December 22, 2008
The Independent on Sunday claims that millions of pounds are being spent on luxurious homes for Army top brass in contrast with "appalling" accommodation conditions faced by most ordinary soldiers. The government and MOD are committed to providing the quality and type of housing needed by our Service men and women, and this is recognised by the £8bn investment programme which is now delivering real results. We accept there is some way to go but this is a long-term commitment.
As for Senior Officers' accommodation, this is reviewed to ensure it is both appropriate and within available resources. Occupants of Official Service Residences hold posts that require them to entertain and accommodate guests including British Royalty, Ministers, politicians, senior representatives of the private sector and officially hosted overseas representatives, to support Ministry of Defence objectives. It is the post and not the residence or the individual which carries the Official Service Residences designation.
Official Service Residence (OSR) expenditure is kept under close scrutiny and tight control. The designation of OSR status is approved at high-level in MOD. Continuing entitlement to OSR status is reviewed annually. The MOD is open and transparent about its expenditure and has readily provided figures for every OSR when requested under Freedom of Information, although details of the property address and the Service occupant are not released for security reasons.