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NAO hovering over QinetiQ's £12bn defence contract By Karl West Daily Mail

Last updated at 11:54 PM on 29th December 2008

The National Audit Office has QinetiQ in its sights once again.

The Whitehall spending watchdog is considering launching an investigation into a £12billion defence training contract won by the controversial outsourcing group.

It would be the second time QinetiQ, a former government defence research laboratory, has been at the centre of a probe by the NAO, following a damning report in November 2007 into the firm's flotation.

Investigation: The National Audit Office may look more closely into QinetiQ's recent activities

The troubled contract to train Britain's armed forces, which has seen costs spiral from £11billion to £12billion, has not even started but the government has already spent £34.6million of taxpayers' money on the deal.

Mark Pritchard, Tory MP for The Wrekin in Shropshire, has written to the NAO urging it to look into the defence training review programme.

NAO boss Tim Burr told Pritchard in one letter: 'We will continue to monitor the (defence) department's progress to see whether and when the time might be right to start a full value for money investigation.'

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