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MoD 'is squandering millions on flawed computer system that is hampering recruitment'

£1.3bn online scheme is almost two years behind schedule, leading to recruitment targets being missed and applications being lost

The Ministry of Defence is reportedly facing criticism that it is squandering millions of pounds on a botched computer system that is hampering Britain’s ability to recruit soldiers.

The Recruitment Partnering Project, a £1.3bn scheme to enable the Army to recruit online by hiring the outsourcing firm Capita, is almost two years behind schedule and will not be fully operational until April 2015, The Times reports. Progress on building the computer system behind the project has been hampered to such an extent that ministers are now considering spending a further £50 million on a new solution – ahead of the £15.5 million that has already been spent on the architecture.

The delay is said to have led to recruitment targets for regular soldiers and reservists to be missed, and applications to be lost in the system.

According to The Times, the delay has put in peril Mr Hammond’s key goal of boosting the Army Reserve by more than 10,000 troops within four years.

An MoD spokeswoman told the newspaper that it had acknowledged a number of problems with the Army and Capita recruitment partnership. “Ministers have gripped these problems and put in place a number of fixes to correct the issues that had emerged,” she said.