Repeat orders for military hardware to be speeded up (With India to ensure greater transparency in defence purchases)

August 1st, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) In a step intended to speed up procurement of military hardware by the armed forces, the defence ministry said Friday repeat orders for equipment already in the inventory can be placed without inviting fresh bids from the manufacturer. The Defence Procurement Procedure-2008 (DPP-2008) released here by Defence Minister A.K. Antony has also introduced a fast track procedure for purchasing military hardware up to Rs 4 billion.

For repeat orders, “the concerned Acquisition Manager would invite the vendor for negotiations for additional quantities. The CNC (Contract Negotiating Committee) would conclude the negotiations, preferably at the same price and terms and conditions,” DPP-2008 says.

The step is aimed at meeting urgent operational requirements. But, in making out a case for a repeat order, the armed forces would also have to justify why this route was being taken.

Once this is approved, the repeat order can be placed by invoking the ‘option clause’ of the contract.

“The concerned Acquisition Manager would invoke the option clause and invite the vendor for signing the addendum to the contract,” DPP-2008 says.

The fast track procedure is confined to hardware that is widely in use and would help cut down the lead time involved in the induction of major weapons system.

“The items involved should preferably be such which are already in service or have been trial and evaluated or are available widely in the world or in service in defence forces or in the indigenous market for ready procurement so that the time required for evaluation is minimised,” DPP-2008 says.

“While formulating the operational requirements (of the armed forces), it would be kept in mind that the required equipment is widely available in the world market or in service in foreign defence forces/indigenous market,” the document added.

Indian defence attaches or ambassadors would confirm the information furnished by the vendors and confirm the item was ‘In Service in Foreign Defence Forces’.

The cabinet committee on security would have to be kept informed of all deals worth Rs.2-4 billion, the document says, adding that an Oversight Committee would examine all deals over Rs.3 billion.

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