12 Nov 2012

NAO review MOD data systems

The National Audit Office has launched a review of the data systems underpinning the input and impact indicators in the Ministry of Defence’s Business Plan, common areas of spend and wider management information.

The review focused on the data systems used to report MOD performance. The review, published in November, looked in depth at the processes and controls governing the selection, collection, processing and analysis of data; the match between the department’s stated objectives and the indicators it has chosen; and the reporting of results.

The report found that, although the current system is fit for purpose when assessed against the current measurement annex criteria, it does not provide a full measure of the Department’s performance in respect of long-term procurement.

The report also identified some issues relating to the use of third parties in relation to workforce size as well as the need for the Department to ensure that it performed sufficient checks on the data used to calculate its set indicators.

Perhaps most interestingly, the report uncovered a discrepancy in the data relating to deployed troops in Afghanistan, noting that figures published by the MOD related only to the number of troops ‘expected’ to be deployed and not the actual number serving. The report explicitly warns that ‘the Department should ensure that the measurement criteria are sufficiently well explained to enable the reader to understand any risks associated with data and the context in which indicators are reported.’

To read the full, report, visit: http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/1213/review_data_systems_for_mod.aspx