MoD is accused of a 'lack of cost control' after revelation Deloitte was paid £14.8m to advise on reforms

Accountancy firm was hired to help preparations for an overhaul of the military's vast property and land estates

The Ministry of Defence has been accused of a "lack of cost control" in its efforts to overhaul the management of Britain's barracks, training grounds and bases.

Industry insiders and leading politicians were shocked to discover that Deloitte, one of the UK's Big Four accountancy firms, was paid £14.8m in 2012-13 for advising the MoD on reforms to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

That is four times more than the MoD's second highest-paid consultant, EY, received for advice on another part of the MoD, Logistics Commodities and Services, which looks after everyday items such as food. The news emerges just days after the Public Accounts Committee found that the MoD was spending £400m a year on consultants owing to departmental skills shortages.

Deloitte was hired to help the MoD's preparations for an overhaul of the military's vast property and land estates. In March, the contractor Capita was awarded the £400m deal, with ministers hoping the firm's private-sector nous would result in hundreds of millions of savings.

The consultancy figures, revealed by the Defence minister Anna Soubry in a parliamentary answer, led to calls yesterday for a full explanation of how Deloitte deserved that hefty fee. The shadow Secretary of State for Defence, Vernon Coaker, said: "The Government should outline what this money was spent on and explain why Deloitte was paid such a staggering amount more than any other consultancy firm."

A source at one of the country's leading defence firms added: "That looks way over budget. It's another example of a lack of cost control at the MoD."

When Deloitte's contract was awarded, the source said, the fee was supposed to be closer to £5m. But a source close to Deloitte argued the total also included other contracts related to DIO awarded later.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the leading law firm, was also paid nearly £2.7m for its work on DIO in 2012-13. The MoD's total payments to legal outfits came to £28m, up from £25m the previous year.

A MoD spokesperson said: "The support of these highly specialised consultants with niche skills not available within the MoD is helping to radically transform the department so it's more efficient.

"Their independent advice must be considered in the context of the £3.3bn invested in infrastructure each year and will ensure this transformation takes place smoothly and efficiently aiming to secure savings of up to £350m a year for taxpayers in the future."

Defence has proved to be lucrative work for Deloitte. The accounting giant also received more than £2m for assistance on a study into the future of the army.

Deloitte is believed to be one of the firms longlisted to help run part of Defence Equipment and Support, the £14bn-budget agency that buys the armed forces' tanks, fighter jets and battle-gear.

The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, has been determined to get the private sector to run as much of this agency as possible and is starting by outsourcing what is described as project delivery – making sure that the Government does not overpay for military kit.

Other firms that are believed to be on this long list, which could be published this week, include the US giants Bechtel and Jacobs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power