MPs criticise MOD over procurement delays

A new report by MPs suggests the current system results in personnel on the frontline not "always as supported as they could be".

A new report by MPs has criticised the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for delays in the procurement process.

The report by the all-party Public Accounts Committee also says there is a danger £16.5bn pounds promised for defence could be swallowed up filling an existing £7bn gap in the equipment budget.

It adds that some projects are moving at a "snail's pace", and points to delays in building accommodation, new support ships for the carriers, and decommissioning older nuclear submarines.

Meg Hillier, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee told Forces News: "We've seen over many years, the Ministry of Defence is one of the worst culprits in not managing its budget well,

"The personal consequences are immense, that means kit delivered late, it means sometimes it's downgraded at a later stage,"

MPs say the often-short time Ministers and civil servants work at the MOD means there's also no incentive to fix the problem.

Ms Hillier said it means personnel on the frontline "aren't always as supported as they could be.

"We have great people working in our Armed Forces, somehow they always to make it work.

"To have the Dreadnought submarines not yet delivered, for example, Vanguard submarines extended for 12 years, this isn't a good way of working and supporting the people at the frontline."

In response to the criticism, a Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "The £24bn defence settlement, alongside the Integrated Review, will restore financial sustainability and the Defence Secretary has committed to resourcing future Equipment Plans.

"The Equipment Plan 2020 provided a financial summary of our plans and will enable defence to make new investments in R&D (Research and Development), space and our shipbuilding pipeline to deliver a modern force, fit for the future."

The equipment plan has been published by the MOD each year since 2013 and sets out its intended investment in equipment and support projects for the next 10 years.