New fuel claims process - Not as planned?

So during the implementation of Volunteer Portal, we were essentially told that soon we will be able to do our fuel claims, such as 1771, nice and easily through VP! Exciting. We were even shown some MVPs that looked like this:

Yet, it looks like what’s actually happening is just turning the 1771 into a digital form

More information here.

It appears instead of getting a nice claims system, we’re just getting the same thing as before, but by email?

Here’s the original MVP document.

Our Bader team are doing some fantastic things. Don’t get me wrong. But where are our priorities? The Comdt likes to speak of ‘investing in technology’. Well hire a bunch of full-time devs for a year and get these processes sorted.


Don’t worry. . . We’re “pausing” next year so might get these things sorted out . . . /S

I find it annoying, but unfortunately not unbelievable or surprising, that the solution being trialled doesn’t even come close to the potential and promise of the proposed MVP :person_facepalming:

Good points I guess is that it makes it more difficult for claim forms to be lost in the process and saves printing and postage so reduces the carbon footprint. So it makes things better for perm staff but not really for the CFAV where the improvements are supposed to be aimed.

However it’s still not going to be possible to track and review claims or access a history, this is important for both 1771 and HTD as long as RAFAC do not reimburse at HMRC approved rates and tax relief claims need to be submitted. Also relies on emails being accessed and forwarded so potentially builds in delays.

I do wonder, with CFAVs adding occupations on VP, if any have been used to help deliver any improvements or even consulted🤷

:clap: :clap:

This is spot on!

In this case, I think we do have a good team of volunteers producing digital solutions. But from what I see on the outside, we have no where near enough productivity for what we should be aspiring too. That’s not a critique of the people already doing what they are doing, it’s a critique of the management.

As I said in my main post:

Our Bader team are doing some fantastic things. Don’t get me wrong. But where are our priorities? The Comdt likes to speak of ‘investing in technology’. Well hire a bunch of full-time devs for a year and get these processes sorted.

If we want to see the Bader suite properly sorted. SMS gone, full units integration, and removal of all our current outdated manual systems, then we really need to invest in that. Not just rely on volunteers as usual.


A digital system is needed asap! I put va and fuel claims in 3 month ago, still no payment, no idea if it’s even made it’s way to region or not.

Using full tanks of petrol to get cadets back and forward to activites isnt cheap. Even worse when MT requests get rejected constantly

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I agree the volunteers developers are doing a great job and what they have achieved so far is fantastic.

However they are building solutions to what appear to be poor requirements and it’s change and process professionals that also understand the pain points as end users being engaged earlier was more my thinking. Helping to clearly define what the requirements are. What is being trialled is so far away it should have just been rolled out as a process change as it doesn’t resemble the MVP or even a step towards it to warrant being a trial.


I keep saying this over and over again, in an organisation of ~40k there has to be more that a handful of developers so wheres the adverts or ask for help been?

Im sure people would come forward


Semi-serious question…

Have you lot considered closing your sqns down for a night in unison to send the message that they need to respect the amount of free time you give the organisation?

Stuff like this makes me think twice about approaching in a year or so, because it just smacks of not valuing your precious time.

Edit: I mean the price they’d have to pay for all the hours you give without thought of reward, and they can’t even make it easy to ensure you’re not out of pocket (and they still don’t give the HMRC rate…)

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Just from those I know locally, there’s a load.

Buuuut. How many want to be writing code all day, then all night? My brain would melt (on some days it already has before I finish work).

There’s also challenges in how you coordinate large feature development with sporadic contributions. This whole process could be 2 minor changes away from being complete, but the bod that wrote it has been NEP for 6 months, and no one else wants to/is able to take it on.

I feel this XKCD is relevant:



^ this.


They would barely notice it would be so spread out over the country and we all have different parade nights.

At the end of the day the people who would suffer would be the Cadets and the Staff would just have to make up the work some over time.


They’ll just assume they’ve ordered another pause and forgotten about it


Not the first time that CAC has lowered the bar.

New entry into the HQAC Dictionary:

Minimum, adjective; could be lower, unless it applies to our expectations of CFAV, but especially when applied to our responsibilities

CFAV faith and trust in HQAC has reached a minimum threshold, lower than the last three occasions it reached the minimum threshold;
CFAV admin burden has reached a new minimum level with the addition of three new forms and two overhauled processes with added complexity;
HQAC is fully committed to doing the absolute minimum to improve the CFAV experience


Interestingly, just seen a document uploaded on Teams that refers to this as an interim solution.

Also now slightly worried that the real aim here isn’t to digitise the workflow, but to start removing activities that cost too much in 1771 claims…


And this is where the civil servants and military leadership fail to grasp things outside their comfy bubble and crap comms again.

No slight on RC North but from his VoP post, iirc, the new process was close being trialled.

CS/Mil - we can just impose it and people will have to just get on with it, lets just communicate it as the new process is being trialled.

Rest of modern civilisation - Sorry guys we are not as far as we would like to be and we realise this is disappointing and is still causing problems for you. One of the biggest issues we see is delays due to claims lost or delayed being sent by mail so we are introducing an interim change to improve this were you will be able to submit these via email. Don’t worry this is not the new process and we continue to work on our MVP and will share more with as soon as we can, please bear with us.

FTFY I think it looks like one of many blunt instruments that will be used to justify what they kill



The whole system is based around what things cost us, we already have RHQs that limit who can claim fuel etc to limit the costs.

All of the digitisation is being driven by cost, be that man hours saved for CS or postage saved. None of it is based around saving the volunteer effort.


I don’t agree. CFAV has to ensure Insurance is in date. Form is submitted via email up CoC. CFAV is paid quickly.

To me the responsibility for first element is down to CFAV, rest is straight forward and quick.

Very little difference to current system for the CFAV really, just saves the time of printing, posting and of course the cost of a stamp.

If they are bypassing gross error checking at WHQ before it hits HQ then that will save a small amount of time but won’t last in to the wider system as it would out too much pressure on to the admin at HQ.

Payment would be the same timeframe from landing on the desk of the mileage admin.

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Evening folks,

I haven’t made it over here for a while but was aware that some discussion was taking place around digital claims.

Volunteer capacity is somewhat stretched in the team at the moment with many of the team having to direct their efforts towards their primary duties.

We do have an active piece of work in progress that is doing a completely digital workflow for 1771 claims, this will form the foundation of all of our future digital financial claims we are having to make sure we get it right.

We are also about to kick off another volunteer recruitment campaign for any volunteers that have the necessary skills and want to contribute, we’ve not had a huge uptake to previous adverts but we’ve taken a slightly different stance and will be sending out comms on this shortly.


Can I ask, somewhat bluntly, whether any discussions or talks have been made about employing more full time staff? Or even contracting out some of this design work?

I know I’m repeating my self, but I’ll say it again. You guys; You’re team, are doing great. But why, in an organisation of our size, can we not commit more funds to this? It seems there are fantastic plans in place (roadmaps, MVP constitutions etc) but just not enough resources to bring those to fruition in any sane time scale. We’re almost 4 years down the line into this venture. (possibly longer?)

You guys 100% keep doing what you’re doing. It is massively appreciated. But it really feels like the bigger picture needs to be looked at?

(Also, thanks for coming on here and commenting. It’s nice to be heard!)


Whilst I agree in theory, remember these would be Civil Servants, paid CS rates and limited by Gov recruitment processes. A HEO is paid £35/annum, would you do what is expected for that, you could probably get double that with the right quals in civvie street.

Many here complain about the CS cadre, do you think it will get any better under the current situation :man_shrugging:t2:

You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.