Defence secretary Phillip Hammond responds to a report by the National Auditing Office (NAO) which criticises the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for poor planning:
"The NAO has recognised that MoD's redundancy programme is working well and that reductions to the civilian workforce provide good value for money for the taxpayer. Of course, the scale of the financial black hole in MoD's budget that the coalition has inherited meant action was needed urgently. We recognise the risks the NAO identifies and are actively managing them.
"MoD civilians contribute to every aspect of defence in the UK, internationally and in theatre and these necessary changes will be achieved mostly through reductions in recruiting and by not replacing those who leave. As with the military, compulsory redundancy programmes will only be used as a last resort.
"The new MoD civil service structure will see the department changing the way we provide services by reducing duplication and streamlining our processes, thereby maintaining output at lower costs."