UK ‘can’t find’ $13bn in military hardware…Posted: August 21, 2009
Auditors have been unable to find 6.6 billion pounds ($13 billion) worth of British military equipment including vehicles, weapons and radios used by troops, a report said Thursday.
The government has ordered a shakeup at the Ministry of Defence after the auditors found holes in its record keeping, the Financial Times reported.
The findings raised concerns about whether critical resourcing decisions for Afghanistan have been taken by MoD officials without knowing where billions of pounds of equipment, including machine guns, night vision goggles as well as spare parts, is located, the newspaper said.
The National Audit Office has refused to sign off on MoD accounts because of an “inadequate level of evidence” that 6.6 billion pounds of its assets existed, the FT said.
The MoD told the newspaper the assets were “never physically lost”.
The report comes amid a furious debate in Britain about whether troops fighting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan have adequate resources as the number of soldiers killed in the conflict rises.