UK Public Accounts Committee Urges Defense Ministry To Alter Practices In Digital Sphere

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd February, 2023) The UK Defense Ministry should completely change and accelerate its work methods in digital technology against the backdrop of challenges brought on by the Ukrainian conflict, the UK Public Accounts Committee said in a fresh report on Friday.

"The Ministry of Defence (the Department) is not well set up to implement digital change at pace and scale, and must fundamentally change the way it operates to do so. While it has put in place a new digital strategy which acknowledges and seeks to address this, the Department does still not have a delivery plan which will allow it to track and measure its performance effectively," the report read.

Since 2019, the defense ministry has been struggling to deliver major programs designed to replace the systems and applications for 200,000 users, ranging from administrative and back-office IT to military platforms such as ships and satellites, according to the document.

"One of the key delivery issues the Department must address is filling critical gaps in its digital personnel and upskilling current military and civilian staff. The Department struggles with the pay it can offer candidates, the location of some of its posts, and the extended security vetting times needed for new entrants, which in some instances can take over 200 days," the public accounts committee said in the report.

In addition, the document noted the urgency of rapid deployment and exploitation of new technologies in view of the Ukrainian conflict, saying that they are now "at the very heart of the defence of the realm."

"If the Department is to get to grip with these large and pressing challenges and successfully deliver the objectives of its new strategy by 2025, organisational and cultural change must be required," the committee added.

On Monday, Tobias Ellwood, who heads the UK parliamentary Defense Select Committee, told Sky news that the British army was "in a dire state" despite two decades of multi-billion Dollar investments. He also said that the United Kingdom, which is already involved in the Ukraine conflict, needed to "face Russia directly rather than leaving Ukraine to do all the work." Following Ellwood's remarks, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also said that the UK army had "fallen behind its peer group" and needed investments.