MoD sets up specialised unit with consultants to aid arms procurements | India News

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry is now setting up a specialized Project Management Unit (PMU) as part of the overall reforms underway to streamline and speed up the entire arms procurement process.
The PMU is in line with the government’s goals to ensure “faster decision-making” and to systematically work towards reducing the time taken for capital acquisitions.
The Rajnath Singh-led defence acquisitions council last month also issued directions that all capital procurement contracts, other than design and development cases, should be concluded in two years, said officials.
Towards this end, the MoD has already invited bids for empanelment of cost and data analysis firms as well as legal consulting firms for the department of defence’s acquisitions wing, which deals with all capital procurements of the over 15-lakh armed forces.
“Mandated to support the complexities of contract management, the PMU will facilitate obtaining advisory and consultancy support in specified areas to support and professionalize the procurement process,” said an official.
At present, it often takes several years after a case gets the initial “acceptance of necessity” (AoN), which is followed by the floating of the initial tender or RFP (request for proposal), field trials, commercial evaluation and the like, before the final contract is anywhere close to being inked.
The entire process, of course, is also often derailed by complaints and corruption allegations, leaving the service concerned without the weapon or platform it wanted to induct for years on end.
The new Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020, apart from the thrust on indigenization, also places greater emphasis on framing of realistic and verifiable GSQRs (general staff qualitative requirements) and overhauling of the cumbersome trial and testing procedures.
“The DAP underlines the need to conduct trials with an objective to nurture competition based on the principles of transparency, fairness and equal opportunities to all and not as a process of elimination,” said the official.

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