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Government announces it will fix Defence procurement by slashing red tape

The bureaucracy of Defence procurement is set to be overhauled through the implementation of the recommendations of Australian Standard for Defence Contracting (ASDEFCON) and Defence Procurement Review.

Even though recommendations have yet to be implemented, the Government claims that time taken to approve large Defence acquisitions will be cut by up to a quarter under a range of changes designed to reduce red tape and save industry millions of dollars.

One of the key initiatives will be to improve Defence engagement with industry during the capability development and tendering processes.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the review had identified significant opportunities to reduce red tape, saving industry time and money in supporting the delivery of capability to the Australian Defence Force.

The implementation of the Review’s recommendations will significantly improve the way Defence does business,” Minister Price said.

It will also improve how Defence works to fast-track the delivery of capability to the ADF and how it communicates with industry.”

While the ASDEFCON Procurement Review offers a slew of practical recommendations, the recommendations rely substantially on the ability of Defence to improve its commercial acumen. This process will require more than streamlining the bureaucracy, it will also required cultural overhaul.

Defence spending is notoriously problematic and prone to political interference and waste. One thing that has not been made clear in the review is what governance mechanisms will be in place to safeguard public interests and reduce the risk of rorting and inapropriate expenditure.

The Government has announced that implementation of the recommendations will commence in 2022.

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