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MoD employs more accountants than Army officers

After it was revealed that the Ministry of Defence employs an eye-watering number of accountants – more than 850 to be exact – the MoD was weathering heavy fire for having less Army officers employed than civilian accountancy experts.

The Ministry was especially criticised for the high number of accountants it employed, especially after thousands of forces jobs were axed due to a recent cost-cutting programme. Not only is the figure a massive one, it exceeds the number of Colonels, Brigadiers, Major Generals, Lieutenant Generals, and Generals in the British Army altogether – and the accountants employed by the MoD dwarf those employed by every other department in the Government added together.

In addition to the 858 fully qualified accountants working for the MoD – a figure that actually increased by 2.75 per cent from 2010’s figures despite a frontline troop drawdown -there are an additional 153 trainee accountants working for – and being paid by – the ministry as well. Meanwhile, the Treasury has only 80 total accountants, despite the fact that every last penny of the Government money flows through, and the Department of Work and Pensions has only 381 in order to handle the entire country’s welfare payments.

Despite the massive number of accountants employed by the MoD, it has been plagued with a surprising number of financial woes, such as the  £400,000 in over-payments made to a contractor, the £1.7 million generated by legal costs over a furniture contract, the £2 million in penalty fees it had to pay in order to extricate itself from a mobile phone deal, the £8 million paid out in an accounting error to soliders, and the massive £250 million lost over a scrapped new fighter jet decision.

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