UK Defense Acquisition Policies Criticized, Defended, Improved

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UK MoD The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has responded to a Public Accounts Committee report that was highly critical of MoD’s performance and execution under Britain’s “Smart Acquisition” guidelines. The 20 largest projects currently in development are a total of GBP 5.9 billion over the originally approved targets, claims the report, and months behind schedule. The MoD responded, of course, citing numerous improvements over the past year. It also released a new procurement handbook that offers the broad thrust of their future procurement practices. The Public Accounts Committee recommendations included: * A potential for greater expenditures (up to 15% of total cost) in a project’s assessment phase * Higher qualification standards for vendors * Increased focus on actual progess vs. process * A recommendation to “develop measures of maturity for procurement strategy, supplier relationships, technical risk and finance for projects.” CVF Concept, 2005 Another strategy is to share the risk of complex projects by including incentives and penalties to insure that the project will come in on time and on budget. To quote the MoD, “Such innovations recognise that conventional approaches to assigning risk to the main contractor do not necessarily put the risk where it can be managed. […]

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