1. Government departments are required to publish
annual reports at the end of each financial year. Their purpose
is to set out achievements and performance against objectives
and targets, to describe administrative structures and set out
financial information on actual and planned expenditure. Scrutiny
of a department's performance against its targets, and of its
expenditure, is central to the work undertaken by select committees.
Our inquiry continues a series of annual inquiries into the MoD's
Annual Report and Accounts. This Report examines the administration,
expenditure, activities and achievements of the MoD during the
2008-09 financial year, as detailed in the Ministry of Defence
Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09, published on 20 July 2009.
2. Continuing the format of last year's inquiry into
the MoD's Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08, we held two oral
evidence sessions; the first session on 10 November 2009 with
Sir Bill Jeffrey, Permanent Under Secretary to the MoD, and Mr
Terence Jagger, MoD's Director Financial Management; and the second
session with the Secretary of State for Defence, on 24 November
2009 (the Rt Hon Bob Ainsworth MP), in his first appearance before
us since his appointment in May.
3. We sent written questions to the MoD at the beginning
of the inquiry, prepared with the assistance of the Committee
Office Scrutiny Unit. We also asked the MoD for further information
following the oral evidence sessions. The information received
from the MoD is appended to this Report. We are grateful to the
National Audit Office (NAO) for providing written briefing on
the performance of the MoD; that briefing is available on the
NAO website. We extend our thanks to all those who assisted the
Committee during the course of this inquiry.