15 June 2000 | Elizabeth Bellamy
The Ministry of Defence has been praised for its supply management in Kosovo, despite equipment and staff shortages, writes Elizabeth Bellamy.
A National Audit Office report, Kosovo: The Financial Management of Military Operations, found that the department's stocks and stores management had improved dramatically since the Bosnian conflict, which ended in 1995.
But it said there was still room for improvement and criticised the MoD's spares provision after parts shortages for Royal Navy Harrier aircraft led to the "robbing" of other craft.
Air munitions stocks also needed to be kept under closer review, it advised.
While the MoD was also criticised for its logistics staff shortages during the conflict, it received praise for its use of food contractors. The department originally used a Macedonian food, commodities and water supplier, but switched to a UK contractor after problems with slow delivery times and limited product ranges.
A Defence Procurement Agency spokesperson told SM: "We choose contractors on value for money."
The NAO estimated the Kosovo operation would cost £866 million over the next five years.