The National Audit Office produced an important report in June, examining the Ministry of Defence’s management of carrier strike and how it is addressing the risks involved in achieving the full capabilities of the carrier strike group. My hon. Friend will know that the Public Accounts Commission approves the strategy and the budget for the NAO but does not involve itself in specific reports due to the statutory independence of the Comptroller and Auditor General, but we are interested to see that the work of the National Audit Office does meet Parliament’s needs.
The Crowsnest radar system is 18 months late. The three crucial new support ships will not be ready until the end of the decade. Only 48 of the 138 Lightning jets have been ordered, and the MOD has no idea about the lifetime costs of this programme. What can my hon. Friend do to ensure full parliamentary scrutiny of the National Audit Office’s superb report, so that the MOD’s handling of this programme can be comprehensively examined?
My hon. Friend raises the question of the progress, or lack of progress, made around issues such as the radar system and developing the support ships required. He will be pleased to know that the Public Accounts Committee recently announced formally that it will take evidence on the carrier strike report from the National Audit Office during the month of September.