document that we're told is a set of slides on a presentation given by Bernard Gray on his report on defence procurement.
Reports last night suggested that his findings would be critical of the tangled-up system of defence procurement, suggesting that he might identify up to £2bn that was "wasted" and a system that just didn't work.
But in black and white, the notes that I now have in front of me suggest just how damning the report, now delayed, was going to be. They say Mr Gray concludes that the:
"Ministry of Defence does not really know the price of any kit, and project management does not exist in the Department."
It says the "top 40 programmes annually expect an 80% overrun on time, and 40% on cost". The Ministry of Defence is "in denial" and it says the "current programme will exceed likely MOD funding profile" - in other words, The Ministry of Defence doesn't have enough money to pay for its plans.
There's much more in the document and we don't yet have a response from government. More soon.
Update, 18:42: Still no sign of Bernard Gray himself, but we now have much more detail on what his report into defence procurement was meant to say.
The BBC has been passed what we're told is a set of slides used to present his findings at two different meetings. One to the NDIC, a group where government meets with the top echelons of the defence industry at the beginning of June, and one at what's described as the "Shrivenham 4 Defence Acquisition Workshop".
While we are yet to have an official response from the Ministry of Defence, sources have just told the BBC that the slides are "probably authentic".
And we have been told that there was a "major row" between the MoD which was urging Downing Street to stick to the original schedule for the report, and publish it before the summer recess, and No 10, who refused, and delayed publication until the autumn.
We understand that hard copies were already circulating around the MoD, although the ministry is now trying to get them back. But the department's nervousness about delay was that the report would leak over the summer, and potentially be a more troublesome story. Oh, the irony.
The slides add up to a damning verdict on how the MoD deals with long-term decisions about buying kit for the military. Cast your eyes over some of the findings:
• the MoD does not really know the price of any kit and project management does not exist in the department
• top 40 programmes annually expect an 80% overrun on time; 40% on cost
• MoD always late in admitting there is a problem
• time issues are worse than since 1999
• the current programme will "exceed any likely MoD funding profile"
And civil servants may be alarmed to read that Mr Gray appears to say that there are just too many people involved in procurement, and makes a recommendation to:
"Reduce people in the process and those there must be better at their jobs".
So will Downing Street's insistence that there was no row about publication really be able to hold? They're returning my call.