I have today laid before the House a departmental minute describing the provision of equipment and infrastructure worth £13.3 million to the Jordanian armed forces over the period 2015-17 that was not previously notified to Parliament.
The provision of equipment was treated as a grant in kind. Following correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2016, Departments which previously treated these payments as gifts undertook to notify the House of Commons of any such grant in kind of a value exceeding £300,000 and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the grant until 14 parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.
The granting of this equipment and infrastructure supported the Jordanian defence and borders programme and is fundamental to the aims of the UK Government’s strategy for Jordan. Delivery of targeted areas of equipment and infrastructure support is an integral part of the approach in order to assist Jordan in developing the capability to protect its borders. In this case, the equipment and infrastructure provided ranged from armoured 4x4 vehicles, IT, personal equipment (including protective clothing) to administration, accommodation, training and logistics buildings.
The activity was in support of the National Security Council objectives and was funded through the conflict, security and stability fund administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence.
The Ministry of Defence has conducted a detailed examination of the errors made and has taken robust measures to ensure than an oversight such as this does not occur again.