January 26, 2009
The News of the World has run an article claiming that the Ministry of Defence has 'thrown away £334million on doomed projects and cock-ups'. Like all Government Departments, Parliament requires the MOD to declare losses and special payments in the Annual Report and Accounts. We include in these figures cases that have not yet been finalised - losses in these cases are likely to be revised and payment will not come out of that year's budget.
This is the case with the examples given in the News of the World. The £205m on Chinook helicopters, £54m compensation for a contractor building landing ships and £8.6m on an air traffic system are all estimates as the cases are not yet closed. It is therefore not correct to claim that £334m has been 'wasted in just two years' as none of these special payments were made in the 2007/08 financial year. The House of Commons Defence Committee monitors this area very closely and MOD losses have been decreasing year on year.
UK Ministry of Defence