MoD attacked as supplies to troops held up

Almost two-thirds of the most urgent supplies to British troops overseas arrive late, according to a highly critical report about the Ministry of Defence (MOD) supply chain.

The National Audit Office (NAO) found only 54 per cent of the 130,300 consignments to forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere in 2010 were delivered within their target time.

Some 60,000 arrived late, mostly because of failures to anticipate demand or delays in obtaining supplies from manufacturers.

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Among the 4,400 highest priority deliveries – described as “immediate” – only 35 per cent arrived within the intended five-day timeframe.

Auditors at the NAO also raised concerns about the outdated IT systems used by the MoD to manage the supply chain.

The risk of systems failure – an event that could lead to shortages on the frontline within 30 days – has been raised to “critical”.