£6bn of equipment unaccounted for in MoD books

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Ministry of Defence's accounts were today "qualified" by the Whitehall spending watchdog after it was unable to account properly for more than £6 billion of equipment.

It is the fourth year in succession that the National Audit Office (NAO) has qualified the MoD's accounts.

The head of the NAO, Amyas Morse, said that despite efforts by the MoD to tackle the issue, there remain "systemic and deep-rooted" problems with its asset management system.

He said it has emerged that the problems were more extensive than previously thought as the work done to track down the equipment had brought fresh difficulties to light.

The NAO found the MoD was unable to account for the whereabouts of £5.5 billion of spares and other stocks, and £752 million of military equipment including firearms and 5,961 Bowman radios worth £184 million.

"Despite action by the department to improve its asset management and accounting, the issues I have identified are systemic and deep-rooted," Mr Morse said.

"The level of control exercised by the department is not yet sufficient to enable me to provide an opinion on a significant proportion of assets reported in the financial statements."