The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published its annual report into the MoD’s major projects for 2008-2009.
In response, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said:
“This report focuses on the top thirty of almost two thousands projects managed by the MoD in the last financial year. During that time our priority has been - and continues to be - operations in Afghanistan and ensuring that our forces on the frontline have the equipment they need and that is one reason why some projects that are not essential for current operations have been delayed.
“Since 2006, we have delivered equipment valued at more than £10 billion to the Armed Forces. Over the last financial year, we spent a further £1 billion on more than 250 urgent operational requirements for the front line. These have included contracts for more protected vehicles which are now being delivered in large numbers, and upgraded helicopters.
“We fully accept the need to address shortcomings in our long-term equipment planning and that is why we are working on a Strategy for Acquisition Reform, which will be published in the New Year.”
The NAO’s report says that there are encouraging signs of improving cost and time performance in the management of individual projects and singles out the Lynx Wildcat as a good example.
The NAO also notes that as a result of decisions taken to release resources for higher priorities the MOD was able to commit hundreds of million of pounds to improving infantry combat equipment – one of a series of decisions that have led to better support for operations.
The MoD has also established an eight point plan to address the key findings of the Bernard Gray report into defence acquisition. Among the measures in the plan are commitments to holding a Strategic Defence Review after the next general election; ensuring the equipment plan is aligned with strategy and is affordable and realistic; establishing a new sub-committee of the Defence Board; and introducing controls over the entry of new projects to the equipment programme.
MoD’s other key achievements during the year of the report included:
• acceptance by MOD of the first Type 45 destroyer, Daring;
• delivery to the RAF of two Sentinel “eye in the sky” planes;
• start of deliveries of the second batch of RAF Typhoon fighters;
• contracts awarded for more than 700 new protected patrol vehicles;
• a contract awarded for a new fleet of Terrier armoured engineer vehicles;
• the placing of orders for two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers;
• return to service of Trident submarine HMS Victorious after a major refit.
Since 2006, the MOD has delivered equipment valued at nearly £14 billion to the Armed Forces and since 2003 spent more than £5 billion on Urgent Operational Requirements for the front line.
The MoD will respond formally and fully to the NAO in due course.
Notes to Editors
1. The National Audit Office Major Projects Report 2009 is published on Tuesday 15th December and is will be available from the NAO website: www.nao.org.uk
2. The MoD will respond formally and fully to the NAO’s report in due course via a Treasury Minute.
3. For more information on the MoD response, please contact Ralph Dunn in the Defence Equipment and Support Press Office on 0117 913 0257 or David Hunter in the MoD Press Office on 0207 218 3256.
4. For more information about the NAO report, please contact Phil Groves in the NAO Press Office on 0207 7985339.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department