Permanent secretary Matt Tee visits Afghanistan to improve comms

Matt Tee, the permanent secretary for government communications, flew to Afghanistan last month in an attempt to sort out the country's increasingly disparate comms network.

Matt Tee: Afghanistan visit
Matt Tee: Afghanistan visit

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Tee spent three days meeting with 'senior international military and development figures, and local leaders and media representatives' at a cost of £3,586.07.

One Government insider said the trip was 'largely a fact-finding visit'. The source added: 'It is hugely complex doing comms from there because of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), British Army, MoD, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development and a whole range of other people being involved.'

Cabinet Office director of comms Jenny Grey said the outcome of the trip would be 'better co-ordination of comms between London and Afghanistan; improved links between UK communicators and international policy and military figures in NATO, ISAF and the UN; and better access for UK media to spokespeople in Afghanistan, including ministers and governors'.

The news comes as it was announced in the Strategic Defence Review that overall defence spending would fall eight per cent during the next four years.

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