Kevan Jones MP, Labour’s Shadow Armed Forces Minister, in response to news that the Comptroller and Auditor General has refused to sign off MoD Annual Accounts, said:
“This is disconcerting for the country and discomforting for the Defence Secretary.
“The Defence Secretary claims to have balanced the budget, but in the last three days we have had potential cuts to Apache helicopters, over £1bn further cuts and now auditors have refused to sign off accounts.
“Unfortunately, a lack of evidence is coming to characterise defence budgeting.
“Good accounting is essential to ensuring value for money in defence so Ministers must urgently respond to this criticism.
“Labour has argued for increased accountability in defence finance. We now need answers from the Government and we need them independently verified.”
•Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said today:
“[The MoD] has again not followed proper accounting requirements with regards to leases. Therefore, I am qualifying my audit opinion.”
•The Annual Report shows that delay in the equipment programme is increasing:
The Annual Report 2011/12 shows that the number of months the MoD equipment programme is delayed in year has increased to 5.50 months in 2011-12, from 0.46 months in 2010-11.
Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12, p.10