Ministry of Defence accounts have been qualified for the fifth year running after the National Audit Office was unable to confirm some figures in the operating cost statement in respect of consumption charges for certain stocks and fixed assets.
Link: MoD told to tighten belt
Comptroller and auditor general Sir John Bourn said ‘good progress’ had been made since he heavily qualified the accounts for 1999/2000 and remarked that he had raised the quality of data supporting the write-down of stock values in 2000/2001, which failed to comply with Financial Reporting Standard 15.
He said other main problem was the incompleteness of charges through the lack of an audit trail, but said the balance sheet values for stock held by industry were ‘essentially complete and correct’.
According to the report, progress is being made but the difficulties are unlikely to be solved until current systems are replaced.
The MoD issued a statement pointing out that 2001/2002 was the first year they had managed resources under the resource accounting model and said the transition had been ‘a large and demanding exercise’.
But it is just the latest in a succession of difficulties.
The MoD accounts for 1998/1999 were qualified (then for the third year in succession) because of an Army pensions fund fraud worth nearly £500,000, the loss of £30m on IT projects and an overspend of £37m.