Defence Procurement Procedure The Unfinished Agenda

Mr Amit Cowshish is a former Financial Advisor (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence and former Distinguished Fellow, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for Detailed Profile
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  • July 2012

    It has been a long time since the first set of instructions on defence procurement was issued in 1992. Since then, however, there have been several refinements and additions, based on the feedback from the stakeholders and the experience of the Defence Ministry itself, culminating in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2011. This is presently under review and it would be reasonable to expect that the changes being contemplated will result in further refinement of the procedure and address some of the concerns expressed from time to time. There is also a view that all this effort may go waste once the Public Procurement Bill, presently before Parliament, is enacted, as the law would also apply to defence-related procurements. The apprehension seems unwarranted. The fundamental principles underlying the DPP are not materially different from what is envisaged in the proposed law on public procurement, but the DPP contains detailed instructions and formats of various documents peculiar to defence procurements. Therefore, it is quite likely that the DPP would survive, in some form or the other, the enactment of law on public procurement. Some further changes might be necessary to bring it in sync with the provisions of the new law, but these changes are unlikely to bring about any material change in the overall procedure for capital procurements which has developed over the years. The process of refining the procedure must, therefore, continue. It is in this context that this article highlights some of the issues that have so far not received enough attention or have not been perceived as problem areas meriting attention.

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