MoD's £2.78million bill for paper is uncovered by Plymouth MP
THE MINISTRY of Defence spent £2.78 million on paper in a year, figures from the department have revealed.
The figure was announced in response to a written parliamentary question from shadow defence minister Alison Seabeck.
The MP for Plymouth Moor View asked what amount was spent by the MoD on copier paper in each of the last three years and what assessment had been made on the value for money of these purchases.
Alison claimed: "It was just slightly concerning from what I'd seen that for the previous year they were paying £3 per unit less for paper. At a time when there are cutbacks in other services, I wanted to compare it with other places where you would get paper to make sure they are getting the best deal.
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"As shadow procurement minister I want to make sure they are getting the best deal for paper as they are for planes."
Since October 2011 the MoD has bought paper through a Central Government Supplies Contract (GOSC) managed by HM Revenue and Customs.
An MoD spokesperson said: "Hundreds of thousands of civilian and military staff use the paper that is provided through this contract – it is used daily in Afghanistan, on ships and in all of our establishments across the UK.
"The Central Government Office Supplies Contract offers the best value for money for the taxpayer, better than previous MOD specific contractual arrangements and it will be regularly reviewed to ensure costs remain low."
In a statement, Philip Dunne, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said that under the GOSC, from October 1 2011 to September 30 2012, the MoD expenditure on paper was £2.78 million, excluding VAT.
However the figures for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 are no longer held by the MoD.
He said: "Use of the GOSC is mandated across all central government departments and the expectation is that over time the economies of scale afforded by this centralised arrangement will offer better value for money than previous MoD specific contractual arrangements."