COMMONS

Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13

14 January 2014

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) must do more to retain service personnel in vital trades where there are shortages, says the Defence Committee in its report into the MOD annual report and accounts. Certain specialists such as intensive care nurses, engineering and intelligence personnel are particularly low in numbers and hard to replace due to their technical experience and qualifications.

Chairman of the Committee, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, says,

"These shortages of such vital, pinch-point trades are considered to be the second most key strategic risk in Defence management and yet we worry about how seriously these shortages really are taken by the Defence Board."

The Committee is concerned about the amount and quality of information provided in the MoD’s Annual Report. Much work is still needed before it meets the standards the Committee would expect to see. The Committee have identified a number of key areas that should be included in the MOD's annual report in future. These include: the readiness levels of the Armed Forces, manning and outflow statistics in all Services, the performance of Defence Equipment and Support in procuring and maintaining defence equipment and performance against transformation projects in the MoD including the reform of the Armed Forces - Future Force 2020.

For the seventh successive year, the Comptroller and Auditor General, head of the National Audit Office, qualified the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Accounts for 2012–13 on a number of grounds. Whilst recognising that the MoD is finally taking inventory management seriously, the Committee is still concerned that much needs to be done to remedy the poor state of inventory control.

Chairman of the Committee, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, says,

"The provision of reliable management information is critical to the effective running of an organisation. In particular, the MoD should concentrate on improving its financial management information."

Further information

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