The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made errors in pay and expenses to Armed Forces personnel totalling £140m, the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed.
The report by the NAO found 14.7% of transactions using the MoD’s Joint Personnel Administration payroll system contained an error or could not be substantiated, and these errors amounted to a net error of £140m in the department’s accounts.
The NAO said the errors had occurred because HR staff were inputting data onto the payroll system but this was then subject to limited checks.
Service personnel were also found to be able to submit their own expenses claims under the system, with further checks not normally carried out.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “Although the Ministry of Defence has made some improvements to its payroll and HR systems over the past year, I consider there are important issues that have not been fully addressed and further significant changes are required.”
The NAO report called on the MoD to create a taskforce to undertake a “systematic cleansing exercise” to correct pay and personnel records, while line managers should be able to see expenses claims as they are made on the system.
A spokeswoman for the MoD said: “Some errors have been identified in the Joint Personnel Administration system in relation to the payment of specialist pay, allowances and expenses, but we are working hard to ensure the relevant issues are rectified.
“The priority remains to pay all military personnel on time and this has been achieved. Work has been done in the past 12 months to rectify the issues identified in the 2007-08 audit but there is still more to do.”