MoD has 'lost' £700m worth of firearms and radios

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The Independent Online

Military chiefs have "lost" firearms worth more than £500m and radios valued at almost £200m, a report by MPs into financial mismanagement at the Ministry of Defence has disclosed.

The Commons Defence Select Committee expressed its alarm that the department could not account for equipment totalling £6.3bn in value. It includes £568m of firearms and £184m of radios.

For the fourth year running, the National Audit Office has qualified the accounts of the MoD, which this year has a budget of £33.8bn. The committee urged the MoD to speed up moves to solve problems with its stock-control system.

It said: "There are security, as well as financial, implications associated with losing equipment such as radios. Having an effective audit trail is the only way to ensure that all radios are accounted for."

The committee said the department's inability to keep track of its equipment made it harder to request extra cash from the Treasury. The MoD expects to take four years to fix its stock problems.