Raksha Mantri Shri AK Antony will inaugurate an International Seminar on Defence acquisition in New Delhi tomorrow. The objective of the seminar is to share the experiences of major countries in the matter of defence acquisition policies, procedure and best practices. In a three-day seminar the participants will discuss among other things, the different aspect of acquisition, its legal perspectives, International best practices in acquisition and experiences of the different countries.Defence acquisition is a complex task, involving expertise in military, technology, industry, contract/project management and policy making. Besides it involves a significant amount of national resources, running into billions of dollars. Efficiency in acquisition not only leads to higher defence preparedness but also provides value for money, impetus to industrial competitiveness and other economic benefits. With this in view many advanced countries, such as the US, France, and UK, among others, have undertaken reforms in their defence acquisition structures and procedures. Although reforms in these countries have taken different form, some countries like the UK and France have moved towards an integrated acquisition structure, with relevant expertise under one roof and under one controlling authority, to oversee the entire process of acquisition, right from the planning process to the final disposal of the weapon/platform.
In India also, the Ministry of Defence has taken a series of reform measures, with the Defence Procurement Organisation in place since 2001. The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) which set out rules for capital acquisition is revised at regular interval, in a move to streamline the acquisition process. The DPP 2011, which is in vogue since January 2011, lays added emphasis on speedy acquisition and transparency in defence procurement. The reform measures notwithstanding, there have been some problems affecting modernisation process of the armed forces. One indication of lack of expeditious procurement is the recurring underutilisation of resources earmarked under capital budget. As the defence budget for 2009-10 reveals, nearly 15 per cent of previous year’s capital budget (Rs. 480 billion) remained underutilised at the stage of revised estimate. This together with an upward moving trend in surrender of funds, observed in past few years, reveals inadequacies in the capital acquisition system which needs to be addressed to ensure that the armed forces are fully prepared.
The proposed international seminar on defence acquisition is aimed at examining the best practices in defence acquisition. It will bring together functionaries from the MoD, armed forces, and Industry of major developed and developing countries and experts on the subject for a three day long discussion. The major issues that will also be discussed in these seminars include: technical requirement and capability definition; technical and commercial evaluation challenges; structural elements for efficient acquisition; contract and project management; IT opportunities in defence acquisition; empowering defence industrial and R&D base; role of offsets in acquisition; and efficient logistics management.