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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there