A report released today by the National Auditing Office (NAO) criticises the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for savagely cutting its headcount without proper planning.
The MoD has plans to cut its civilian workforce by 29,000 and its armed forces by 25,000. It is estimated that the process will produce £3 billion in cost reductions.
The NAO has found that these reductions are happening despite a lack of understanding at the department of how it will operate with significantly fewer staff.
The report expresses concern that cutting headcount is likely to result in the department doing less with fewer people or, alternatively, trying to do the same with greater risk.
The significant reduction in headcount also creates a risk that current skills gaps will worsen.
The MoD is continuing to recruit albeit at significantly lower levels. Recruitment, particularly in the military, tends to bring in younger people.