Select Committee on Defence Ninth Report

Conclusions and recommendations

1.  We recommend that the Ministry of Defence reconsider whether provision for commenced operations might be included in the Main Estimates in future. (Paragraph 9)

2.  While we appreciate the value in managing peace-keeping activities centrally, we cannot see why this should preclude separation of the anticipated costs of operations in the Balkans by department in the Main Estimates. We recommend that the Government reconsider this. (Paragraph 12)

3.  The current arrangements mean that the provision for conflict prevention in the MoD's Main Estimate greatly underestimates the total expected cost of the MoD's conflict prevention activities. (Paragraph 13)

4.  We recommend that the MoD consider further, in consultation with this Committee and with the House of Commons Scrutiny Unit, how the information presented in its Estimates memoranda could be made more accessible, and expressed in plainer language. (Paragraph 16)

5.  We have identified no issues of sufficient concern to require a debate in the House before it is asked to agree to the Main Estimates. (Paragraph 17)

6.  We believe that it is essential to our future security that the MoD and our Armed Forces are properly funded, and we will be monitoring the progress of the Spending Review with very close interest. We will also be continuing to monitor the MoD's Estimates process. The Government should not take the House's acquiescence to its spending plans for granted. (Paragraph 18)

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