MoD Winter Supplementary Estimate 2009-10 - Defence Committee Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

1.  We are grateful to the MoD for developing with us a new timetable for forecasts and formal approval of monies for operations over the course of this Parliament. (Paragraph 3)

2.  We hope that the House's scrutiny of the Supplementary Estimates will be taken up in the new Parliament: increasing the capacity of select committees to conduct more detailed financial scrutiny in a more reasonable time table must be a key component of reviving the role of Parliament. (Paragraph 5)

3.  Although we understand that HM Treasury cannot write a blank cheque for the MoD even in the current circumstances that obtain in Afghanistan, we would like further information from the MoD as to the circumstances in which the change of practice relating to the costs of Urgent Operational Requirements might impact on the MoD's core budget in future. (Paragraph 13)

4.  In its response to this Report, the MoD should confirm that the MoD is contributing to the Protected Mobility Package now because the assets obtained or improved under this process are more likely than other UORs to have a potential use in theatres other than Afghanistan. (Paragraph 16)

5.  In its response to this Report the MoD should set out to what extent and under what conditions the HM Treasury contribution to the Protected Mobility Package might change should its cost rise significantly, leaving the MoD otherwise to bear a greater proportion of the costs than previously anticipated. (Paragraph 16)

6.  While there will always be need for reprioritisation and redistribution of funds between programmes, it seems unwise to cut the research budget, especially in such an area as C4ISTAR which is so very crucial not only to the MoD's future capability but also to the success of current operations. We call on the MoD to provide enough information for us to understand the reasons for the strategic reprioritisation of research, the exact state of funding for its research programmes, and the extent of any cuts to those programmes. (Paragraph 22)

7.  We recommend that the House of Commons approve the request for resources set out in the MoD's Winter Supplementary Estimates. The sums requested serve to maintain the capability of the MoD to sustain operations in theatre and to meet other future challenges. (Paragraph 23)

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Prepared 10 December 2009