A recruitment drive in Army has confronted “significant problems” – including a website that worth three times its budget and was 52 months late, according to a report of National Audit Office. Outsourcing giant Capita was awarded the £495m contract for Army recruitment in 2012 – but has failed to strike soldier recruitment targets every year since. Capita confessed it had “underestimated the complexity ” of the project. The Army said it had “put in place a plan to address the challenges”.

The NAO discovered the commencing delay to the £113m website was caused by the Defence Ministry which was not able to meet its contractual commitments to provide the IT infrastructure for hosting Capita’s recruitment software. The Army authorized responsibility for developing the entire system to Capita in 2014, but “due to the complexity of the Army’s requirements, system development was delayed even further according to the report.

And despite finishing the website in 2017, November, the Army evaluates there were 13,000 fewer applications between November 2017 and March 2018 than in the same period the previous year. Capita has persistently missed the recruitments targets of Army with the entire shortfall traversing from 21% to 45% according to NAO.

The Commons Defence Committee was told in October that currently the Army has fully trained troops, compared with the aim of 82,500.

The Army and Capita have initiated some “significant changes” in the last year, but none have an outcome in enough soldiers being enlisted according to the NAO. Capita has implicitly missed the recruitment targets of the Army with the complete shortfall ranging from 21% to 45% said NAO.

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