The comments were made in the NAO’s review of Army 2020 – MOD’s long-term restructuring plan to reduce the number of trained regular soldiers and increase trained reserved forces.
The programme is part of a larger strategy to cut £5.3bn from Army spending by 2022.
Although the NAO recognises that the British Army is ahead of its target to reduce the number of military staff, recruitment of reserves has been endangered.
NAO claims that when the MOD chose outsourcing solutions firm Capita for a recruitment programme contract, it failed to provide critical ICT infrastructure to support the agreement.
“The Army’s recruitment contract with Capita has been subject to a number of difficulties that have affected recruitment performance, including the MOD’s failure to provide ICT infrastructure critical to the success of the project,” claimed the NAO.
“This means poor recruitment performance cannot be distinguished from the impact of ICT failings,” it added.
The NAO report claims the lack of suitable infrastructure means Capita is unable to deliver the recruitment process in the way it intended to.
It adds that because the setting up of new recruitment software failed, operational costs of using a legacy system in the meantime are reaching £1m a month and these extra costs are likely to top £25m in the long run as the new system is not expected to be ready until summer 2015.