Wednesday, 16 June 2021
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Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee published its 23rd Report of Session 2010-2011. This report on the Major Projects 2010, on the basis of evidence from the MoD, examined its progress in meeting cost, time and performance targets for its 15 top-spending military equipment projects. Progress made by the MoD on individual defence equipment projects, has been overshadowed by continuing failure on important major projects. Unaffordable decisions taken in the short-term have led to the inevitable waste of billions of pounds over time. In the wake of the Defence Review, the MoD has still to spell out if and how it has got its defence procurement budget under control.

In one previous hearing, where the focus was on only four projects, over 8 billion of taxpayer's money was identified, which had been written off or incurred simply for reasons of delay. The scale of the budget shortfall has pressurised the MoD into taking difficult decisions to cancel important military capabilities like Nimrod and Sentinel, thereby increasing operational risks and writing off nearly 5 billion. The Department has also taken short-term decisions to delay and re-scope individual projects to keep its in-year spending within the voted limits. Such decisions have been taken without a full understanding of the financial implications. The consequence has been hugely damaging; in just one year an increase of over 3 billion in the overall cost of the Department's major projects.

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