MoD loses track of assets worth £6bn

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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The Ministry of Defence has been urged by MPs to get a grip of stock control problems which have left it unable to account for billions of pounds-worth of military equipment.

The Commons Defence Committee said it was ‘dismayed’ that the National Audit Office had qualified the MoD’s accounts for the fourth year in succession after it lost track of assets worth £6.3bn – including £184m-worth of radios.

It said the MoD must speed up its plans for sorting out the problems with its stock control system – currently expected to continue for another two to four years.

‘It is alarming that the department should be unaware of the location, useability or indeed the continued existence of assets to a total value of £6.3bn,’ it said.

‘We recommend that the department take whatever measures are necessary to expedite the process of ensuring that it knows how much stock it has, where it is and in what condition.

‘We expect to see an abbreviated timetable for achieving this, and an explanation of the measures taken to achieve it, in the response to this report.’

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: ‘As I have repeatedly said, the MoD has not managed its resources well for years.’