To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 172 of his Department's Annual Reports and Accounts 2014-15, how an incorrect recording of Merlin aircraft component lives resulted in a fruitless payment of £20,995 million.
22 November 2021
The fruitless payment of £20.995 million referenced in the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts 214-15 reflected additional costs incurred under the Integrated Merlin Operational Support contract including a period of reduced aircraft availability in delivery of the Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme. There were underlying issues with some aspects of data and asset management on this platform within the Department leading to additional costs under the support contract and as a result of limiting availability of aircraft for a capability sustainment programme.
The Ministry of Defence subsequently undertook a thorough review of Merlin procedures and engineering and asset management software, in order to automate the application of data recording and significantly reduce the risk of incorrect data entry. Additional training and quality assurance checks were also introduced to assure the integrity of recorded data.