Defence Committee calls for improvements in Ministry of Defence financial management information

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) must improve the amount and quality of the information it provides in its annual report and accounts, according to a report from the House of Commons Defence Committee.  In its review of the MoD accounts for 2012 – 2013, the Committee argued that much work is still needed before the MoD meets the standards of reporting the Committee would expect to see.

For the seventh successive year, the MoD's accounts have been qualified by auditors and criticised on a number of grounds, most significantly in relation to record keeping on the MoD's equipment inventory. Whilst recognising that the MoD is finally taking inventory management seriously, the Committee says it is “still concerned that much needs to be done to remedy the poor state of inventory control”.

The Defence Committee has identified a number of key areas that should be included in the MOD's annual report in future. These include military readiness levels, staffing and outflow statistics, the performance
of the Defence Equipment and Support agency in procuring and maintaining defence equipment, and performance against transformation projects within Mod, such as the military reform programme 'Future Force 2020'.

Committee Chair James Arbuthnot, said, "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."

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